I’m on work travel again this week–Northern VA first part of the week, Southern North Carolina at the end of the week.
So, I thought today would be a good day to share out some of my favorite travel apps that make things a bit less painful and difficult.
I generally only fly Delta, because Delta flies out of my nearest airport, so I can really only speak to their app. However, I do think that all major carriers now have mobile apps. There really is no reason to use paper tickets any longer–let the app do the work. Using my Delta app, I can do everything I need to do, almost instantaneously. It saves my ticket as a scannable code, making going through TSA and boarding easier. I can change seats, change flights, order internet connection in-flight, and–if I wasn’t a cheapskate–I could upgrade my seat. It gives me up-to-date gate information, which comes in handy–particularly in ATL where gates seem to change every 2 minutes.
I’m sure all major carriers offer the same, but in case you use Delta, you can click here to get their App: Delta
I’ve only started playing around with this site, but it looks to be interesting–offering you a wide variety of seat maps and seat selection advice. If it will help me avoid that dreaded middle seat, I’m all for it. Seat Guru
I’m not much help here. There doesn’t seem to be one app or website that offers a comprehensive solution to the search for decent rentals. That said, I’ve had the best luck with RentalCars.com. But truly, your best bet is to choose a national chain and build up a relationship with them–that is the most effective way to earn free upgrades and good rates. Bonus advice: Avoid small unknown rental car companies in major metropolis areas, at all costs. Yes, you may get a cheaper rate. But I have also seen them do some shady things, and provide lousy service. Don’t do it.
I am lost without GPS. Absolutely lost. Especially when I am on travel. I was using Google Maps almost exclusively, until I finally gave Waze a try. Yep. Fantastic. Gets me where I need to go quicker and alerts me to things such as construction, accidents, police activity, etc. etc. Plus, it has character. Lots of character. For instance, in my brain I drive a race car, so my little Waze car is a race car. Nice. Fantastic; ditch Google and move Here: WAZE
This is the same situation as airlines—most major hotel chains now have apps. For work, I tend to stay in Hilton properties, and I’ve found their app to be adequate–not fantastic, but it works. I can pre-check-in and change reservations as necessary. Not much more that I need than that. Oh, I can also add my itinerary to my calendar, which automatically adds it to WAZE, so when I’m ready to navigate from an airport or from my home to my lodging–boom, it is already there. I don’t have to look it up. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Here is the link to Hilton’s app; I’m sure there is one for Mariott and Choice Hotels as well: HiltonHonors
It is not unusual for me to be on travel and need to find a good location for a dinner with the customer, or a team dinner. Yelp remains my best option. I get honest reviews of local options, along with hours, phone numbers and the ability to open up in Google Maps. Yelp has saved me time and time again: Yelp
And to finish this off, here are some of my favorite travel tools and accessories.
Want to be the hero at your next meeting? Or at your gate at the airport? Throw this into your backpack: The D-Park Power Strip is great because it will wrap around a table leg out-of-the-way, plus has two USB ports. Perfect for powering laptops and charging phones. Good stuff.
I rely on my phone for navigation, and if I am in rental cars, I need a way to view my phone easily. This little gadget is something I keep in my backpack so it is ready to go if I need it. There is a magnet that is attached to my cell phone case. This Car Mount attaches to the air vent on my car, and has a magnet to hold my phone. Very cool.
I also throw these in my backpack and find uses for them all the time, while on travel. Cord management, emergency repairs–and dozen of other uses. Cheap, easy to use, and compact.