5 Types of Software American Business Travelers Could Greatly Benefit From

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Written by Linda Hohnholz

According to one estimate, roughly 400 million long-distance business trips are made by Americans annually, with almost 1.3 million people traveling for work every day in the U.S. alone.

This is a lot of hard work, and these business travelers are often exposed to a lot of inconvenience. Fortunately, in a digital era, there’s an app for everything. Let’s see which five software American business travelers find that they benefit the most from.

1.   VPN

The VPN software is designed to encrypt data and mask your IP address, providing you security but also allowing you to “trick” the internet into believing that you’re someplace else.

Now, the main reason people use VPNs (despite all the talks about cybersecurity) is because they give you a chance to avoid geo-restricted content. Some content creators or entire platforms restrict access based on one’s region. With a VPN, they’ll believe that you’re someplace else.

For a business traveler, this could make a difference between being able to access a vital report or a platform or not being able to do so. Some of these platforms are crucial for work, which means that you’re exposing yourself to a far greater problem than you initially expected.

Business travelers also use a lot of public Wi-Fi, as they’re not really masters of their own time while on the trip. This is why having this extra layer of encryption will come in handy. So, the next time you have to work from a coffee shop or log into a company platform from a hotel lobby, you’ll know that your connection is safe and secure.

The only challenge that remains is finding top VPN apps, picking the one you like the best, and downloading it to your devices.

2.   Expense management software

When traveling for work, you’re often traveling at the expense of the company, which means that you have to prove where every single dollar went. You’re allowed to rent a car, but you have to show proof. You can pay for Uber, but you have to show proof of transaction. The same goes for every other business trip expense.

Expense management software makes all of this a lot easier. The main reason behind this is that you can connect all the relevant accounts and cards to it, and thanks to the OCR technology, you can even scan the physical bills. Saving time is incredibly important while on a business trip.

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s very easy to lose track of your spending when the prices are not in your own currency. With software, it’s easier to stay on a budget.

It is, however, very important that you separate your private from your business spending. Sure, paying for a dinner or even dry-cleaning your shirt can be a cost of representation; however, buying a souvenir for your spouse or spending money on no ID verification casinos cannot.

What you do with your own money (even while traveling for business) is no one’s concern. However, you have to be very careful with company resources and keep every receipt. A good expense management software can help you out with that.

3.   Communication tools

The next important item on the list is communication tools.

First of all, this is how you stay in touch with the people back at the headquarters. In the past, the company would give the person they sent out full autonomy or guidelines on how to act and what they can agree to. Now, they can just type in a question and get a response in a matter of seconds.

Second, while the person was away, they were completely off the table for any sort of work or collaboration. While we’re completely against the idea of bothering people with mundane tasks while they’re traveling for work, with modern conferencing tools, they can even attend meetings.

They also don’t have to spend their first evening back home submitting reports. Instead, they can do so from their hotel room.

Lastly, traveling for work left a toll on one’s private and social life. With communication tools, this is no longer the case (to that degree). They can still receive a video of their kid’s elementary school play, participate in a group chat meme-sharing activity, and even check how their favorite sports team is doing.

The most important thing is that you have some rules about which tools are used for what.

4.   Translation software

Modern translation software is powered by AI technology, which makes them incredibly sophisticated and quite accurate. You see, the modern software can take context and geo-location into consideration, which allows for a far more accurate interpretation. Even phrases, idioms, and some colloquial terms can be translated right.

First of all, this is so much cheaper than a translator. Sure, it’s not as reliable, but then again, not every interpreter is as good, and this way, you’re at least getting a far higher level of consistency.

Second, no translator is going to be with you 24/7, but you’ll always have your phone within your arm’s reach. You don’t want to bother a translator (no matter how much you’re paying them) just to ask what a sign in a hallway means. With a phone and an app, you don’t have to consider such things.

Lastly, with the help of voice-to-text and text-to-voice functions, you can easily converse with another party in whatever format both of you see fit.

5.   Cloud storage and file-sharing services

The first thing you need to understand is that cloud storage is handy even for people who are not traveling on business. In fact, in 2024, there’s little to no reason not to keep all your files in cloud storage.

Imagine your phone getting stolen. This is already a nightmare scenario, but one thing that would make it worse is losing all the data on the phone. We’re not just talking about work-related documents, which would get you into a world of trouble. We’re also talking about private photos and correspondence. You could have a lot of memories there, including some of the people who are no longer there.

Sometimes, you’ll need a document or a report, and the best way to exchange files with people back home is via this platform. It’s also the most secure way to do so, which is particularly important because they’re company files.

Also, you don’t want to need something only to remember that it’s on your home computer or your office desktop. This way, all your files are available for as long as you have access to the internet, and, let’s face it, in 2024, you always have access to the internet.

These five tools are the bare minimum, and there are more

We singled out these five tools because they’re essential, and you shouldn’t even consider embarking on a business trip without all of them installed on your computer. Sure, you don’t need translation software if you’re on a domestic trip or in a country that speaks your language, but you probably have something like this installed in a basic suite on your OS.

Other than this, you also want a navigation tool, a time-management platform, and a CRM. Still, even just these five can be good enough.

About the author

Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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