Are you a business traveller? It could be an interesting article for you. Cost and time optimisation are the main challenges for business travellers. A lack of optimisation results in tiredness, frustration, and spending more money than previously planned. Organisation of short and frequent travels causes some difficulties for both smaller and bigger companies, but fortunately, there are some solutions which solve most of that problems.
It doesn’t matter if you have Fortune 500 company, a team of few people or if you work alone. What is important is that you can start saving both money and time to spend them on whatever you like. We, as SoftwareHut, are business travellers too, and we would like to share our experiences and thoughts on travelling with you. Are you ready? Let’s fly!
First of all, let’s identify main problems we would like to solve right away. Those are:
- Tight budget to spend
- Short time notice to organise trip
- Many places or cities to visit in a short time
- Flight delay or flight cancellation
- Tracking expenses
And much, much more.
Now, we can focus on solutions. Let’s take a look at ways in which technology helps us all in different stages of planning business travels.
1. Buying plane or train tickets
In most cases, it should be the first step in planning a business travel. Otherwise, you might find a perfect hotel room at an excellent price, but you will pay far more than expected for transport. It’s always best to buy tickets long before a planned trip because it’s a guarantee that you will get the best possible price. But we all know what the reality is – planning business trip is much different than planning holidays.
SkyScanner.net – Skyscanner finds the cheapest deal for you by comparing thousands of flights. What’s important, it’s free! There are no hidden charges or additional fees for using it. You can also use CheapFlights.com, Esky.com or Fly.com
PassWallet (Android) – virtual wallet which allows you to keep all boarding cards in one place
WizzAir – quick booking of flights and hotels by using mobile application
2. Booking hotel rooms
A few years ago, it was almost impossible to book a hotel room with no trouble. Printing confirmations, calling travel agents, searching over the Internet, and all that stuff were the reasons that travel planning was a nightmare. Now it’s simpler, faster and environment-friendly.
Booking.com – booking couldn’t be simpler. Enter a location, check-in and check-out dates, and you are able to look over the thousands of offers. You can make and cancel reservations by using a mobile phone while you are on the go
Hotel.info – use just one search field and book a hotel room near a place you want to visit. There is also a price guarantee with a promise of getting your money back. 2 millions hotel ratings will help you to make a decision
HRS.com – three good reasons to choose HRS: up to 30% saving with the HRS Business Tariff, quick support for goodwill incidents thanks to HRS Travel Care and personal login area for an effective travel management
3. All-in-one solutions
Maya from iAlbatros – proposes all services: flights, trains, cars and hotels. MAYA is a new generation online booking tool which disrupts totally compared to existing solutions and is a 100% mobile adapted, which means the application is available on the Internet, on tablets and on mobile. In Maya the leisure world meets the corporate world which makes it easier to adopt the tool in the enterprises.
Business travel is an industry that’s developing rapidly. Travellers, both private and business, will spend more and more, and they will receive better solutions in return. The future is here, right around the corner. It may sound unbelievable, but soon you will be able to order a flying taxi by using one of the applications as mentioned above
– said Moncef Khanfir, iAlbatros Chief Executive Officer.
Expedia.com – hotels, flights, cars, cruises, you name it. All in just one place. Sounds great, right? In addition, there is no Expedia cancellation fee to change or cancel almost any hotel reservation.
HipMunk.com, Kayak.com – both collect cheap offers (flights and hotels) from many sites like Airbnb, Booking or Expedia at once
KDS.com – cloud-based solutions to manage business travel and expenses in a better manner, meant for (not only) corporations
TripAdvisor.com – probably the biggest travel system out there. There is no need to describe it because you have heard about it at least once
4. Different facilities like calling a taxi or finding coworking place
What do you do when you have to travel to a different country or city, in which you haven’t been before? Even if you have, it’s not easy to travel around when you are in hurry. Luckily for you, there are some applications you may find helpful, whether it’s finding a cab or a coworker spot, or anything else that comes to your mind.
Coworker.com – find coworking place anywhere in the world.
TripIt.com – forward your confirmation emails to a specific email, and TripIt will transform them into an itinerary of every trip
Uber – get where you want in a fast and easy way. All you need to do is to enter your destination and Uber driver will find you right away. It’s also cheaper than taking a cab.
And the applications, which you are certainly using privately, and which are also very helpful in organising business trips:
Google Maps (Android, iOS) – just enter the addresses of point A and point B, and you will be ready to get to that planned meeting in a restaurant you don’t know yet. You can also save maps and view them later when you will be offline
LinkedIn (mobile application) – it’s great solution to stay in touch with business partners during a travel
Maps.me – alternative to Google Maps. It’s very helpful in places with no strong signal and no Wi-Fi because it works offline
5. Looking for employees in a labyrinth of office desks – OfficeApp
Let’s say that you are a manager who has to travel to a business partner or a different branch of a current company. You have bought plane tickets and booked a hotel room already, and you are ready to go. You also have a short list of names of people with whom you need to talk. You get on a plane, and a few hours later you are in New York City. You take an Uber to get to a building in which your company or business partners have an office. The problem is that you are new there and you don’t know where to find people from the list.
Many companies have similar problems. If a company has more than 50 employees, they don’t recognise each other. If they don’t cooperate on the daily basis, they don’t know a name of a colleague, who works in the next room. They may email each other frequently but they don’t know where they are seated and how they look like.
The problem is even bigger if a company has many branches in different locations. When an employee from one office comes to other from the second office, he feels weird and strange, although it’s still his company. He doesn’t know where to go, where are the toilets, where is a conference room, what’s secretary’s name, and where to find coworkers, he came to meet with. To solve that problem, SoftwareHut created OfficeApp application.
- Finding people in an easy way on an office map by name or department in which they work
- Map integration
- Indoor positioning integrated with beacons
- Booking conference and meeting rooms
- Fast implementation in any type of organisation
All you have to do now is to finish what you are up to and… you can go home, finally! But what about airport check-ins? It’s causing more troubles than it should, right? Don’t worry, we will solve that problem, too. Our next post from Business Travel section will be about bots doing such things for you.