For anyone on vacation, stepping off an airplane in a brand-new city after a long flight is an exhilarating feeling. While business travelers can share this feeling, more often than not their first thought is to get what they want and where they need to be as quickly and comfortable as possible during a business trip.
For example, many business travelers will often use local taxis or Uber to get from point A to point B as they are both extremely convenient. But while these options may be convenient for employees, they end up being far more expensive for employers.
As we mentioned in our previous post, an easy way to manage excessive transportation costs for your business is to arm your fleet of mobile employees with the information necessary to get around easily. In that way, they’ll be more empowered to use other services over the course of their business trip. The capabilities of ever-more powerful smartphones can make this as easy as it’s ever been — no matter where they touch down.
Below are six of the best travel apps to help your employees find their way and get organized while they are on a business trip:
1. Expensify– Track your expenses while on the road
For frequent business travelers, expenses can be a huge hassle. Keeping track of receipts, organizing, and remembering to submit the expenses can add a lot of unnecessary stress to what sometimes can be an already stressful trip.
Expensify simplifies that process a fair amount because its goal is to help track and submit expenses made on the road. With the smartphone app with smartscan functionality, business travelers can take pictures of their receipts, automatically upload the information, and categorize it for later reference. When the time comes, Expensify can generate its own robust reports or export the information out to a spreadsheet. It’s easy to see how Expensify can cut costs: it ensures that mistakes aren’t made, making companies happier in the process.
**NEW: ** TravelPerk and Expensify have teamed up to make business travel easier than ever. Read more about the integration here.
2. Moovit– Your smart local transport app
There’s nothing worse than being overcharged for a taxi ride because the driver decided to take the scenic route. And even if the driver is trustworthy, an employee opting to take a taxi or an Uber ends up costing their company more money in the long run — much more if it’s made a habit over the course of the trip(s).
Enter Moovit. Instead of spending lots of time trying to understand the labyrinthine transit systems of a brand-new city, Moovit does it for your employee instead. They simply need to input the start point and destination, and the app will spit out up-to-date subway, bus, or walking routes for one of the 68 cities it supports in North America, Europe, and Australia, along with schedules and transit maps. Talk about useful on the go.
3. MapsWithMe – Detailed offline maps at hand
Having unobstructed access to map data is a big deal in a new city, saving time and frustration for the busy employee looking to get somewhere. Sometimes, though, internet speed is less than ideal or certain maps services are simply unavailable.
With MapsWithMe, business travelers don’t need to worry again: this travel app lets them download extremely detailed maps for the biggest cities and smallest villages around the world for offline use. By leveraging the power of GPS, MapsWithMe allows users to find where they need to go without the need of a working internet connection, saving both time and frustration for them — and more than a few pennies for the employer.
4. AroundMe– Find the nearest ATM, Cafés and more
Ending up lost in a new city is a common occurrence for employees on business trips. Not only can it cost employers more since employees might reach for an Uber for a meeting that’s right around the corner, but getting lost also puts employee’s safety at risk too.
AroundMe is a GPS-powered local search engine that intelligently guides users to the nearest restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and even ATMs. With this travel app, it’s never a hassle to get from one place to the next, especially since it features integration with Booking.com, Opentable.com, FourSquare, and many more services.
5. The Fork– Get the best restaurant deals
Despite room service being notorious for its pricey selections, employees on the road still turn to it for a quick and easy bite. They may be able to lay in bed and munch away, but employers end up footing a larger bill for their comfort.
It’s hard to know what’s worth eating in a new city and where that food is, which is why the gastronomy-centric app by Tripadvisor The Fork is so useful. Through it, frequent travelers can search the city they’re in for local restaurants and book right from the app. In the process, they’ll save money: The app itself points out restaurants offering discounts, and The Fork’s own newsletter and Loyalty Program both make it easy to save on the next dish. With The Fork, your employees are more likely to discover the crispiest schnitzel in Vienna or the tastiest paella in Barcelona, and spend less money doing so!
6. Google Translate – Overcome any language barrier with the scan app
If you add the difficulties that come with a foreign language to all the challenges in navigating a new city, then everything becomes that much more difficult. This results in employees almost certainly leaning on those more convenient apps and services — and in the process, spending more company money.
The well-known Google Translate is a crutch for all cramming university seniors everywhere. But what makes it more interesting outside its normal text-translation capabilities is the app’s ability to instantly “read” and translate signs using a smartphone’s camera. With an app like this, business travelers won’t ever have to feel mystified by what would otherwise be a routine occurrence during a business trip — and employees won’t have to cover the bill for bad decisions.