Accepting an interim assignment that requires travel poses an exciting opportunity to experience a new city. But, with travel, often comes stress. These apps can help reduce the anxiety associated with travel planning, navigating an unfamiliar location, and resuming life back home when the assignment is over.
BEFORE YOU GO
Travel, for business or pleasure, is best enjoyed when it is well-planned. From securing a great place to stay to packing the perfect suitcase, there are apps to help you prepare for worry-free travel.
VRBO or AirBNB should be your first stop for lodging. Both offer varied and unique options for short or long stays with all the comforts of home. A well-appointed cottage or condo will limit the number of things you need to bring with you or buy when you arrive. Both have websites and mobile apps that are free to download and use.
TripIt consolidates all your individual itineraries into one master with an abundant set of features included in the free version. You’ll get transportation options, neighborhood safety scores, airport maps, and places near your accommodations. Upgrade with a $49 annual fee to get automated reminders and updates regarding flight times, security lines, and baggage claim. It’s like having a personal concierge to get you where you’re going.
PackPoint creates customizable packing lists based on gender, weather at your destination, purpose of travel (business or leisure), planned activities, and special filters like baby, international, and laundry capabilities. It’s free to download and use, but the $2.99 premium version integrates with other travel apps like TripIt and Evernote. You will never again say “I forgot _______.”
WHILE YOU’RE THERE
If your assignment is taking you away for a while, you’ll want to do more than just work. Apps can help you maintain your health regimen and engage in social activities in your new stomping ground. Many apps will also simplify the many options for getting around a new place whether you’re driving or using public or shared transit.
7 Minute Workout guides you through 12 high-intensity exercises to keep your wellness plan on track when time is short. At $3.49, the app is much cheaper than a gym membership and can be used even without an internet connection.
Bodyweight, part of the Freeletics package, includes tutorials and guided workouts that require no equipment. You can basically do these anywhere!
MeetUp will put you in touch with new people through local events. You are sure to find something of interest among the categories of activities that run the gamut.
AroundMe provides simple access to local information about restaurants, banks, gas stations, theaters, etc. Basically, anything you need while in unfamiliar territory will be at your fingertips.
Waze is more than just a free GPS navigation app. It’s a community of drivers who make real-time reports of traffic delays, helping you drive like a local. It will even connect you with a carpool if you want to share costs.
Lyft lets you sit back and take in the sights while someone else drives. It’s like having your own private driver. You can schedule a pickup or request one on demand and see the details about your driver and vehicle before it arrives. The app is free and the cost of your ride is determined based on demand, location, and distance. You can see your estimated ride cost before you accept.
Transit is your public transit companion in over 200 cities. In one app, you can compare bikeshare, bus, subway, and train availability and schedules to determine the best way to get around town while easing your carbon footprint.
WHEN YOU GET BACK
Technically, you will use these apps while you’re away from home, but they can be incredibly useful to wrap up the trip after you get back.
Expensify is a receipt scanning and tracking app that can include expense reporting. Whether you plan to submit business expenses for reimbursement or just want to track what you are spending while on interim assignments, this app gets rave reviews for its ease of use. Take a picture of receipts with your phone to eliminate fat-fingering of data and categorize the expense however you like. There are many integrations and it’s only $4.99 a month for unlimited receipt scans.
Amazon Prime Photos can be synched to your phone so any photo you snap to commemorate your visit is always backed up. For Amazon Prime customers there is no limit to the number of photos you store and no additional cost. Within the app, you can edit your photos, order prints and photo gifts, and share with family and friends. SmugMug is a good alternative if you are not a Prime customer, although there are fees depending on the package chosen.
For short trips or long, the use of mobile technology will allow you to spend less time on the mundane travel tasks, reduce your stress, and fully enjoy the experience of visiting new locales.
If you are a Travel Nurse and will be attending TravCon19, LeadrrStat will be there! Look to attend Kendra's and Jenny’s presentation on Tuesday 9/10 at 1:45 to learn more about apps to make your life on the road just a bit easier. Also, stop by Booth #324 and enter to win a cruise! You can also, get your picture with our special mystery guest on Monday… (it’s a George Clooney impersonator).