As the CEO of Ovation Travel Group, I know Road Warriors and I understand their needs; it's literally been my job for over 30 years.
The Oxford dictionary defines a Road Warrior as "a person who travels, often as part of their job, and does work at the same time," but that's really just scratching the surface. A Road Warrior is someone who is constantly on the go. It's someone who lives out of a suitcase. It's someone who is often far away from their family and friends. It's someone who has very little down-time. All that can add up to a lot of traveler wear and tear. Not to mention the fact that a Road Warrior also has a job to do and business to conduct. If she is continually stressed, that can mean lost productivity, poor health and even safety issues; of course these are bad for the Road Warrior, but they are also bad for business. There are two congruent areas at work here--the travel experience and then a person who is doing her job. Whatever can be done to make travel more seamless and work more streamlined is a win on all sides, and one way to capitalize on that is through the best mobile devices.
For many Road Warriors, their office has become an airplane, a hotel room, a taxi and an airport-anywhere with a data connection/Wi-Fi. Mobile devices have become a traveler's personal assistant, helping her to not only plan and book travel, but change a booking and manage expenses while connecting with colleagues and getting work done. Mobile technology is getting better all the time, and so are the application offerings that go with it--it can be hard to keep up. At Ovation, we always have an eye out for the newest and coolest apps that can help a Road Warrior de-stress and remain productive during her travels. Here are 6 of them:
TripCase. You're sitting at an airport and your gate changes. Then the flight is delayed a few hours. This is going to change the reservation times for your rental car and hotel room. No one wants to waste both time and phone battery by digging for all the requisite contact and reservation information, and an itinerary management tool is the solution. TripCase is a great all-in-one tool that helps you organize and manage all your trip information in one place, from flights details, check in and alerts through to ground transportation, hotel and restaurant reservations. You can also store important document information such as your passport, credit card and boarding passes. TripCase is also handy for sharing your itinerary and it allows you to integrate it with your Outlook or Google calendar.
DUFL. Dealing with luggage can be a pain while traveling. If you use a carry-on you have to go through security and then there's a lot of schlepping around an airport, which can be especially cumbersome if you're in a hurry. If you do check your bag, you still have to contend with waiting around a baggage claim and then also dragging your bags through ground transportation to your hotel. DUFL is a virtual closet and concierge service that simplifies business travel by shipping, cleaning and storing business attire. You can pack virtually on an app and schedule your clothes to arrive at your destination, making you bag free.
LoungeBuddy. It's so easy to feel tired or cranky in an airport, especially when you are delayed and the crowds make it feel like a zoo. It makes a real difference to be able to relax with some complimentary refreshments in an airport lounge and to charge any mobile devices and use the work stations if needed. Some lounges require membership and others allow entry with a specific class of boarding pass. But that shouldn't stop anyone who wants to go into the lounge, take a nap or have a drink. LoungeBuddy allows business travelers to view, book and access airport lounges across the world. You are able to input frequent flyer information, credit card info and other memberships and see what deals you maybe didn't know about. You can get virtual tours, amenity lists and reviews from other members all in one place.
Evernote. Road Warriors are constantly moving, whether it's in-transit to and from an airport, on a flight, walking into meetings or going to a restaurant. Particularly when you're on a business assignment, it's imperative to be able to keep track of appointments, manage your contacts and both take and organize notes from your meetings. Evernote is a great organizational tool where you can collect notes, store important information and share with your colleagues. There's a microphone, sketching, file and photo storage, options for alerts and reminders and the ability to synch across multiple computers and other mobile devices.
DocuSign. For many Road Warriors, the process of reviewing, printing, signing, faxing and mailing important documents is a huge pain when traveling. You need to physically search for a printer that will connect to your device and then also find a mailing service; the time and effort involved can really contribute to traveler wear and tear. DocuSign allows you to review documents, to sign the document virtually and then send without having to be there physically. You can receive push notifications for when documents arrive or need completion and you can also place tags for multiple signatures from different people. It's safe, it's secure and it's legal.
Skype. The ability to connect with others while on the road is essential--period. If you are stuck somewhere and need to be on a call or a video conference, it wastes time and effort and creates stress. Skype for mobile enables you to be able to contact anyone, anywhere as long as you have Wi-Fi. You can use it for conference calls, video calls, group video calls and instant messaging. It's easy to use, connects right to your phone number and connects to mobile, tablets, computers and even TVs.
Whether or not you choose to get these particular apps, it's important for every Road Warrior to stay abreast of the tools that can help manage and organize travel and business while on the go. The potential to decrease stress, increase productivity, give you more free time and possibly even allow you to get back to your normal life faster, is, as the saying goes, priceless.