Sure, the Golden Age of Flight may have been in the 1920’s and 30’s, the period between World War I and II, but [business] travel is so much better than it used to be. Yes, there aren’t the luxury amenities that people once enjoyed, like the dinner tables of Pan Am where they sat with their families, enjoying multi-course meals. However, today, there’s powerful technology that enables us to discover new destinations in an instant, or request a vehicle pickup at the click of a button - something that was impossible in aviation’s heydey.
There’s an app for everything these days, which makes business travel much more convenient than it once was. Here are some of the top travel apps that let you do anything from booking the best flights to renting someone else’s home.
Tripadvisor is notably the world’s largest travel site. It lets travellers do everything from finding trip ideas and local restaurants, to booking hotels, flights and vacation rentals. Users can leave reviews for places they’ve visited and upload their journey photos, as well as upvote the reviews that were most helpful for booking their next destination. If trip-goers have questions about their excursion, they can post to any of the thousands of forums available.
Kayak.com lets you compare hotel, travel, car rental and vacation package deals across multiple favourite websites from all over the web. Filters like “freebies” (i.e. free breakfast or internet), “compare with other travel sites”, and “amenities” let you find the perfect travel deals that fit your preferences and wallet. To ensure you get the best deal possible, you can also save searches and set alerts to have Kayak send you an automated email when your there’s a new match that fits your travel criteria.
HotelTonight helps travellers book fantastic last-minute hotels deals from their mobile device for tonight or tomorrow - times when there may be price drops in hotel pricing - or as far in advance as the following week. Through the mobile app, you can book your hotel stay, and during your trip upload photos of the property and amenities, and leave a review upon departure. Often, it’ll give you the best prices, when compared to booking directly on the hotel website or through third-party sites like Expedia.
AirBnB is a different kind of stay. It was created to let people offer up their apartments, rooms, or homes to travellers who wanted to crash somewhere other than a hotel, or for a lot less. Since it’s inception, it’s no longer limited to people’s private homes and has expanded to include other property types such as hostels or five-star hotels. If you’re offering up your place instead of looking for one, you can set your own nightly/weekly/monthly rates, duration of stay, blackout calendar dates, and more. To ensure quality and reduce risks, they even offer a $1,000,000 host guarantee which protects your home and stuff from accidental damage.
Yelp lets you browse more than 20 categories from restaurants to spas and entertainment from local businesses. If searching for a restaurant - one of the most widely browsed Yelp categories - you can set any number of filters including if the restaurant is open, has a full bar, or accepts reservations. Since acquiring Eat24, you can also order delivery or takeout from local restaurants if you’re in the mood to dine in instead.
Uber makes it easy for anyone to get around whether they’re close to home or to travel afar. Located in over 408 cities worldwide, Uber lets people sign up as drivers and give rides to people requesting them. As a user, you can choose from several types of car services including economy, premium or accessibility cars, or split the cost of the ride with someone by using their carpool feature instead. By entering a pickup location and destination, it’ll also give you a fare estimate, and get an electronic receipt via email or the app, to make it easier when submitting expenses, over dealing with those pesky paper receipts.
Postagram brings a little nostalgia to the table because you don’t see too many people sending postcards these days, especially not paper ones. Postagram does! They let users send real postcards in the Australia, Canada, Europe, the U.S. and just about anywhere for just 99 cents. All you have to do is upload your photo, add a message, and checkout; then you’ll receive a push notification when they deliver your postcard. There’s also a 100% money guarantee if your letter of your business travel adventures somehow doesn’t make it.
So while lobster isn’t usually on the menu and there isn’t all of that extra legroom, like on Huffington Post, there’s plenty of other modernisations that can we be appreciate. Airlines continue to compete to offer advanced technology that makes flights more seamless - like JetBlue’s FlyFi wireless network - to help us get where we’re going. So next time that your flight is on delay or your legs are cramped in Coach, just remember, you couldn’t watch a 1080p movie on your mobile phone while 35,000 feet in the air.