As part of our Hearts & Minds campaign, we’ve been looking at how we can take a more traveller centric approach to business travel, without impacting an organisations profit and productivity. This month we’ve been focusing on the relationship between travellers and technology. We’ve discussed traveller tracking on both our video and podcast features, but what areas of technology are travellers really interested in?
Nearly 75% of business travellers use their smartphone for travel-related activities. We decided to collate a list of the best mobile phone apps for business travellers:
Google tripsIf you’re company works from Google mail, Google trips is a great travel tool as it automatically scans your emails and auto populates your travel into Google calendar and the Google Trips app. It links to airline information, pushes disruption notifications and can give you relevant suggestions on your destination. It’s not great for complex rail but will help with those international journeys.
Go2MobileWith Google Trips having framed what an itinerary app can do, if you are using Gmail you are also able to view an enhanced itinerary as the platform can clearly read our Clarity Trip Planner. Go2Mobile has a number of features that provide and prompt you with relevant information on your trip. An upcoming feature is rail itinerary with a smart workflow to quickly find your best open return departure or the ability to add your car parking spot to remind you where to go once you return from a trip.
For more information on Go2Mobile contact firstname.lastname@example.org
TraxoAs well as being a powerful tool to combine all your personal and business travel, Traxo leverages the comprehensive dataset to facilitate airmiles reclaims.
AwardWalletWhen you travel for work, you can’t always use the same airlines or stay loyal with a single hotel brand. But with a tool like AwardWallet, you don’t have to. It keeps all your different programmes in one place letting you check your balance at any time, even if you’re not online.
Flightaware Want to know exactly what’s going on with your flight or how busy it is at the airport you’re headed to? Well FlightAware will do just that, and it’s live! It’ll help you monitor delays, airport conditions and receive real time updates when planes land, taxi and take off.
App in the Air Another app that helps track flight delays and changes to itineraries. App in the Air also comes with the added feature of helping you navigate airports. If you have a tight connection or need to meet colleagues you can use this app to plan ahead, even if you don’t have internet coverage.
GateGuru This one you might like to keep on hand to help you navigate an unfamiliar airport is GateGuru. This app will not only show you round, it’ll give you a real time estimation on how long it will take you to get to your gate, considering wait time and delays.
Flight BoardIf you want minimal fuss Flight Board is the app to download. It holds an easy to read flight board, with a menu allowing you to switch from departures to arrivals for any airport. As well as up to date times, it also issues gate numbers.
Loungebuddy Sometimes the inevitable happens and your flight does get cancelled or your one hour wait turns into six. In those instances, Loungebuddy could be your saviour. This app gives you access to those secretive, indulgent spaces: the airline lounge. Based on your flight details, Loungebuddy can work out what lounges you have access to or allow you to browse and book what’s available and lists their amenities and up to date prices.
FCO email alertsA wild card in our list of apps, as this isn’t actually an app you can download. The FCO have created a facility for you to sign up for email alerts when you know what country you’re travelling to. The alerts provide guidance, tips and useful contacts should an emergency situation occur.
MySafeTravelIf you find yourself in a situation where you may need to notify friends and family back home that you are safe, MySafeTravel allows you to send a ‘check in’ email to re-assure your emergency contact list where you are and a note to give them peace of mind regarding your safety.
Go2TrackWe mentioned our Go2Mobile app earlier, and with our added Go2Track app user can receive pre-trip info, alerts, notifications and even share their GPS location to their organisation.
Prey anti-theftIt’s not going to save your luggage, but it’s designed to protect your digital valuables. The app allows you to find your phone, laptop or tablet even after they’re gone. It lets you retrieve and wipe data or eve lock devices remotely from across the office or the other side of the world!
Wifi map When working on the move, wifi can play a crucial role in being able to get work done. Wifi map helps travellers locate free wifi spots all over the world. Its crowd sourced by a community of users and each hotspot is rated on quality. Of course, make sure all your data is secure before logging on to a new network.
LinkedIn The LinkedIn app is not only useful for keeping in touch with people you have met, it’s also a great tool to connect you with members nearby. You can discover connections in your area and exchange business cards, a feature that comes in handy when attending conferences and events.
SkypeWhether it’s to conduct meetings, conference calls or to simply keep in touch with family, skype is a handy app that will allow you to make free calls and keep in touch. It even has the ability to host a video call with up to ten people if you need to host a virtual meeting.
Whatsapp The use of SMS is quickly deteriorating as services like WhatsApp rise in popularity. It’s a great way to keep in touch with groups of people and it also has the ability to make video and regular calls.
It’s worth noting that some countries have WhatsApp and Skype bans in place and others rely on them - either way it’s handy to have them just in case.
CitymapperCitymapper provides a detailed journey planner which includes real-time departure and disruption notifications and is available in around 30 cities worldwide. It connects with ridesharing services and presents everything clearly and can even send you an alert when you need to hop off a bus or a train, helpful if you’re somewhere new.
Parkopedia Picked up the hire car but have no idea where to park near your meeting? This app will find you all the available spaces and price them up based on your time of arrival and length of stay.
SAP ConcurA useful tool for any business traveller. This free app allows you to take photos of receipts, send information on reimbursements and even build basic approval and processing workflows for your teams. It’s a great way to keep track of your expenses on the go.
Clarity is a preferred travel partner of SAP Concur, which means we have fully integrated data and shared client services, so you have the benefit of Clarity support and also avoid the need to expense your travel.
XE Currency converter The best thing about this currency converter, is it works on live exchange rates which makes it a valuable business tool, especially if you are trading internationally. You can set alerts for certain rate changes if you need to monitor a specific currency or view charts to check fluctuations.
AroundMe When you find yourself in a new area AroundMe analyses the businesses and services around you such as banks, hospitals, coffee shops etc. helping you find what you need and even providing you with directions.
Google translate Never one hundred percent accurate, but Google translate can come in handy when trying to decipher a menu or shop signs abroad, especially as its integrated with your device’s camera and microphone, so it can translate different text and audible speech.
ZeamoEarlier in the year we touched on ways you can keep fit whilst travelling, one of the recommendations being to find an app that allows you to find nearby facilities and book single use passes. There are plenty of country specific apps, like payasugym for the UK or gymasyougo for Canada. Zeamo seems to be one of the few to hit worldwide locations and can match you based on your workout preferences.
Similar to TripAdvisor, Yelp is becoming increasingly popular when trying to locate the best restaurants or bars in any area. Not only does it populate searches based on popularity, it will display address, opening hours and even menus for listings.
If you’re in the UK, TablePouncer is a handy app if you’re ever trying to secure yourself a seat at some of the finest eating establishments, handy if you’re trying to source a last-minute location to impress a client or prospect.
What are your favourite business travel apps?
Your employees are busy. Your managers are busy too. Neither has time amongst the jam-packed calendar of a typical working week to review the minute details of your travel and expense policy. Whether they’re just submitting expenses, or reviewing expense claims for others, they simply don’t have time to spare.
If you’re still using a manual or paper-based system, the process is even more time-consuming. Even when expenses are submitted and approved, your finance team can be wasting valuable time processing piles of paper or manually updating various spreadsheets.
As a result, inaccurate or exaggerated expenses can slip through. Without transparency, automation and digital cues to guide employees toward cost-effective and compliant choices, your budgets are at risk.
For many businesses, mileage is the only expense category where you don’t need to provide documentation for reimbursement. If your business is one of them, employees could be claiming for more miles than they are entitled to. This is a real concern when you consider that mileage is one of the most common expense categories. That’s a lot of unnecessary spend that could be put to better use elsewhere.
It’s not a pleasant experience for employees either. They need to remember every trip they made, when they made it, if roadworks were an issue, if they were transporting a fellow colleague… the list goes on and on. This takes time and can be a real drain on productivity when it comes to submitting a mileage claim.
A new bolt-on to the SAP Concur mobile app called Drive, helps to take the guesswork out of claiming mileage. Using GPS technology, and a few taps in the mobile app, employees can choose when to track mileage. This can be done automatically - by changing the settings to tell Drive when to track mileage, for example during your usual working hours - or when prompted. Then, this information can be sent straight into a Concur Expense claim.
Using this technology can benefit both the employee and the manager. Employees can manage all their expenses, including mileage, from anywhere and at any time through the SAP Concur app and managers can review and approve claims more quickly to ensure employees aren’t out of pocket for long. A win-win for everyone.
Investing in expense and mileage technology bring with it many benefits, not just improving the efficiency of employees and managers:
• It’s much easier to document, report on and reimburse the actual distance driven• You can be confident that mileage reporting is accurate, to improve compliance and audit readiness• Expense reporting becomes standardised for business mileage, removing the guesswork• You can spend less time scrutinising expenses and more time growing your business
And, as all this data is captured in real-time, everyone can be confident they’re not over or under claiming. Ultimately, utilising the technology available takes the frustration and guesswork out of claiming mileage, a solution that keeps managers - and their employees - happy.
To learn more, visit concur.co.uk/concur-drive