This is a sponsored post by Avis but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I know more and more business travelers who are traveling without their laptops because pretty much everything they need to do can be done via their phones. Although I still like to use my laptop when I travel since it’s easier to maintain my website and write new posts, I’m doing almost everything else on my phone. The 10 travel apps listed below are some of my favorite to use when I travel for business.
This app makes it so easy to sign contracts or other documents while on the road. No more rushing to find a FedEx office or hotel business center. It allows you to digitally sign documents anywhere in the world straight from your mobile device in no time. You’ll save time, money and paper. SignEasy is available for iPhone and Android. They offer a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) then it’s $4.99 a month (the promo code JJ20 will get you 20% off!).
2. Avis Now
If you need to rent a car, the new Avis Now app is your best bet – it has taken the hassle out of the whole rental process. All you have to do is download this app and enroll for free in Avis Preferred. Users can then make, modify or cancel reservations 24/7 without speaking to anyone. When you arrive, you can skip the lines and quickly pick up your car without heading to the rental kiosk. The app allows you to unlock the car’s doors and flash the lights so you know which one it is and if for some reason you don’t like the car you’ve reserved, you can even exchange or upgrade it even before arriving at the rental location. You return the car the same way – without speaking to anyone – as the app will provide you with your receipt. Here’s a first-hand user experience and a 90-second video that shows how easy it is to rent a car using this app.
I always consult Waze to find the quickest route from point A to point B, pretty much all over the world. I love that it outsmarts traffic and alerts you of accidents and road hazards. What I hate about it is that it sometimes takes you into bad sections of town and makes you do a crazy number of turns as it weaves you through the city so always check the alternate routes.
4. Google Translate
Almost everywhere I go, people speak English and I’ve only had a problem a handful of times. Since I don’t speak any language other than English, I make sure Google Translate is downloaded on my phone. It’s a free app (for iPhone and Android) that allows users to translate 103 languages by typing. It can even translate between 52 languages without an internet connection. I use it mostly to translate text, including street signs and menus in 29 languages just by holding up the camera.
These days, when you fly, time is of the essence, especially if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed. There just aren’t that many seats available so if you have an important business meeting you need to attend, it would be wise to get Freebird. It’s a mobile rebooking tool that’s better than any savvy travel tip. If your flight is cancelled or has a more than four-hour delay or you are going to miss a connection, it empowers travelers to skip the line and instantly book a new ticket—on any airline at no additional cost. It costs a flat fee of $19 for a one-way flight or $34 for a roundtrip flight but I expect those prices to rise. Here’s more on how the service works.
6. TripIt Pro
TripIt Pro notifies users of flight delays, cancellations and gate changes often times before the airline does. It also helps you keep track of reward points, notifies you when you’re eligible for a flight refund and lets you know when the seat you want becomes available. It has many other features as well, but ultimately, this is the app that every traveler needs to have to make their travels smooth and stress-free. It costs $49/year for the Pro version but they offer a free trial for 30 days.
TravelSmart is a handy app for international travelers, created by Allianz Global Assistance. What I love is that it lists emergency numbers such as those of the police, fire department and ambulance by destination; 911 is not universal. I also like that it has a drug dictionary with international translations in multiple languages. Did you know the international name for Tylenol is Paracetamolum? It also comes with first aid terms translated into multiple languages and allows users to easily access their policies if they need to know what’s covered and what’s not in a hurry. TravelSmart is available on both Android and iOS devices for free.
STAYconnect is a must-download app for travelers who are germaphobes like me, anyone who can’t figure out how to work the TV remote control, and those who want to find the channel of the network they’re looking for immediately. The free app (iPhone and Android) lets you use your phone as a TV remote. Not every hotel offers the service but most of time, it’s there. Just press the menu button on the hotel remote; if the service is available, you will see in the bottom left hand corner of the TV instructions to press the number 1 key on the remote to control the TV. Then a six-digit code will pop up so you can enter it into your phone and voila! You’re now connected and controlling the hotel TV. Once you’re synced, you can not only change the channel, but adjust the volume and power the whole thing on or off, as well. Watch my video for more.
9. Expert Flyer
Expert Flyer is for the traveler who wants to track upgrade and award seat space otherwise not publicly available without calling the airline, monitor flight loads, and learn more about flight delay and operational statistics. It costs $99 a year or $9.99 monthly. My favorite feature is the seat alert function for those who prefer certain seats on a plane (bulkhead, exit row, aisle or window) as it will alert you when that seat becomes available. Other features include airline timetables, real-time seat maps, visa requirements, and detailed fare information and rules. For those interested in even deeper knowledge about a flight, ExpertFlyer goes into the exact details of a delay, the number of seats within a specific fare class, and offers the chance to monitor overall flight loads (helpful if you want to change to a different flight or volunteer a seat on oversold flights). Unfortuantely, not all airlines’ data is accessible.
10. Magnifying Glass With Light
I’m not sure if my eyes are going or if print on menus and medicine containers is getting smaller and smaller. Either way, I always have the Magnifying Glass With Light app at the ready. This one is only available on iOS but Android has a similar one. Just open the app and point your phone’s camera at the menu or whatever else you want to read, move the on-screen slider, and you’ll have large, easy-to-read text, just like that. You don’t even have to turn on your phone’s light as it does it for you.