For frequent travelers, some things are non-negotiable. Certain products and services simply make working while on the road simpler and more organized.
According to a report released last year by Norm Rose of Travel Tech Consulting Inc., 16 percent of travelers surveyed currently use smartphones to book trips. That figure rises to 18 percent among the 18 to 35 year olds and to 33 percent among frequent travelers.
It should come as no surprise that today’s travelers rely on Internet connectivity to get things done and meet deadlines when on the road. Staying connected is critical to keeping up with business happenings, and the trick is in finding the best and easiest way to do so when on the go. From mobile broadband, to video chatting, to organizing travel itineraries, here’s the information that will keep you running, no matter where in the world you find yourself.
One of the best ways to stay connected is with mobile broadband, which is all but a necessity. For example, travelers with T-Mobile broadband can use a 4G Mobile HotSpot to connect multiple Wi-Fi–enabled devices (laptops, tablets, eReaders, and more) to high-speed Internet from anywhere, as well as laptop sticks for instant connectivity when plugged into the USB port of the computer.
And, of course, travelers always have the option of traditional Wi-Fi. When in an unfamiliar city, the Wi-Fi Finder app (available for iPhone and Android) is a great addition to your smartphone or tablet and features over 550,000 free and paid Wi-Fi locations in 144 countries worldwide. The app works both online and offline, so it can be a lifesaver when you need to set up shop unexpectedly to shoot off some emails or connect with coworkers.
In addition to Wi-Fi availability, travelers are wise to be equipped with some other technology necessities that come in the form of apps.
You may be familiar with Skype, but unless it’s downloaded as an app on your phone or tablet, you aren’t using it to its full capability. For the unfamiliar, Skype allows free video and voice calls to other Skype users. As a result, Skype has become one of those non-negotiable tools for travelers. Connecting with coworkers, clients, and family members with the touch of screen makes no one out of reach and no important meeting “unattendable.” Skype also works great across platforms, so whether the person you need to connect with is on an Android, iPhone, Mac or PC, you’re covered.
The TripIt app keeps all your plans in one place, so you can worry about the reason for your trip, rather than the details of it. This app organizes and shares travel information and trip details to create one truly helpful itinerary that’s on your smartphone or tablet, synced with your computer, and online at TripIt.com whenever and wherever you need it. When you receive a confirmation email from wherever you book, forward it to email@example.com. TripIt instantly recognizes reservations from 3,000+ booking sites including cruises, restaurants, concerts, and more.
And, my favorite feature of TripIt is that it allows me to see any friends or colleagues who are also traveling and will be in the same city at the same time as me. It’s great bonus feature that comes in handy for networking and catching up.
The last travel app that deserves a mention here is Bump (available on iPhone and Android platforms), although it’s a great app for home base, too. This app makes sharing contact info, photos, and apps with other people as simple as bumping two phones together. You simply pick what you want to send and then gently bump hands with another Bump user – that’s it! And after you bump, you keep sending messages any time, anywhere, complete with instant notifications. It’s almost like free texting. Bump even works cross-platform between Android, iPhone, and iPad.
Why is this a great app for travel? Because when you’re on the go, nothing is too easy. Receiving information with a bump is a simple, convenient way to get what you need and get on with your trip.
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Mobile Working Options for Frequent Travelers