The essential travel apps every new business owner needs

As a start-up founder, you're going to be on the move a lot. These apps will make it easier for you to get around and stay on track of travel expenses

Citymapper

Logo_CitymapperCompatible with: iOS and Android products
Rating:
★★★★★  (App Store)
Price: Free

Designed to deal with the complex and ever changing nature of modern cities, Citymapper bills itself as ‘the ultimate transport app’ and aims to provide you with ultimate accuracy and clarity to help you track your location, navigate a route, and find available public or private transport nearby.

Using GPS technology, the app shows you both a location map and real time transport options and time – which it claims is updated every minute.

What’s most impressive and unique about the app however, is the plethora of journey options it’s able to suggest including bus, rail, tube, ferry, estimated taxi hire prices and cycling (including free docking spaces) –as well as offering both ‘fast’ or ‘quiet’ choices for all walking routes.

Two of the app’s most useful features include the ‘Get Me Home’ and ‘Get Me To Work’ options, which automatically load directions to your pre-saved locations. The app also contains a search history and therefore can be also used offline.

A word of advice though, the app only currently serves London, Birmingham and Manchester – so new business owners in regional cities may need to look elsewhere.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

No matter how well you think you know a city, things move so fast it’s not hard to get completely lost or at the very least delayed. So, if you need to get to a client meeting fast, simply pop open Citymapper and get the most direct route to where you need to go.       

Google Trips

Google_-G-_LogoCompatible with: iOS and Android
Rating:
★★
Price: Free

Launched just last week (September 19 2016), Google Trips – or just simply Trips – is designed as a trip planner and travel guide for anyone exploring somewhere they haven’t been to yet.

Requiring you to log into your Google account, (it’s best if this is the same account your travel bookings are emailed to) Trips will show you a list of your upcoming and previously completed journeys.

When selecting future trips, you’ll find several very basic but useful options to help you on your journey. The “Reservations” option organises your flights, hotel information, and any rental car reservations you may have made, while “Need to Know” gives you the best routes about traveling as well as information about local currency and what to do in case of an emergency.

You can also avail of a general suggested tertiary or a customised search option known as “Things to Do” to suit your own tastes, needs and how long you’ll be in your chosen destination.

What’s possibly most impressive about Trips, however, is its real-time suggestions which adapt pending on time or weather. For example, if you’re meeting a client and it starts to rain, Google will suggest only indoor venues.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

A new kid on the block from the well-respected ‘Google’ family, Trips offers you real-time information about the goings-on of more than 200 cities worldwide making it perfect for a team weekend away or a meeting with a high-profile client.                            

Skyscanner

Compatible with: iOS and Android products
Rating:
★★★★
Price: Free

Skyscanner provides a free and unbiased search of hundreds of travel agents and airlines, and promises to ensure you’ll get the best possible price when you wish to fly.

While most travel comparison websites are often influenced by advertisers or will only offer you the same airline for your departure and arrival flights, Skyscanner’s USP is just how comprehensive its search engine really is.

Simply select where and when you want to fly to and from and you’ll be provided with the option of booking with the site of your choice. Filtering is quick and easily accessible via sliders, ensuring the results are as relevant as possible.

A monthly bar chart also shows you on which days it is cheapest to fly, and by selecting ‘everywhere’ in the destination box, you can find out where it is cheapest to fly to on a certain date or across a month from your chosen airport.

The app also provides you with a list of ‘indirect’ routes – ensuring you really do know all the options at your disposal.

No longer solely offering flights, Skyscanner has also expanded to offer you the chance to book the best deals on hotels and car hire.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

Last minute travel plans can often come with the sting of a hefty price tag, not ideal for any business owner desperately trying to keep costs down. For any lean start-up, you’re going to want to find the cheapest deal possible. Simply open Skyscanner and away you go.

Expensify

unnamedCompatible with: iOS, Android
Rating:
★★★
Price: Free for individual users with paid subscription required for teams and corporates

As all business owners will testify, sometimes there’s nothing more tedious than dealing with expenses. But, thankfully, the days of holding onto that crumbled receipt from your last meal is now a thing of a past.

Utilising an OCR SmartScan, you can simply use travel expense app Expensify to take pictures of receipts, upload them, and leave the software to do the heavy lifting – as the real selling points of this app is its ability to effortless interpret text on a scanned bill.

The app is also able to accurately calculate miles travelled and time worked on a business project, ensuring nothing is left to estimation.

Better still, the app can be integrated and synchronised with your business’ existing accounting software and converts currencies for international travels; providing tools to help create and track your business budget. All this information can be uploaded to a web account, so you can save all of your travel information in one place.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

Dealing with expenses can be a real headache for business owners and employees alike. Workers can become rightly frustrated if they feel they haven’t been reimbursed and it doesn’t reflect well on you as a boss either. Expensify will help you manage expenses and automate the entire process.

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