If you’re a business traveler that frequently hits the road for conferences, client meetings and trade shows, you’ve likely become accustomed to the ups and downs of life on the road. Whether it be issues at the airport or a slow-down at the local Rent-A-Car, travel often comes with a few hiccups.
However, with the tech industry developing rapidly in the 21st century and now flooding with new products and services, travel has been significantly revolutionized for road warriors. We did some research for you frequent travellers and compiled this list of top tech products and services that have transformed business travel:
1) Wifi on Airplanes
For years airlines struggled to find a solution that would allow for wifi access on their planes without compromising any of the plane’s operating functionality. Gogo Inflight Internet was one of the companies who finally pioneered an on-board wifi solution and in 2009 Virgin Airlines was the first airline to offer in-flight wifi fleetwide.
Now nearly all airlines are jumping on this new technological advancement and are competing to offer wifi access on as many planes and flights as possible – and business travelers couldn’t be more pleased. Our CEO has participated in board meetings at 35,000 feet in the air via Skype, and these wifi capabilities ensure he doesn’t miss a moment of the conversation. Whether it’s emailing a client or working on a proposal, travelers can now make the most of their time in the air.
2) External Battery Packs
Everyone can relate to that moment when you reach in your pocket to grab your phone to send a text or quick email, and the display flashes, “10% of Battery Power Remaining.” While this is frustrating for nearly anyone who sees this daunting warning screen, it’s especially unsettling for road warriors who rely on their mobile devices to stay connected and organized while on the go.
This is where external battery packs step in as a frequent traveler’s best friend! Simply charge the battery pack before you leave home and when the low-battery screen of horror appears on your phone, you can plug it in to instantly recharge. No need to worry about missing an important call or email, you’re now accessible no matter where you are during your trip.
3) Mobile Apps
This one shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Mobile apps are the bread and butter of mobile tech these days, with numerous benefits for the end user. This holds true for business travelers, as apps are highly utilized to provide reliable connectivity on the road.
A few of our favourite life-saver apps to use when travelling are:
- Expense apps, such as Nexonia Expenses. No longer do business travelers have to worry about stuffing paper receipts into their wallet, only to sort through this mess when they arrive back home. Simply snap a photo of your receipt within the app and the new expense report for your trip will be automatically created – yes, it really is that easy!
- Transportation apps, such as Uber. Subscribers can easily sign in from wherever they are located; the GPS finds their exact location giving users the ability to “Request an Uber” to be routed to their location. The accessibility and ease of ride-share apps such as Uber are very appealing to travelers, who can now schedule their rides at the ease of their fingertips.
- Restaurant apps, such as OpenTable. Not sure of where to eat in a new city? OpenTable allows you to browse nearby restaurants, read reviews and book reservations (all within the app). No need to stick to the restaurants that are in or right beside your hotel, with OpenTable users can select the cuisine of their liking and find a restaurant instantaneously.
4) Pre-Arrival Booking Tools
Many companies in the travel and tourism industry have adopted the idea of “skipping the counter” and allowing travelers to continue on their way without another stop. With National Car Rental for example, you can quickly make a reservation at any time of day or night online or on your mobile device; within minutes you can be in your vehicle of choice with no assistance required. As a bonus, if you enroll in their Emerald Club you are granted access to bypass the counter upon arrival; simply select your car and go.
5) Wearable Devices
Personal wearable devices have become a hit in recent years; fitness buffs love the Fitbits Activity Tracker and working professionals are impressed by the accessibility that smartwatches provide. For frequent business travelers, utilizing these devices such as the Apple Watch can keep them organized and connected while on the road. As a bonus, the Apple Watch can be easily integrated with many of the iOS apps that users already have on their Apple devices, offering a synchronized connection. For example, the Nexonia Timesheets Timer integrates seamlessly with the Apple Watch, allowing users to tap between timers they have set up on the web and on their phones. Talk about consultants wowing their clients on the go!
When it comes to technology, the sky’s the limit and business travel is only going to get easier and more enjoyable for road warriors in the years to come. Read more about how business travelers can leverage mobile apps while on the road.