As a meeting planner, you are probably familiar with juggling a variety of logistic tasks when meeting time arrives. Adopting an organized approach to your trips and knowing how to find what you need while you’re away can help you manage the chaos more efficiently, feel more relaxed and confident during a meeting and arrive home refreshed and ready to start planning your next big effort.
Here’s a run-down of some of the most noteworthy mobile travel apps to help busy meeting planners get through each stage of the travel process with greater ease.
Before you go, find the best deals on airfare and lodging
A variety of apps have been designed to help people search for the lowest airfares and hotel rates quickly and easily. Some of the more efficient examples include Hipmunk, Kayak and SkyScanner
Hipmunk (iOS and Android, Free) and Kayak (All Platforms, Free) are both designed to save you time finding low-cost fights and accommodations, by conducting a search of all the top travels sites in one pass. This allows you to compare airfares and hotel rates easily to find the best deals.
SkyScanner (All Platforms, Free) works like Hipmunk and Kayak, only its focus is exclusively on air travel. SkyScanner searches 1,000 sites to deliver the most comprehensive information possible about which flights will get you where you need to go, for the least amount of money.
Keep your travel details organized and handy
Once you’ve made your reservations, consider storing the relevant details together in one place so you’ll have easy access to them while you’re traveling.
Tripit (iOS and Android, Basic Free, Premium $49/year) can make this process easier by allowing you to email your reservation confirmations directly to your Tripit account. Tripit scans these confirmations to create a customized itinerary, populated with all the information you’re likely to need on a trip. This includes flight record locator numbers and hotel contact details. The itinerary is then loaded onto your phone or tablet via the Tripit app for easy access.
Pack everything you need
If you have an iPhone or iPad and you’re one of those people who has a hard time remembering what to pack, give Packing Pro (iOS only, $2.99) a try.
Packing Pro aims to simplify the process of creating a packing list, by offering sample lists, templates and a generous set of item categories to help you remember what you’ll need for your trip. Once you’ve completed your list, you can save it and use it as a basis for future trips.
At the airport, predict delays and quickly adjust
IOS users can take advantage of FlightTrack (iOS only, Free), an app that allows you to monitor flight information in near real time. The app provides details about changing weather conditions, flight delays and gate switches, so you can save time at the airport and make alternate travel plans as quickly as possible.
Make the most of layovers and delays
GateGuru (iOS and Android, Free) can make hanging out at the airport considerably more pleasant and productive. Simply enter an airport name and a gate and the app will tell you which dining options, shops and services are located nearby.
Get around easily
Uber (All Platforms, Free) lets you book limousine or car service at a moment’s notice from nearly anywhere. The best part is, the service can sometimes cost less than hailing a cab. Before you book, the app tells you the price to go from point A to point B, so you won’t have to worry about unpleasant surprises.
Find restaurants, services and attractions
A variety of apps exist to help you find what you’re looking for in an unfamiliar town. In addition to the popular Google Maps, TripAdvisor and Yelp, consider these:
Gogobot (iOS and Android, Free) lets you select from a list of personality profiles (e.g., adventure-seeker) in order to find the attractions most likely to appeal to you. This could be helpful at meetings, where you’re called upon to provide tailored recommendations to different groups of people.
Nearby Me (iOS and Android, Free) is a handy app that tells you where to find the nearest bank, hospital, gas station, etc., based on your current location.
Get translations and currency information
Vocre (iOS and Android, $4.99) provides real-time translations in your voice, allowing you to communicate in multiple languages while on the go.
Need to read something, but not aloud? Take a photo of a sign or other text using your mobile device’s camera and Word Lens (iOS and Android, Free) will quickly translate the text for you like magic.
Finally, for help calculating exchange rates on the go, download the highly rated XE Currency (All Platforms, Free).
Locate help in an emergency
With Help Me (iOS only, $2.99) you can make the equivalent of a 911 call, summoning emergency assistance to your location from nearly anywhere in the world.
Track your spending
If keeping track of receipts and expenses gives you a headache, try Expensify (All Platforms, Free), an app that helps you record your spending and save your receipts by photographing them with your mobile device. Expensify can create detailed expense reports based on your entries, saving you the time and trouble of doing it yourself.
And, there you have it: Fifteen apps with the potential to make your meeting planning trips easier and less stressful. Have you used any of these yourself, or are there apps you can’t travel without that we didn’t include here? For more information on a high tech medical continuing education facility, contact the Oquendo Center today.
Photo by MarcoMaru