Business travelers know the importance of being connected at all times, in all times zones. There's nothing worse than missing an important meeting because your calendar didn't convert your call-in time or or hopping in a cab in a foreign country and discovering the cab driver doesn't speak English and you don't have directions to your location in the native language. There's an app for all of this, and that, and savvy business travelers don't leave home without their latest versions. As a frequent business traveler, I'm consistently plugged in to technology that makes my travels a bit easier, no matter where in the world I'm traveling. Before your next business trip, update your iPhone, Smartphone or Blackberry with the following free travel apps:
TripIt: The TripIt platform has grown leaps and bounds from its original state. Forward all flight and hotel confirmations to your TripIt account and the system will automatically import all your travel details into one trip planner for you. The app also sends you email alerts about flight delays or gate changes, so you're well informed before you start your journey.
Skype: Perfect for international business travelers, Skype is the essential app for keeping up with calls while abroad. Free Skype-to-Skype calls, or instant messages, can be done directly on your phone. WiFi calls are completely free, but Skype will start charging for calls made over the 3G network.
Expensify: Even the most obsessively organized can lose track of a receipt here and there. I recently discovered Expensify, and its made filling out expense reports an easy affair. All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt with your phone, assign it to a report (that you've already created in your Expensify account), and the app will organize your receipt into the report for you. At the end of your trip, you're left with an expense report, including receipts, that can be handed in directly to your accounting department.
EasySign: I was introduced to EasySign at its early stages and have been a fan since. The concept of the app is to allow users to sign, date, initial and make notes on contracts and documents while you're traveling, so you don't have to print, scan and fax back to the company. When a document comes through on email, you'll upload to it EasySign, and the app will allow you to sign, date and add notes on any of the pages of the document. You'll save and send, and never worry about making a deadline.
World Customs & Cultures: For international business travelers, this app is a must. Keeping up with world cultures and customs is an essential part of maintaining good business relationships with your foreign partners. You don't want to be "that guy" who creates a terrible faux-paux in front of an important client in their home country. This app will give you all the information needed to abide by local customs and rules while you're in a foreign country.
Readers: Have a favorite app? Share it with us.
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