Business travel has never been more convenient than traveling consultant or sales person. Smart phones have made traveling to new places easier to manage and reduced the stress load of thousands of traveling professionals. Since smart phones are the perfect gadget for professional travelers, there are a great many applications available on several smart phone platforms, and the number of apps available is increasing every week. In order to simplify the environment for new smart phone users, lets go through a handful of the most popular applications for travelers available on the Android market today.
TripIt is a must have tool for any travelers whose primary mode of travel is via the airport. TripIt organizes all of your travel reservations and even provides you with alerts throughout your trip. Once you download the app, you just forward all of your travel arrangements – your flight information, hotel reservations, restaurant information, car rentals, special event information, etc. – to the TripIt servers via the Android app, and then it organizes the information for you and creates a schedule complete with alarm notifications throughout your trip. In order to use the app, you must sign up with a gmail account. Once it has your gmail information, it will check to see if you have other items in your email relevant to your trip and add them to your itinerary. For $3.99, this is an invaluable Android app for any business or leisure traveler.
TripCase is another popular travel information aggregator that takes your travel plans and creates a scheduled itinerary for you automatically. TripCase has made several “Best Travel App” lists including Business Week and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and other major publications. If you were turned off by TripIt’s pricetag, TripCase is free. TripCase does not, however, provide the email scanning service, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on your personal taste and needs. TripIt’s integrated email functionality is closely tied to gmail, and in fact you have to have an existing gmail account in order to use TripIt. While TripCase does not have the tight email integration, it also does not share the same email provider limitation, so users can use their email from whatever email service they already have set up , whether it is gmail or otherwise. The downside is that all trip information must be entered manually. If you are used to the email scrubbing abilities of TripCase, this could be overly burdensome. Of course, if you find it slightly disturbing that TripIt actually goes through your entire inbox and categorizes any data that might be considered travel oriented, the email decoupling of TripCase is actually a reassuring feature. TripCase also allows you to share your itinerary and schedule with family and coworkers.
Another standout feature of TripCase is its ability to update boarding and baggage information from the airport in real time. This is particularly useful in terms of flight delays or other unforeseen flight changes. Users have claimed that they actually have had their TripCase application update their baggage information before the airport staff computers were updated with the change. This feature is unique to TripCase and may be a reason it itself to consider it over TripIt. The most common complaint about the application is that it does not handle multiple destination flight information well. It will provide the information for the original departure and final destination, but will often skip over the layover arrival and departure information completely. This issue could be a major problem for travelers and one would expect that an issue like this should be addressed in a future version of the app.