As I flew to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from my midwest home, I looked at my phone very sadly as I realized I had not prepared any entertaining apps for myself that did not require the network in some way. Well, not counting Angry Birds and Flight Control… but I can only spend so much time on those. 4 hours of frustrating gaming is not what I’m looking for.
I kept opening apps to see what would happen while my iPhone occupied Airplane mode. The same message over and over. “Use Wi-Fi to Access Data”. Boo. Hiss.
And then I did exactly what I tell myself to do whenever I know I’m going to be without internet access of an extended period of time. I got some writing done. This time, a list of the apps that I absolutely love while traveling for business (or a bit of a mix with pleasure) just like I was for CES.
Is there an app for everything? Pretty freakin’ much. That’s what I love so much about traveling with my smartphone. I can depend on A LOT of information and access it from my pocket-sized Mac. Here are the apps that I think you’ll find useful as you travel for education, networking, or just plain fun:
This app is great for keeping track of all flight and lodging information. The best part about it is that I can just open it up and it will tell me what terminal I need to be in, what gate, and if my departure time is delayed. Super nice when you’re getting off one leg and looking for your next plane. Double check with the TVs of course, but this is great for a quick heads up so you can at least start heading in the right direction. TripCase is available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices.
How would you like to be able to order a car to pick you up and take you wherever you need to go and not get a yucky taxi cab with a cash only policy? If you’re traveling to a major U.S. city such as NYC, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and a few others, you need to have Uber. This service will send a town car to pick you up and drop you off wherever you need to be, no credit or cash on hand required. Once your ride is over, your account on file will be charged. You don’t even need to worry about tip! It’s all handled. I hope this company expands even more, because I’m shocked they’re not in Vegas. (Stiff competition, I guess.) But I strongly suggest you keep this app on hand in case you need to impress or feel special when you’re on the go.
3. Flight Aware
Ever been on a delay and wondered how much of the truth you’re getting from the airline of when the plane will be arriving? Flight Aware is SO clutch for this. You can track an aircraft’s exact position, whether in the air or sitting on a runway, by simply entering basic flight information. I love this app, not just for making sure I’m going to have an on time departure, but also when I need to pick up a friend from the airport and want to track their exact time of arrival. Quite impressive to already be on your way to the airport when they call to let you know they’ve landed.
Entrepreneurs have lots of expenses when they travel. Transportation, meals, airfare, lodging, etc. This is the best app for staying organized with your receipts without falling behind. Use Lemon on iPhone, Android, or Blackberry to take a picture of your receipts and let the app input the total and category information. You can also tag certain receipts with “work”, “personal”, “cash”, “credit”, and any other way you’d like to differentiate your purchases. A great way to stay on top of your finances without losing time on your trip.
This service has got to be one of the greatest things in travel since complimentary honey roasted peanuts. Airbnb is a directory of hosts who are offering a room, full apartment, house, or even available couch for those in need of a place to stay. Something for everyone’s price range, if you want to visit a city and could live without resort fees and ice boxes, you can find a place to stay on this huge directory in most every city you can think of all over the world. The service even sends professional photographers to the hosts’ homes so that searching is more aesthetically pleasing. You can also find previous visitors’ reviews of their stay so you can feel better about sleeping in a stranger’s home. I strongly recommend this for those who love to couch surf or travel on a budget. There’s so much opportunity to see cities in a new light by taking advantage of this way of travel. So much fun!
What apps do you depend on when you travel?