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Mobile Apps to Make Business Travel Easier

May 20, 2013
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226715

The Global Business Travel Association says that business travelers will spend $268.5 billion making their way around the U.S. this year. That's great news for hotels, airlines and cab companies. But all that travel can be hard on the individual who is always in need of directions or who is constantly booking another flight to yet another city.

For business owners who find themselves on the road or in the air more than they're in the office, these mobile apps are designed to make your travels as hassle-free as possible:

Find parking faster: Parker
When you're trying to make it to a meeting on time, there's nothing worse than circling the block hoping to find a parking space. Parker solves that problem by delivering parking options in real-time.

Filter your search by street or garage, handicap accessibility or price. In some areas, you can use Parker to pay your fees with your phone. The app can also guide you back to your car.

Parker is free for iOS and Android. It only works in select cities, so check the details before you head out.

Navigate smarter: Waze
Hundreds of apps can help you navigate with turn-by-turn directions. Waze stands out because it has 40 million users imputing data in real time. When you're driving in an unfamiliar city, you can rely on Waze members to alert you to road closures, traffic accidents and delays that other GPS systems miss.

Need gas? Waze can show where you can get a bargain within a few blocks of your location. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Related: Field Test: Wrangle Your Travel Receipts on the Go? Maybe.

Use public transportation like a pro: HopStop Transit Directions
This free iOS app includes train, bus, ferry, streetcar and subway maps for 600 cities throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Like Waze, HopStop uses crowdsourced data to keep you updated on transit delays and other public transportation obstacles.

Hail a taxi without a problem: Hailo
When you need a cab you just tap Hailo's "Pick Me Up Here" button, then wait for the car to arrive. This free iOS and Android app uses your phone's GPS to identify your location so you don't need to know the full address.

When the car drops you off, use Hailo to pay your fare with the credit card information stored in the system. You'll get a receipt by email.

So far, Hailo works in London, Dublin, Boston, Toronto and Chicago. Availability in New York City is expected soon.

Become an airport expert: TravelNerd
If you're a frequent flyer, this free app might be all you need for real-time flight information, terminal maps and parking lot directions. TravelNerd also provides locations, hours and coupons for terminal restaurants, helps you locate restrooms and gives you to low-down on available Wi-Fi.

Once you land, use the app to call for ground transportation or use its social share-a-ride feature to find a taxi buddy.

Fly in comfort: SeatGuru
SeatGuru has 700 seat maps for more than 100 airlines, interior cabin photos and tips from travelers. Whether you're looking for more leg room or a smoother ride, this free app can help you locate the best seat.

Related: 7 Free Apps That Can Make Planning Your Next Vacation Easy