10 Best Websites for Business Travelers
The adage that time is money is especially true for business travelers. Being in transit interrupts day-to-day tasks, disrupts rhythms, and is expensive—and still demands the business traveler be at peak performance to negotiate a deal or make a sale. Planning is key to effective business travel, and planning is helped by having resources and useful information close at hand. These ten websites can help business travel run more smoothly.
#1 World Clock: World Time Buddy Traveling often means scheduling calls or meetings across multiple time zones. Converting time zones on the fly can be tricky, and getting it wrong can risk looking unprofessional. World Time Buddy is a useful tool for keeping times straight. Rather than showing maps or cumbersome lists of times, World Time Buddy uses a slider interface which can be customized. The slider makes it easy to compare multiple time zones. Sliders are also shareable, allowing coordination of meetings.
#2 Flight Tracker: FlightAware If a flight delay has to happen, it’s better to know sooner rather than later. Among the flight trackers available, FlightAware stands out for its clean interface and customizable displays, allowing quickly adjustable searches by flight number, by airport or by city. If a last-minute switch is needed, the airport and city options also show which flights are running on time.
#3 Business Etiquette: Kwintessential Although international deals have become common, in foreign country it is easy to inadvertently offend. Physical contact that may be affectionate in parts of Latin America may be highly inappropriate in Japan. The role of alcohol in business varies widely between countries. In the United States directness tends to be valued in negotiations, but saying ‘no’ in India or China can cause offence. Gifts, meetings, and even business cards may be opportunities to build rapport. Reading several sources is advisable to give a nuanced perspective on what is culturally important, but Kwintessential, a translation and consultancy service, offers free guides on dozens of countries that are an excellent starting point. Be aware that cultures are flexible and change over time, and no guide can give hard-and-fast rules.
#4 Travel Phrasebook: Fodor’s While there are many places in the world where it’s possible to get by in English, learning a little of the local language can enrich a business travel experience, and may give a good impression to negotiating partners. Fodor’s has practical and useful phrasebooks in seven widely-used business languages.
#5 Gift Website: Things Remembered Things Remembered specializes in customizable gifts, and its business gifts section is a useful resource in selecting a gift, or in researching ideas. The site offers business gifts including whisky decanters, cuff links, pens, and clocks (although be aware that clocks are bad luck as gifts in some cultures) to which personalized messages can be added.
#6 Local News: BBC World News Current events are frequent subjects of small talk at negotiations or meetings, so it’s advisable to know at least what’s in the headlines in any particular place. BBC World News maintains very broad, and widely trusted, worldwide coverage in English and is a valuable resource for keeping informed.
#7 Travel Equipment: The Travel Stores Obviously most useful before traveling, The Travel Stores is an online store offering many items that regular business travelers need, from shoe bags to clip-on lights to power adapters.
#8 Currency site: Oanda Is that a good exchange rate or not? Oanda has a simple currency converter with a clear interface that is linked to market data, and can help decide if there might be a better deal elsewhere.
# 9 City Guides: Arrival Guides Sometimes deals fall through, business is wrapped up quickly, or there is an opportunity to add a weekend onto a business trip. Many paid apps offer excellent city guides, but Arrival Guides is a web-based offering which is free, looks beautiful, is packed with information about main attractions, and gives restaurant recommendations. The guides cover a surprisingly wide range of destinations, although they’re U.S.-centric. Each guide is downloadable, and also highly interactive, including website links and maps.
#10 Distracting Game: Cube Slam In an era of ubiquitous phone-based games, a web-based game has to add real value to justify a place on this list. The value proposition of Cube Slam: an elaborately crafted version of Pong played against a bear is ideal for unwinding after a long day of meetings or while in transit.
For business travelers whose destination is New York, there is one other website to visit: Luxor Limo offers corporate transport for New York City and beyond, starting at the airport, and are ready to make your next trip easier.