thoughts / The pending disruption of business travel

For the business traveler, travel journeys are more likely to be punctuated by stress, tension, and frustration.

While for many travel is filled with the excitement of reaching a holiday destination, for the business traveller, travel journeys are more likely to be punctuated by stress, tension, and frustration.

To make matters worse, travel technology companies have tended to focus on the pleasure traveller. However, this is beginning to change, and there are now a host of new apps on the market offering services that will make the life of the business travel that bit easier.

Business travel should be all about convenience (and perhaps a sprinkling of luxury). From smart airports for smooth movement through security and into lounges to wait for take-off, to easy ways for employees to track expenses, travel tech is finally bringing ideas to the table that are music to business travel's ears. Here we take a look at some of the best tech that is taking the business travel scene by storm.

Arranging your trip

Taptrip allows businesses to centralise all of their travel bookings for flights, hotels, trains, and taxis. It can also be synced up with employee calendars to make booking simple and produces automated reports tracking spends making submitting expenses a breeze at the click of a button. Taptrip works well whether you're managing expenditure at the individual level or are a multinational corporation.

Taptrip saves your business time and money by making travel booking quick and easy while removing service charges and other travel budget leakage costs. So whether you're a business traveller looking to save time on claiming expenses or are a business owner looking for a tool capable of tracking travel spend by individual, subdivision or companywide, this app will streamline your business travel needs.

Feel at home, wherever the job takes you

These days, most people have experienced the benefits of an Airbnb and holiday, but it's not necessarily something that springs to mind when travelling for business. However, Airbnb has over 4 million houses and apartments in 191 countries for rent that are set up with people traveling for work in mind. With a Trust & Safety team working 24/7 Airbnb makes it easy to ensure your stay is secure and protected.

A useful feature of Airbnb is their host rating system where regular providers can gain 'superhost' status so you can easily find somewhere to stay that you know is going to be great. Airbnb allows individuals and businesses to get more out of their travel budgets by bringing business travel into the world of travelling for pleasure.

Find places to work nearby in places you don't know

In many ways, booking your flights and finding a place to stay is the easy part of business travel. However, finding a great space and environment can be more challenging when heading somewhere you or your company has never been and working where you sleep is not for everybody. Fortunately 'wework' have designed a great tool for business travels to find anything from a desk to an entire headquarters!

Clients include Facebook, Adidas, Microsoft, and more highlighting that these guys can support the biggest businesses as well as those just needing an individual space for the day. With global locations, large investors, and expertise in the field of designing innovative spaces for some of the world's largest companies these guys have transformed opportunities for business travel to become business expansion.

Find things to do in downtime

Along with business travel, can come long periods of downtime in hotel rooms which can get pretty boring when you have to travel all the time. NAVA helps you say goodbye to boredom by turning cities into urban wonderlands. Using machine learning the app can personalise the sort of city recommendations received so that they are personally tailored to your desires helping you avoid generic and out of date top 10 lists.

So whether you want to check out the local street art, the best chefs in town or the best music venues this app helps you find fun and culture in the places you have to visit for work. The app can even design bespoke activity plans for your free time that takes into account time of day and weather forecasts.

Transport for getting around with seamless expensing

Uber is one of those game-changing services that have contributed to making business travel possible with just your phone in your pocket no matter where in the world you are going. Couples with this, it makes claiming expenses easy at the individual level and companywide. Budgets can be controlled to help turn travel policy into an almost automatic process.

The Uber dashboard allows you to track past rides as well as live journeys so you can always stay on top of where your team are when they're out of the office. You can also pay for everyone using a single account to make complex expensing a thing of the past.

Track receipts while you travel

ReceiptBank is used by more than 6,000 businesses is inevitably a dream for accountants and bookkeepers. However, it also saves anyone running a business or who needs to claim expenses, hours of time. With just a photo, this app can glean all the information it needs from your receipts and draw up the information into a variety of useful spreadsheets and reports. It's also capable of dealing with transactions made in a foreign currency and is available at a fixed price.

An app driven world

In a world that is ever more globally integrated, business travel both within and outside of nations is not going away anytime soon. Thanks to a host of great new apps flooding the market, there are now great tools available to save people money and time. Check out the apps above if you're a business traveller looking to sort out everything you need with just the phone in your pocket.