Without a doubt, the travel technology we have seen develop over the past two decades has been amazing. We have gone from communicating via phone and fax to email and text. Considering we (travel agents) were one of the first industries to have desktop computers, I guess it should not be such a surprise. But that technology comes with a price as well. Certainly it has “stolen” some of our business by giving clients the ability to do some of what we used to do. And that is ok. As far as I am concerned, much of what today’s tech provides the client is what I despised doing in the first place. Now, I can concentrate on offering advice and crafting experiences rather than making sure a connection is legal and finagling with seat assignments. With that all said, I recently came across some new travel apps that impressed me and will now be in my arsenal of information provided to my clients.
Mobile Passport. Customs and immigration can be a hassle. Where did you put that passport? Is it in the carry on? I swear it was here a minute ago! We all have been there and done that. Now there is an app for that! Currently at 1 cruise port and 20 airports (and growing), just fill out your profile and answer CBP’s questions and head to the “Mobile Passport Control” express! As far as I am concerned, any time savings in a port or airport is a good thing!
Tripcase. OK, so it is not that new, but what a great app. The app gathers all of the various pieces of “paper” associated with a trip and puts them all in one, easy to read screen. Itineraries from Sabre, a car rental confirmation from Hertz, or a walking tour of London. Put it all here. And, if you are not using a CRM like ClientBase, you can even use it as an agent on behalf of your client—after all, we are all about service.
Citymapper. I really like this one. If you are in a strange city, this is Google Maps on steroids. Plan out your day and Citymapper will help you pull it off. It integrates with Uber, offers tips on how to burn off the calories on that last crepe you picked up in Paris and so much more.
Packpoint. Sure there are packing list apps out there and they are all pretty vanilla. I have a packing list I provide to my clients as well, but it is…well YAWN! Packpoint takes your destination and marries with the duration and actual weather forecasts for your destination. So now you know that you need to bring a rain jacket or more sweaters than shorts. But it does not stop there. Input the type of travel your are doing (business or leisure) and anticipated activities and it will generate a custom list for you.
Triphobo. OK, so this one is a little do-it-yourself-y but I like it as well. Just toss in your travel dates and destination and select attractions and sights to see from their list and off it goes. It is perfect for the clients who really like to explore on their own. One of my favorite features is the quick sightseeing feature. Do you have a moderate layover in Amsterdam? This app may have the perfect way to kill 2 or 3 hours and still make your flight.
What apps do you regularly use in your agency…or personally?
* And yes, I just invented that word!