9 Essential Apps for Travelers

We recently posted a list of essential apps for executives that was well received and decided to create a new one. This list covered 9 essential apps for business travelers. Attention road warriors! These tools will help bolster your digital arsenal. Some are more fun than others but all have proven useful in my own travels. Even if you are just visiting a conference like SXSW or visiting a remote office, these should be very helpful. Have other suggestions we’ve missed? Add a comment below and we will include them!

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  1. Awaken- Without a doubt this is my favorite alarm clock. I use it at home as well. Many alarm clock apps let you play music you have on your device but Awaken has a great feature I can’t live without. You can have the music fade in over time. That means you do not get shocked awake with music blasting. You fade awake with music. It is a much nicer way to start the day. You can save multiple alarms and there is a built-in flashlight as well. iTunes Link
  2. Card Munch- This is a card scanner built by LinkedIn. It is a perfect extension for them. Take a photo of a business card and it gets scanned into your address book. Plus, the app tells you how you are conencted on LinkedIn and lets you send an invite.  Quick, easy and accurate. iTunes Link
  3. Expensify- Similar to CardMunch but for receipts. Scan them in and tag them for easy expense reporting. No more spreadsheets or folders full or crinkled paper. Digitize it and move on. iTunes link Android link
  4. Foursquare- Easily the most popular location sharing app, Foursquare lets you tell your network where you are. It is great for getting recommendations while in a new city. You can see where your contacts have visited and what they recommend. You can also explore popular locations of any kind. There are often specials which are deals created by venue owners specifically for Fourquare users. Often these are discounts or freebies you can unlock by checking in. iTunes Link Android link
  5. GoodReader- Dubbed a “Swiss Army knife of awesome!” by Mashable, Goodreader is the most powerful PDF and large file reader around. In 2010 it was the #1 non-Apple app available. You can connect with many sync services as well. Five minutes with Goodreader and you won’t believe you lived without it. iTunes link
  6. Smartr- The standard contact list on your phone seems fine but Smartr is a significant improvement that is essential for those of us with huge contact lists. By syncing with your email programs, Facebook and Twitter, Smartr creates an automatic contact list that is always up to date. It also shows you your contact history through calls, messages and email. My favorite feature is the ability to search by company. If you know you need to call Icebreaker Consulting, just search and you will see all your contacts and emails associated with us. iTunes link Android link
  7. Sonar- Ever have the sense that there are important people nearby but you don’t know them directly? What if there was an app that alerted you which nearby people are connected to your contacts but you were not directly connected? Sonar does this and becomes great at trade shows and new cities. Check into a location and Sonar will list all people nearby who you may find valuable. For instance, you may find that the keynote speaker and you both share three connections and follow the same people on Twitter. Through Sonar, you can connect and start a long and prosperous career together. Sonar was brought to life with help from our friends at K2 Media LabsiTunes link Android link
  8. Uber- Have you ever stood in the rain waiting for a cab? Have you ever wanted to know there was a car waiting for you before you drag all your bags out to the curb? Uber lets you call a car through your phone and it will keep you posted on the driver’s location so you know when to expect them. You register in advance so all payments and tips are handled on the back-end. Nothing to sign, no cash to hand over, simply call a car, get a ride and then wave goodbye. You can then rate the driver as well. Most drivers I have had said they are happy with the service as well. iTunes link Android link
  9. Waze- This is amazing. You’ve heard stories of the Apple Maps debacle. That situation seemed to improve as Google Maps became available for the iOS but there is another option that is far better than both. Waze is a navigation app that is constantly updating with real time travel information. Google can tell you the quickest way to get somewhere and how long it takes with current traffic but Waze will update your route if traffic ahead slows. Users report construction, accidents and even police speed traps. Waze will tell you the best way to travel for the exact time you are traveling. This has been invaluable even for local commuting. iTunes link Android link

Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Sebastiaan ter Burg