15 Business Apps (plus or minus) that Will Calm the Road Warrior

knight-public-domainCharging out into unfamiliar realms, a good smart phone loaded with great travel apps is the business traveler’s best friend.

Dealing with airlines, hotels, new cities and the requirements of conducting business can be made a lot easier with the right hardware and software. Consequently, there’s always been a lot of app development in this sector. Some disappear (remember Mynd Calendar?), some rebrand (Taxi Magic is now Curb) and some pivot (Hipmonk is now a more general hotel and lodging finder service).

No business traveler needs all of these, but every business traveler needs some of these apps. We’ve categorized them so you can more easily zero in on the ones relevant to your habits and experience.

Air travel

Gate Guru. This is designed to help you navigate all the twists and turns on your travel day. You get real-time updates on security line wait times, gate changes, schedule changes and more.

Seat Guru. You can drill down and get the best information on how comfortable you can expect to be on any given flight, airline or route. Knowledge is power.

tripitTripit. This comes in free and paid versions. The paid version is just over $4 per month paid annually, so it isn’t an inexpensive app. It allows you to have all your travel information in one place, share it with others, track rewards, receive real-time flight alerts and more. Traxco has fewer bells and whistles, but is free.


Hotel Tonight. This quickly became a favorite with business travelers. When you find yourself spending an extra night in a city, you can discover a conveniently located and relatively inexpensive hotel room.  Recently, I was stranded in Chicago and found a 4-star hotel, near the airport for a reasonable price.  The app allowed me to quickly select my room preference and book it, alleviating much of the stress.

Airbnb. If you like staying in residence suites, you should love Airbnb. Also, when you have to bring other team members along, why not find a condo or townhouse? In most cases, you’ll find it less expensive than a hotel.

Couchsurfing. Ambitious entrepreneurs looking to bootstrap their startups are renting couches in San Francisco. Here’s an app that will put you in that crowd. It’s also great for meeting locals and saving a lot of money.

Grand transportation

Uber. The peer-to-peer car ride company is well known. It can save you money and make life a bit easier on the road. The same goes for Lyft.

curbCurb. The traditional taxi cab companies were feeling the heat, so they needed an app. If you’re a bit more mainstream, this should work for you.

Silvercar. Every legacy car rental company has an app, but if you’re okay with a silver Audi A4 at $59-$99 per day, this is your app. They meet you at the airport with your Audi and it includes free GPS, free Wi-Fi, and free satellite radio. However, it isn’t available everywhere.

Local knowledge

Weatherpro. Why pay for a weather app? This popular app includes a lot more information than the free apps, such as how it “feels” and worldwide weather alerts.

Around Me. When you’re plunked down in an unfamiliar city, this app lets you quickly get your bearings and find things that are conveniently located near you. Take your prospect out to the right restaurant next time…

iTranslate. Translate from and into some 90 languages.

Best Parking. Find and compare parking rates. As we’re writing this, it covers 105 cities in North America.


Award Wallet. This does exactly what you think it should do – keeps track of your airline and hotel award program credits, as well as the award programs for credit cards, cruises, dining and more.

Expensify. Keeping track of expenses has always been the bane of the business traveler. Expensify has gone a long way to solving this problem. It scans receipts, quickly categorizes items and even tracks mileage via GPS. Various pricing plans are available. This app has been a huge productivity enhancer for me and keeps my bookkeeper happier because my travel expenses get logged on a timely basis.

Nothing can make travel hassle-free, but with a few of these apps, you should find life on the road a little less challenging.

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