Like my colleagues at Aviation Personnel International, I love to travel. I love it even more so when I’m relaxed. And, I’m probably not alone in saying that I’m most relaxed when I have everything under control and organized.
Thankfully, as they say, “there’s an app for that!”
That’s why I’ve rounded up some favorite travel apps, and got some advice from a few frequent fliers whom you might recognize.
Selected by Sheryl Barden, President and CEO, Aviation Personnel International
Many of you have probably used your navigation apps that come with your rental car or phone when you travel, but the Waze app takes navigation to a whole new level. This app is community-based with its users, so you get clued in to any delays, police incidents, or alternative routes that might be more efficient. There’s also real-time traffic and road info to make your travel less stressful.
Easy-to-use, you simply type in your destination address and Waze will tell you how to get there, what the latest road reports are, and if you have any expected delays. If you want to be a bigger contributor, you can also share any updates you have to help other drivers as well.
Bonus points to the developers who allow us to choose multiple languages, and even voices, such as Morgan Freeman’s and Colonel Sanders’s.
Selected by Sheryl Barden of API
Simply put, Expensify does your expense reports for you.
Expensify lets you photograph receipts, so you will never be looking for that missing receipt from your latest trip. It is multi-featured, and includes settings that allow you to also track mileage, time and other billable expenses. It’s easy and simple, and a must-have for aviation personnel.
When it’s time to turn in your expense report, you simply export it from Expensify, and the work is done for you. The app also has features to manage and access travel plans, including real-time flight updates. Flying internationally or in an area with no service? No problem! The Expensify app works offline. Driving your personal vehicle for work? Track miles manually, using GPS, or odometer readings. There is even a feature for time entry if you need that.
Selected by Ed White, Director of Aviation, MB Aviation, LLC
If you aren’t already using the FltPlan app, you have to check this one out.
It offers so many tools and features, including maps, geo-referenced approach charts, airport information, routes, checklists, fuel prices and so much more. It even auto-syncs navigation logs. This app can be used offline, too, so it is even available when you are in-flight.
Although I previously mentioned mileage tracking using other apps, if you are looking for a mileage-specific app, Mileage Log+ is easy to use and can track miles for business, charity, and medical appointments separately.
All miles logged will automatically be billed by current standard IRS rates. If you have routes that you frequent, you can “save trips” and access them later. Plus, when it’s time to submit your report for reimbursement, you can export them directly from your phone.
Nearly all of our readers will recognize this app, and it’s really as easy as they say it is. If you haven’t tried the Uber app yet, make sure you download it and take advantage of some of their offers for your first ride. Alleviating the nightmares of hailing a cab or driving in an area you are unfamiliar with, Uber is a must for those in a rush!
Uber is currently available in 380 cities across the world. You also have your choice of vehicles to make sure you arrive in style, and as quickly as possible.
When searching for info about and scheduling your trip, there are many websites that can help. Kayak has an app for you to help search for, compare, coordinate and book flights, hotels and car rentals too. Kayak links to TripAdvisor to screen and provide information about hotels using actual travelers’ ratings and reviews, and you could be one of them!
The app helps keep you organized with confirmation numbers and trip information right on your phone. If Kayak isn’t your favorite, however, there are many other similar apps out there that can help you do the same things.
There’s nothing worse than going somewhere and find that it doesn’t live up the pictures or expectations from when you booked the travel.
TripAdvisor is incredibly important in the trip planning stage, and many travelers rely on its detailed online reviews. It’s also a great resource for price comparisons when booking your travel.
Using Zipcar is a lot like renting a car. You get all the benefits of having a personal vehicle when you are traveling, but you’re not adding miles or wear-and-tear to your own vehicle or paying rental car prices. This is a membership-based service and currently has hundreds of hubs around the world.
Once you have a membership, you reserve a vehicle, drive it for a predetermined period of time and then return it to its original location. Unlike ridesharing services, you are the driver and get to dictate your own schedule.
There are many other apps out there that are great for your needs. I would specifically recommend searching for your favorite hotel, especially if you are a member of their rewards program. Most hotels have an app that will help keep your reservations easily available, as well as letting you search for a hotel nearby your destination.
That’s all for now! Next time, I’ll share some tips on must-have apps to help you be more productive, both at home and at the hangar. May you find your head in the sky, your peace in the apps, and your journeys successful!
But if I missed one or two, and you have a must-have travel app that you use and know other aviation personnel would benefit from, please share it with us in the comments section below!