Free App Friday: 5 Smartphone Tools For Your Next Business Trip

Must-haves for life on the road.

Business travel is not for sissies. And even the most hardened road warriors still need all the help they can get. In that spirit, here are some apps to make living out of a suitcase more bearable.


1. Before You Even Get To The Airport

Load up TripIt (Android, BlackBerryiOS, Windows Phone). If you use Gmail, it’ll automatically pull in your flight, hotel, car rental, and restaurant reservations to intelligently create a trip itinerary for you. As each event nears, you’ll get directions, weather data, and other helpful information. Even if you don’t use Gmail, you can forward your trip-based emails to to achieve the same results.

2. While You’re Waiting For Your Flight

See if LoungeBuddy (Android, iOS) can steer you toward an enjoyable airport lounge. You tell the app which kinds or credit cards, travel clubs, memberships, or elite statuses you have under your belt and it’ll tell you if there’s a nearby lounge that you can access either for free or for a one-time fee. The list of lounges is culled from 500 popular airports around the world and features user reviews to let you know which ones are worth your while.

3. While You’re In The Air

Use Pocket (Android, iOS) to catch up on all those longreads you never have time to enjoy. The app works with popular web browsers to let you save articles as you come across them while using your big-boy computer. Each article is stripped of unnecessary cruft like ads, logos, and navigation bars for a book-like reading experience that’s accessible from your phone or tablet even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

4. Once You’ve Checked In To Your Hotel

Check out the local nightlife with DrinkAdvisor (Android, iOS). You’ve got access to information about more than 7,000 watering holes in 200 cities around the world, with the ability to drill down to one of 24 ambiance options so you don’t unwittingly take a group of your low-key clients to a place with strobe lights and dubstep. Search by location, user reviews, and more; the app even features facts about various cocktails so you’ll have something to talk about if your clients turn out to be duds.

5. When Your Flight Home Inevitably Gets Delayed

Grab a last-minute hotel room using Hotel Tonight (Android, iOS). Or sleep on the airport floor. Up to you. The app works with nearby hotels to grab last-minute deals on rooms that would otherwise sit empty all night. You can sort options to balance pricing and amenities, and connect with support reps around the clock if you have trouble with your booking. Once a last-minute-only affair, the app now lets you book up to seven days in advance just in case you have your act together.