Making Business Travel Easier in 2013

The Global Business Travel Association recently forecasted that business travel spending in the United States will rise by 4.6 percent to $266.7 billion this year. With travel for business professionals on the rise, it’s the perfect time to look at a few tools available on your smartphone to help limit the potential hassles and expense of travel.

Booking a flight and hotel doesn’t have to be complicated. The Kayak app simplifies travel by finding the best airfare and hotel prices, and allows road warriors to book their flight and hotel right from their smartphone. Other tools, such as Expedia, also make it easy to find a hotel in the right location. And, if a dreaded delay occurs, travelers with the app can use their smartphone’s location-based service to find hotels based on their current location.

Before departing, jet-setters can utilize their smartphones to stay organized. SeatGuru helps travelers find the best seat on the plane, and Packing List assists with managing the packing process. TripIt Travel Organizer keeps track of hotel, flight and car rental itineraries, while FlightTrack allows passengers to stay up-to-date on flights, which can cut down on the costs of cancellations or long delays.

When budgets or time constraints do not allow for travel, professionals can still connect with colleagues abroad without leaving the office. Video conferencing is a valuable resource to make face-to-face meetings take place when it matters most. With a 4G LTE-enabled smartphone or tablet, Skype and ooVoo allow business partners to collaborate and innovate from a distance. With Dropbox, users can store documents, videos and other files in the cloud for clients and coworkers to access from a PC or wireless device during videoconference.

Check out these tips on how to improve efficiency while on the road, when staying productive can be a challenge.