When you travel for business, it's helpful to have certain apps installed on your smartphone. A good travel app can make your journey to and from your destination go as smoothly as possible, whether you're a few towns away or at the opposite side of the globe. That's what the best apps for business travelers can do for you. Each app on this list is available for both iOS and Android.
Best social app: Jetzy
Jetzy is a marriage between a social media platform and travel app. Jetzy uses geolocation and a social ecosystem to match travelers with experiences that suit their preferences. It also includes a chat feature that allows you to connect with other travelers to get their reviews and recommendations. Whether you're looking for the perfect food or just something to do while you're in town, Jetzy helps you "travel like a local."
Best Expense Tracker: Concur
Concur is a software service that offers a variety of solutions for business expenses, intelligence, invoices and travel. While you're on your business trip, you can use the Concur app to snap photos of your receipts and file them to your office, send information for expense reimbursements, and even build out basic approval and processing workflows for your home-based team.
Best Document Signing: DocuSign
DocuSign allows you to carry contracts and other important documents that need to be signed with you on your business trip. You can draft up legally binding documents that a client or both of you sign from your smartphone or tablet. Then you can forward the signed document to other people, such as to someone back at your office, for review and approval. To protect highly sensitive information, DocuSign encrypts documents when they're sent.
Best luggage delivery: DUFL
DUFL is a unique service that eliminates the need to pack and travel with a suitcase. It sends you a suitcase that you fill with your clothes and other essentials such as toiletries. DUFL picks up this filled suitcase, cleans your clothes, and snaps pictures of your clothes and other items. Through the DUFL app, you see your clothes and other items in a virtual closet. You then enter your trip and hotel information and select clothes and items from your virtual closet that you want to be there for you when you arrive at the hotel. A suitcase from DUFL containing your selected clothes and items will be waiting for you in your hotel room. When you're ready to check out of the hotel, just throw everything back into the DUFL suitcase and use the DUFL app to schedule pickup for it.
Best airport guie: FLIO
If you find yourself in an unfamiliar airport, FLIO can provide detailed information about it so that you won't get lost and will make it to your plane on time. It features information on 5,850 airports, including interactive maps that depict their gates, baggage claims, lounges, restaurants, shops and other areas. It can recommend the best ways for you to get to or out of a particular airport (via bus, ride-sharing, taxi or train.) You can also book access to lounges or a parking spot for your car through FLIO. A built-in flight tracker updates you on the status of your flight.
Best language translator: Google Translate
Language translation software can't compete with a good human translator, but when you travel abroad, Google Translate is the next best thing. It can take the words that you type in or say aloud to your phone's microphone and translate them to more than 100 languages. The app shows the translated words on your phone or tablet display or speaks it aloud in a digital voice. If you snap a picture of a sign, Google Translate can translate the words on it into another language. To help you save bandwidth, or if you won't be able to use mobile data in a foreign country you're visiting, you can download a translation library for that country's language to your phone.
Best room for the night: HotelTonight
If you travel often enough, at some point you might get stranded and have to stay overnight unexpectedly. When that happens, you'll be happy to have HotelTonight on your phone. This app does exactly what you'd think: It finds hotel rooms that are available for you to check in for the night right then. These rooms can be requested only up to seven days in advance, because this app's service is meant for last-minute accommodation seekers.
Best last-minute flight planner: Skyscanner
If unexpected circumstances force you to change your flight plans, Skyscanner can help you search for another one, especially if you cannot or prefer not to spend a lot of money. After you enter your destination and trip dates into it, this app compiles available flights from several airlines that you can browse. You can bookmark your search and set the app to notify you if cheaper flights become available. Skyscanner can also help you book car rentals and hotel rooms.
Best Wi-Fi spot locator: WiFi Map
In case you want to avoid using your mobile data as much as possible on your trip (or you've run out of data!), WiFi Map can help you find free Wi-Fi spots in your area. These open networks are crowdsourced by the app's users, who report on Wi-Fi spots, rate their connection and speed quality, and even list the passwords for them. WiFi Map purportedly contains information on more than 100 million Wi-Fi spots all across the world.
Best currency converter: XE Currency
XE Currency is definitely useful when you're traveling internationally. It converts currency and shows exchange rates and charts in real time. You can also set alerts to track specific currencies for certain rate changes.
These business travel apps help you travel in style, whether you need support at the airport or are just looking to sample the best local fare. If you travel regularly for business, you know how easy it is to feel out of your element. But with these apps on your hard drive, you'll never have to feel like a fish out of water again.
Andreas Rivera contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.