The top business travel apps for 2019
- Corporate Traveller - Serko: Corporate Traveller’s mobile app for booking and managing your whole travel itinerary including domestic and trans-Tasman flights and hotels.
- Savi: Corporate Traveller’s revolution in online booking, the platform streamlines business travel for staff and their managers with state-of-the-art, intelligent customisation functionality.
- Conichi: a global network of business hotels with a fully digital arrival and departure process for a modern, secure and seamless stay
- Maps.Me: a mobile app providing offline maps, so no matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to find your way
- Google Translate: instantly translate words, phrases and webpages from English into 100 other languages.
- XE Currency: keep track of live currency rates.
- Google Drive: cloud-based storage so you can access and update your business files from anywhere in the world
- WiFi Map: a crowd-sourced tool for finding all the Wi-Fi hotspots in your area
- Citymapper: a great tool for those who need to use public transport while travelling. This app searches through all available transport options to get you from A to B as quickly as possible.
- The Weather Channel: don’t get caught in the rain with this daily international weather app.
- Yelp: online directory for discovering local businesses – bars, restaurants and cafés, as well as petrol stations, supermarkets and doctors.
The digital age is pushing the boundaries of business travel – and the future is exciting!
Over the next decade, travel technology will move forward by leaps and bounds, dramatically changing the landscape of corporate business travel. And there are lots of different ways you can use technology now to simplify and better manage your company’s business travel.
Travel tech and apps - game-changers
Innovative developments in cloud-based tech and mobile apps mean business travellers have more options at their fingertips than ever before. New technologies are challenging traditional roles, and when harnessed correctly, can support smarter, more efficient and cost-effective business travel.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the next step in the evolution of travel technology, helping solve problems faced by business travellers. It’ll make managing changes easier, simplify connections, and give travellers a better experience while helping to cut costs.
Pre-travel, you can use travel technology and apps to manage flights, accommodation bookings and itinerary. They can even help you work out what you need to pack!
While travelling, Google Translate can help with language translation, XE does currency conversion, Citymapper finds ground travel including public transport and taxis, Maps.me provides offline maps, The Weather Channel gives daily weather updates and Wi-Fi Map offers wireless internet detection. Cloud-based apps like Google Drive will help business travellers access and update any important work files they’ll need while away.
Here are some additional apps you might like to consider:
- Packing Pro: reduce packing time with this nifty mobile app that creates customised packing lists and suggestions, based on how long you’re away and where you’re headed.
- Google Maps: find your way anywhere in the world with a web mapping service that includes real-time traffic conditions and route planning options.
- Uber: hail a taxi from your mobile and get a ride in minutes – or share a ride with someone else headed in the same direction.
- WhatsApp: keep in touch with those back home with text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other media.
Clear skies ahead - flight apps
If you’re not already using a flight app – you should be. Gone are the days of trawling the internet in search of affordable flights, printing out paper itineraries or waiting in line for an hour to check in.
When planning and managing business travel, you can use flight apps to manage itineraries, check in online, update seat and food preferences, and house copies of important documents like your passport and emergency contact details. These apps reduce the risk of human error, and make managing flight details a breeze.
For New Zealand business travellers, Air New Zealand’s mobile app is a great place to start. You can keep track of your Airpoints balance and Koru lounge membership, and manage any upcoming flights in one easy-to-access place on your mobile. You’ll be notified of any flight delays or cancellations and you can add a payment card or scan your passport too.
Corporate Traveller Serko - all in one
Whether you’re brand-loyal for the reward points, or fly on the most affordable ticket you can find, Corporate Traveller’s Serko mobile app has everything you’ll need to book and manage your travel itinerary.
It’s like having a travel management company in your pocket – you can book domestic and trans-Tasman flights and hotels, view and share your complete travel itinerary, and manage your flight bookings with Air NZ, Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia.
There’s no doubt downloading an airline’s app will save you lots of time when you’re on the run, but why clog your phone with four apps – when you could have one. You can check in online, make any necessary changes to seat selections or dietary requirements, and you’ll be notified instantly of any flight disruptions.
Let’s get checked in - hotel apps
Now that you’ve ticked off flights, and once you’ve found suitable accommodation, hotels the world over are starting to realise how they can better service business travellers – and they’re using technology to do it.
For features that save on time, like express check-in, keyless access and mobile check-out, look no further than Conichi. The app uses beacon technology, currently available at 400+ Smart hotels internationally – and counting. Using the app, you can send your details to your hotel prior to your stay, including information the hotel requires to fill out any registration forms. On arrival, your business traveller will be recognised immediately and can walk straight in, completely bypassing reception.
Planned to a T - itinerary apps
When TripAdvisor burst on to the travel scene, it made an everlasting impression on the way people crafted their travel itineraries. Referred to as the ‘granddaddy of trip planner apps’, TripAdvisor has paved the way for a number of itinerary apps – saving business travel managers hours of work.
These apps can help with turning an inbox full of booking confirmations into a single master itinerary, recommend the best way to get from A to B, or provide personalised itinerary suggestions based on your budget, needs and interests.
Keeping within budget - travel expense apps
One of the most time-consuming tasks of business travel is expense management. It might be your company’s policy to reimburse staff travellers for their expenses after they return, or they might have a strict budget they must stick to.
It’s important, for financial reporting as well as for the sanity of your traveller, that you have a clear and efficient way of recording, managing and reporting on business travel expenses. If there’s one area that technology can streamline and enable better business decisions for New Zealand business travellers, it’s travel expense management.
Expense-tracker apps will automate the entire expense management process, from setting a trip budget and tracking expenses, right through to submitting a claim and analysing expense data. Some of these apps can directly import data from personal and business credit cards so no expense is overlooked.
Serko Expenses is a top-of-the-line business travel tool for smarter expense management. Say goodbye to the monthly grind of claims and reconciliation, the solution provides ‘always on’ expense management, automated reconciliation of corporate card transactions and receipts, and AI receipt processing.
Concur Expenses is another travel expense app. You can capture transaction data, snap a photo of receipts, and submit expense reports. Managers can quickly review and approve expenses and the app will automatically populate expense reports with electronic receipts from airlines, hotel bookings, restaurants and transport.
Savi: the ultimate booking solution for business travel managers
Any business that requires its staff to travel for work will benefit from investing in booking software – to save time, money and stress.
It brings the entire process of business travel together in one place so you can book and manage things your way, including keeping track of employee expenses while on the road.
With online booking tools like Savi, you’ll get better control over your travel budget, ensure business travellers adhere to company travel policy, simplify purchasing decisions and centralise travel itineraries, traveller information and expense records.
Savi is at the cutting-edge of AI for business travel. The tool combines the 40 years’ experience of Flight Centre Travel Group with Serko’s 25 years of technology specialisation, to create an intuitive platform for business travel management.
Discuss your options with a professional travel management company
While apps can effectively reduce workload and automate mundane admin tasks, the ultimate in travel technology solutions is travel management software.
Good travel management solutions will make things easier for travellers, their managers, and the business by creating one place of contact for everything. Great software will grow with you, learning from your past travel experiences, and delivering travel options best suited to the way your business travels.
Have a chat with a professional travel management company to see what technology you could implement to help you better manage business travel.