Love it or hate it, technology is now king when it comes to travelling. Gone are the days of relying on a trusty map or phrasebook – nowadays, everyone uses apps to get around and get on with everyday tasks, both at home and overseas.
Business travel is a market that has fully benefited from this boom, with a whole host of apps around designed to help people get to meetings, speak the lingo and have stress-free (or at least stress-reduced!) trips.
Below Click Travel has provided five handy apps that all business travellers should download to make their journeys (and lives) a little easier.
#1 Google Translate
If you’re a frequent traveller then, at some point, you’ll have come across a situation where you don’t speak the local language. Previously, a handy phrasebook would suffice as you made brave attempts to find out how to get somewhere, order some food or book a room abroad. However, these days one useful app that is well worth a download is Google Translate.
You simply type in what you want to say, chose the language and, as if by magic, Google Translate will not only write it out for you, but also give you a chance to hear how it should be spoken...
#2 Metro Maps
Okay, I’ll come clean, this is actually a selection of 3 apps, but they do the same job, just for different locations, so you can pick and choose as per your personal travelling habits.
We’ve all been there - you get to a major city, attempt to jump on the local subway/underground system and... you end up going in exactly the opposite direction to where you wanted to go. Nightmare.
However, to save you time and embarrassment, mxData Ltd, the company behind Metro Maps, have put together a selection of official maps for some of the most well used subways on the planet. They’re all free and they’re all great for getting from A to B hassle free!
I can personally vouch for:
- Tube Map – London Underground
- Paris Metro RATP Map and Route Planner
- New York Subway MTA Map and Route Planner
The best bit is you can simply type in where you want to go from and to, and these apps will provide the fastest route and the most direct route, as well as tell you where to change. You also have the normal tube map on your phone – with no paper to carry around.
Another handy thing about these apps is that you can use them with no signal (pretty useful when you’re over 100 feet underground!)
#3 XE Currency
Money makes the world go round – and with this app you can figure out exactly what you're paying! It is quite simply a neat, quick currency conversion tool – meaning you’ll never need to do currency calculations again and you'll be confident you're paying a reasonable price for your moules marinière or chicken chow mein.
With the XE app, you can also keep track of live changes in currency rates too, if you’re particularly financially inclined. Oh, and it even stores the last updated rates, so it works offline.
#4 Google Maps
We touched on it in the intro, but everyone these days seems to use a phone to get around – paper maps are very 20th Century!
Now we’re firmly in the era of maps on phones , it makes perfect sense to download a version that gives you driving, riding and walking directions, as well as standard, plain old maps.
Enter Google Maps. We know Google are the masters of the information universe, with their seemingly limitless databases, so this app puts all that info to good use in letting you find where you are, set where you want to go – and generally helping you get around town. It even has street view, so you can scope out your exact destination before you get there.
#5 Wi-Fi finder
Ropey reception? Stuttering signal? We all know how annoying it is when you’re out and about and you need to get online but your phone won’t play ball. That’s where the wonderful world of wi-fi can help you out of a hole. But how do you know where to find the nearest Wi-Fi zone?
The Wi-Fi finder is your knight in shining armour, not only will it direct you to the nearest WI-Fi zone, but it will even work offline. So no matter where you are in the world, a quick look on this app will point you in the right direction to get back online and avoid running up a monster bill! With Wi-Fi finder, you can stay connected and avoid paying those super-expensive roaming charges.
Adrian Blyth is an account manager at Click Travel and has worked in the industry for 15 years.