5 Business Travel Problems and Their Tech Solutions
Michael Murphy is senior vice president of Cambria Suites and Ascend Collection for Choice Hotels International. Follow him at @ChoiceMurph.
Although business travel is on the rise again, companies are expecting employees to wring even greater efficiency and productivity from their business trips. Unfortunately, even the most seasoned road warrior can run into hurdles when traveling for business.
Here are five common challenges facing business travelers and technology solutions that can help alleviate these issues and keep travelers productive.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Health and Fitness On the Road
Background: The life of a road warrior is not necessarily the healthiest. Business travelers are constantly dining out and rarely have time to squeeze in a workout, so maintaining a diet or exercise regimen can be challenging.
Tech Solution: The yumPower iPhone app helps you find restaurants and meals nearby that are nutritious and delicious. All restaurants and menu selections on this app are approved by Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians. Special food considerations include “sodium savvy, “calorie wise,” “fiber focus,” “lotsa fruits and veg,” “diabetes friendly” and “kids livewell.” All restaurant and food listings have a rating scale. Just look for the highest number of “yums” for the best-rated places and meals. You can also cast your “yum” vote when you find a place or tasty item you like.
4. Prescription Emergencies
Background: It’s so easy to forget to take a prescription, let alone refill it. Add to this the difficult situation of being in a new city, away from your usual pharmacy, and you’ve got a business traveler recipe for disaster.
Tech Solution: With the Many Professional Pharmacy Pocket Rx app you can order your refill prescriptions from your mobile device. The free application has account creation capability, where users can create a profile and access all of their current prescriptions for refill. With an account, you can enter data in three ways. These include Quick Refill to manually enter the information, profile login to choose from a list, or by scanning the bar code of your medicine bottle. Find the nearest store by using the GPS functionality so your prescription woes never slow you down.
5. Losing Your Luggage
Background: As road warriors know, anything can happen when you’re on the road, whether you realize you’ve left your suitcase in your cab as it drives away, or your airline appears to have misplaced your checked items. Sometimes you have to say goodbye to your personal effects in the interest of time and restock on clothes and other supplies at your new destination.
Tech Solution: The Goodzer: Local-Shopping app is a user-friendly personal shopping assistant. Whatever item you’re looking to buy, Goodzer shows you all the nearby stores that carry the product. It displays the price, availability, and directions to the store. You can even order the item online or save it to a shopping list. The app is also capable of organizing searches by the users’ result preference, including price, distance, and store name. With more than a half-million local store listings across the U.S., business travelers will be able to find what they need in a timely fashion.