Business travelers have a stressful job. From last minute flight changes to lost luggage, the on-the-go lifestyle takes a toll on the traveler. But with the rise of technology, many aspects of business travel have gotten easier—things like finding a ride (Uber, Lyft), getting a last minute hotel (Airbnb, HotelTonight), or getting a meal are now simplified and can be completed with a few button taps.
But what if you want to take your stay in a new city one step further? What if you want to take a client somewhere that every other person hasn’t? What if you want to go for a run or a bike ride?
We’ve compiled a list of apps to make the life of a business traveler easier—from fitness to finding a ride.
Finding a Running Route or Walking Trail
Maybe you’re sick of the hotel gym scene, and want to get a nice run or scenic walk in after check-in. You could try to head on to Google Maps and pull up the bicycling layer to at least get a general idea of what trails exist near you.
Or, you could take the advice of locals with one of these apps:
- Endomondo (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Browser): Endomondo allows you to find user-created and rated routes in your area, create your own routes and track your progress, while inviting you to participate in challenges and integrating with other fitness applications (Fitbit, Garmin, MyFitnessPal, etc.)
- Localeikki (iOS, Browser): Touted as the ‘Active Traveler’s Solution,’ this app (iOS) or website will allow you to find trails near you, of which you can filter by activity, terrain, distance, feature, and more. Check out their website to find trails near you, broken down by rating.
There are many more—MapMyRun/MapMyFitness, Strava, RunKeeper, TrailLink, TrailHead FootPath—look around, and you will find the perfect app and the perfect trail.
Get out on Two Wheels
Not feeling like taking the Divvy Bikes (Chicago), Citi Bike (New York), or any of the generic bicycles offered as part of the municipal ride sharing programs? A fair amount of new applications have popped up to allow locals to rent out bicycles that don’t make you look like you’re a suburbanite or tourist:
- Spokefly (Android, iOS): On-demand bike rentals from the touch of your phone. Match with a nearby bike, unlock it, and ride anywhere. Not in town this weekend? List your own bike and make some money.
- Spinlister (Android, iOS): Similar to Spokefly, Spinlister has embraced the peer-to-peer bike rental, but has taken the concept further, offering peer-to-peer rentals of surf and snow equipment as well.
Free Wi-Fi has helped travelers stay connected, but is risky. That’s why, if you choose to connect to an open Wi-Fi, it’s recommended that you take steps to protect company and personal information. If you’re looking to get out of the hotel, but also looking to find Wi-Fi for free near you, there are a wide variety of options to locate it. WiFiMapper by OpenSignal.com boasts over 3 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world, and is available for both Android and iOS.
However, when using free Wi-Fi, it behooves you to protect your personal and company information. Besides following these tips from CNET, one of the best ways to stay secure, whether in hotel room, bar, or coffeehouse, is to use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN client encrypts traffic between your device and the VPN server, which means it’s much more difficult for a would-be intruder to sniff your data.
See if there are any options or purchase a subscription to a VPN. BestVPN offered a breakdown, as well as monthly pricing and reviews of popular VPNs for users.
Whether you have a car and are looking for parking, or just flew in for a meeting, getting around is easier in this day and age.
Whether you’re looking for a garage or embracing peer-to-peer parking, securing your ride is pivotal.
- SpotHero: Available in major cities, this app allows locals to make a few dollars while renting out a parking spot (daily or monthly)
- Parking Panda: Maybe you’re looking for more established parking venues, but still looking to save money. Parking Panda scans major cities and allows you to find parking spots.
Do you need to navigate the complex world that is public transit—to the average traveler a mishmash of numbers, letters, colors, and streets names? Little beats Google Maps, but if you want to get around, try something like Citymapper, Transit App, Transit, or Moovit which could help you where Google Maps could not.
When you know how to get around, how are you staying organized? As a business traveler, you likely have a lot of receipts, business cards, and the like that you need to keep.
- SmartVault: Simple online storage allows you to have the files you need at your fingertips, secured with bank-level AES-256 bit encryption and additional controls to keep your data secure on the go.
- Google Cloud Print: More service than application (although there is an Android App), always be able to print a document to your nearest FedEx Office and pick up in store.
- Nexonia Expenses: (Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone): Create, edit and approve expense reports from anywhere in the world on your mobile device. Easily integrated with accounting or ERP software, travel booking, and more, Nexonia Expenses allows you to avoid worrying about a lost receipt by submitting recent transactions for quick approval with the snap of a camera.
Get App-y: What’s Your Favorite Way to Get Acclimated as a Business Traveler?
Of course, there are many more ways to feel more comfortable wherever you are. For even more application recommendations, see what 89 other travel experts recommended in a recent post found on Convene.
Everyone has a favorite way to prepare for business travel. Do you have all the tools you need to have a great trip?