Corporate travel apps 2012

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This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.These days, it’s easy to clutter your smartphone with apps that are designed to help you to get from point A to point B. And with so many options to help you plan and execute your trip, finding an elite toolkit to make your next business trip a little less painless can be a hassle in itself.So what’s a tech-savvy business owner to do?
These four travel apps may not have crossed your mind (or your computer screen), but they have the potential to be invaluable additions to your traveling arsenal. You may have maximized your trip for business efficiency, but these apps take care of the little things that can knock your experience out of the park.Take a look at this roundup and check out some apps that deserve a spot on your smartphone right now. What’s your favorite travel app? Let us know in the comments.

1. Packing Pro
One of the most important travel scenarios happens before you even leave your house — packing. Let’s face it: There’s nothing more agonizing than landing after a long flight and hauling directly to the local drugstore to buy a toothbrush.
Packing Pro is a comprehensive app that puts all your travel needs onto one list. More than just a note-building service, the app maintains an extensive catalog of items to quickly assemble necessary goods. A little on the forgetful side? The service also provides sample lists for a variety of travel scenarios and can also assemble a customized list based on a variety of factors, including number of travelers, the expected weather of the destination and whether the trip is domestic or international. The app also has full iCloud support, so all lists update across platforms.

2. AllSubway

Sure, a rental car is an obvious choice for most locales — but in major cities, sticking to public transit could save you some precious time.
AllSubway turns you into a master of 151 different metropolitan transit systems all over the world, providing you with color-coded maps that are indexed and sorted alphabetically. Servicing transit on five continents, the simple interface offers the ability to zoom in and out on maps. And the kicker: It’s all available offline. Given that astoundingly few transit systems have consistent (if any) Internet, this service is a boon for on-the-go reference. But if an Internet connection is handy, there are links to official city websites for fares and trip-planning tools.
For a paltry 99 cents, this app also incorporates the most recent maps to keep your travel strategy up-to-date

3. LocalEats
When you’re in a city you’ve never visited, it can be hard to get some good grub. Spending another night eating fast food in a hotel room can be draining, and finding a good post-meeting spot to bring coworkers or potential clients on the fly isn’t a walk in the park either.
Enter LocalEats, a carefully curated dining guide that only spotlights independently owned restaurants across the U.S. and in selected international cities. The app offers many ways to filter restaurants, including critics’ picks, cheap food and vegetarian options, and users can search for places near a particular address or landmark within the city. There’s also a handy “near me” feature, which works with the phone’s GPS to find available restaurants within a designated radius. Once a restaurant is chosen, users can make reservations, book a taxi to and from the venue and find coupons within the app.

4. Triplingo
Many travel apps are centered on casual and domestic travel, but what happens when you travel internationally on a frequent basis? Whether it’s conducting business in Beijing or giving directions to a cabbie in Germany, international business travel has its own limitations — most of all, the language barrier can be quite a headache.

Triplingo is a personalized language guide for any user. The app begins with a few questions about your trip (whether you’re going for business or pleasure, if you have any special allergies that need to be addressed regularly, how much you’re interested in interacting with locals, etc.) and uses the answers to create a customized list of phrases to learn beforehand. Phrases are presented as flashcards with a special “slang slider” that ranges from formal to informal, meaning there’s an opportunity to speak like the locals really do. A structured badge-based reward system and a 2,000-word dictionary make the app a great way to get by in a new country.

5 Airport Security

Issue: Going through security is consistently one of the greatest pain points for business travelers. There always seem to be delays and adjustments in protocol, so it can be hard for frequent travelers to keep up with the changing tide.Tech Solution: My TSA is a real-time operating app, and it comes with features like security guidelines, wait-time estimates, and information on flight delays. With this app, you can view weather conditions at any airport as well as provide the TSA with feedback about your checkpoint experiences. The most raved-about feature is “Can I Bring,” which clarifies for users what they’re able to carry on the plane.

6. Flight Delays
Background: Business travelers are accustomed to flight delays. They happen all the time. But how can you be productive while you wait?
Tech Solution: App in the Air helps you fly more intelligently, in spite of issues like flight delays. With this app, you can find the best food and coffee in the airport. Use it to determine the best ways to spend your free time and to find free wireless internet connections. App in the Air also checks you into your flight and helps you keep friends and family updated by sharing flight status information.

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