According to The GBTA Business Travel Outlook (BTI), global business travel spending is forecasted to return to its pre-pandemic peak of $1.4 trillion in 2024, with projections suggesting growth to almost $1.8 trillion by 2027. This anticipated recovery and growth are attributed to more favorable economic conditions than expected in 2022 and 2023.
For business travelers, this resurgence is a double-edged sword. While it opens doors to new opportunities and face-to-face interactions, it also introduces challenges and potential stressors. Fortunately, the digital age has equipped us with must-have business travel tools designed to streamline the travel experience, from planning to execution and beyond.
Here’s an exploration of nine essential tools that every business traveler should consider integrating into their arsenal.
Tech Tools & Accessories
For the modern business traveler, a carefully selected array of tech tools and accessories can significantly enhance travel efficiency and security. Indispensable items include portable phone chargers to ensure constant connectivity and lightweight travel keyboards for on-the-fly productivity. For those traveling in and out of the USA, using ExpressVPN USA is crucial for safeguarding online activity on public networks, encrypting data to protect against cyber threats, and ensuring secure, private internet access across borders. Personal hotspots provide dependable Wi-Fi access, while portable phone sanitizers keep devices germ-free. Smart luggage locks and door alarms bolster security for belongings and personal safety. To ease travel burdens, digital luggage scales prevent overweight baggage fees, and noise-canceling headphones create a peaceful environment for work or rest. Tools like smart sleep masks aid in quickly adjusting to new time zones, and filtering water bottles ensures access to clean water anywhere. Collectively, these tools form a robust foundation for seamless and secure business travel experiences.
The digital age simplifies document handling through e-signature tools like DocuSign and Adobe Acrobat Reader, allowing business travelers to sign contracts and agreements electronically. These tools eliminate the need for physical documents, thereby reducing the risk of damage or loss, but also offer advanced encryption for security and automatic field filling to minimize errors and contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing paper use.
Video and Audio Conferencing Tools
In a world where remote work and global collaboration have become the norm, video and audio conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype are indispensable. They facilitate real-time communication with teams and clients, ensuring that distance is no barrier to productivity and engagement. These platforms are cost-effective and scalable and support various features like messaging and media sharing.
Online and Offline Maps
Navigation is made effortless with online and offline maps. Google Maps and MapQuest, for instance, provide accurate directions, traffic updates, and recommendations for dining, accommodations, and activities. The ability to download maps for offline use is particularly useful in areas with limited internet access, ensuring travelers can navigate confidently regardless of connectivity.
Travel Management Software
Last-minute travel plans are less of a headache with travel management software such as ITILITE. These platforms offer a user-friendly interface for booking flights and accommodations tailored to comply with company policies. They also inform travelers about flight changes, delays, and other essential travel updates, making travel management seamless and stress-free.
Flight Tracking Tools
Flight tracking tools are crucial for staying updated on flight statuses, gate changes, delays, etc. They provide real-time information, helping travelers manage their schedules efficiently and respond promptly to any changes in their travel plans.
Expense Management Software
Expense reporting post-travel is streamlined with expense management software. By enabling the digital submission of receipts and automating the approval and reimbursement process, these tools significantly reduce the time and errors associated with manual expense reporting, making them a valuable asset for travelers and finance departments.
Task Management and Organizing Tools
Maintaining productivity on the go is facilitated by task management tools like Evernote, which allow users to plan, prioritize, and collaborate on tasks. With features designed to enhance efficiency and ensure deadlines are met, these tools are perfect for managing workloads regardless of location.
Business Card Scanner
Networking is a crucial aspect of business travel, and business card scanners streamline organizing new contacts. These tools utilize OCR technology to accurately capture and store contact information from business cards directly into your digital address book, eliminating manual data entry and ensuring easy access to important connections.
As business travel continues to recover and evolve, adopting these eight must-have tools can significantly enhance the travel experience for business professionals. From simplifying document management and communication to ensuring efficient travel and task organization, these tools mitigate the stress associated with business travel and promote productivity, connectivity, and convenience. Whether you’re a seasoned business traveler or preparing for your first trip, integrating these tools into your travel plan will undoubtedly contribute to a more organized, efficient, and enjoyable journey.