Category Archives: travel

The 10 Best Apps to Pack for Business Travel

The 10 Best Apps to Pack for Business Travel

Every time I travel by air — except when the wireless is out, of course — I feel grateful to have my phone. The reason? Absolutely everything these days is in the cloud — just like I am!

I think about how, 20 years ago, how much time was lost in transit, when I could have been tracking expenses, saving receipts, hiring travel agents. Clearly, I’m infinitely more productive when I’m on the road these days than I used to be.

So here are the 10 best apps to pack for business travel. Airplane-willing, of course, they’re my — and potentially your — lifeline:
1. Concur

Concur is, legitimately, the one travel/expense manager that could rule them all. Yes, you probably already use it, or have been dazzled by the possibilities of its up-and-coming competitors, but, from Concur’s expense management tools, to its ability to sync with your office for necessary approvals, to the easily exported expense reports, this app — even if it’s cliche — is cliche for a reason.
2. TripIt

TripIt makes itinerary planning easy, by storing all your various reservation numbers in one place for easy access. All I do is forward my reservation confirmation emails, and TripIt builds a master itinerary, complete with everything I need. This tool, now owned by the monolith Concur, was created by a founder of Hotwire.
3. Circleback

Full disclosure: I’m the chief business officer at CircleBack. But, regardless, I find this app perfect for business travel, something I’ve been doing throughout my entire career. It maintains all my contacts, brings them together in one place and keeps them deduped, accurate and updated. It even notifies me when there are changes, so I can get in touch with potential prospects the minute they start in on new decision-making positions. It also has slick business card scanning and email sig capture.

4. Skyscanner

With a variety of apps for flights, car rental and hotel booking, Skyscanner makes it easy to compare bookings, find the best price and book in app. It’s great for booking on-the-go when those “unexpected” trips arise.
5. Yelp

I’m a bit of a foodie, and, between meeting with potential clients over power lunches and treating himself at the end of the day, Yelp is a no-brainer, with its reviews, menus and address-tracking.
6. Docusign

The life of an executive, especially the chief business officer, is filled with contracts. Docusign makes executing contracts simple and, more importantly, mobile.
7. Handshake

When I work trade shows, Handshake is my go-to app. It allows an entire sales-order process to occur in an attractive app that automatically reports sales back to your business for processing. It also offers on-the-go glances at important client information (previous orders, account assignments and more).
8. Google Drive

I live and die by Google Drive and am able to collaborate and review with my content team anywhere. Whether I’m sharing documents, tracking my teams’ output or reviewing/adjusting our content calendar to know what’s coming, it all happens here.
9. Twitter

Any respectable professional must live by Twitter. At an instant, you can check out influencers, top blogs and news from where you aren’t. You can also view your team’s social media stats for the week and keep track of the ever-shifting industry.
10. Asana

Even when I’m elsewhere in the world, teamwork and deadlines loom. The Asana app lets me communicate with my team, view deadline progress and escalate/manage tasks from anywhere. Anyone who manages a team with deadlines and output goals needs Asana.

How to Love the Journey and Check Your Travel-Related Stress at the Gate

How to Love the Journey and Check Your Travel-Related Stress at the Gate
Good news: Even homebodies can develop a sense of wanderlust.

Is it easier for extroverts to travel than it is for introverts? Can travel be learned? If so, what does it take to overcome the fear, anxiety and logistical challenges often associated with long-distance travel?

In search of answers, I asked several seasoned tourists and travel converts for their stories and advice. As it turns out, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. People who travel as children are far more likely to travel as adults.

“Thanks to my parents, I started traveling when I was young,” says Avery Blank, an avid international traveler and strategy consultant from Philadelphia. “That made it relatively easy for me now to adapt to new cultures, surroundings, ways of doing things.”

If you were raised by homebodies, you’re at an immediate disadvantage. But so are risk-averse individuals who are particularly scared of the unknown. Traveling to a new place with new customs and sometimes new languages can cause stress or keep people from taking trips that can enrich their lives and careers.

“Much of the anxiety arising from travel revolves around being infantilized,” says Sheridan Becker, an American art director living in Belgium. “For example, not knowing how to do anything in a foreign language, asking for a bathroom, what to do if you lose your wallet, where your next meal will come from (and will you be able to stomach it) or how to handle medical emergencies.”

All are disorienting questions, no matter a traveler’s personality. Your propensity for travel is more about how you’re raised — your “normal” — coupled with a willingness to try unexpected things.

The good news is you can learn wanderlust, to a degree. Here are six ways to do just that.
1. Find strength in numbers.

“Traveling with a tour group is a good first step,” Becker says. “The most common concerns are almost always solved by the tour guide. As one comes to realize that most of these questions are easily handle by hotel staff, you can learn to survive without the parental assistance of a chaperone.”

2. Reach for packaged planning help.

Several people I spoke to expressed a distaste for logistics. “I’ll only go with the help of all-inclusive packages, travel agents, or friends that connect all of the dots,” admits Spencer Oldsen, a merchandise salesman from Provo, Utah. It’s the driving force behind the appeal of cruises, whose structured programs, dining halls and nightly entertainment do all the legwork for you.
3. Start with convenient destinations.

There are several reasons more Americans travel to Europe than any other continent: convenience, ease of communication and more familiar culture. “Try easier cities first,” Becker says. “Head for Paris or London — where you can always find English speakers — before traveling to Abu Salaam.”
4. Seek comfort in routines.

“Traveling is easier if you follow routines and anticipate little treasures along the way,” says Stephanie George, a self-identified introvert, solo traveler and yoga instructor from Huntsville, Ala. “For example, if you run in the mornings at home, do the same when you travel. To further ease anxiety and enjoy yourself, create a specific playlist, download a movie to watch later or plan to wear a new outfit while adventuring. This will give you something to look forward to as you navigate unchartered territory.”

5. Establish fail-safes.

“Use a cell phone that works in the country you’re visiting,” Becker says. “Find out how to contact the nearest American government office. If you plan to take an excursion outside the city limits, tell the hotel staff and use them further for recommended guides, restaurants and points of interest.”
6. Consider travel an education.

“To overcome fear or anxiety when exploring, you have to see travel as a learning experience,” Blank says. It makes good sense. If you treat yourself as a student rather than expert, you won’t feel so bad when you make mistakes or embarrass yourself. As you strive the above, you’ll likely find greater confidence and momentum. When that happens, who knows the places you’ll go?