As a seasoned traveller, there are so many things you can do alone, but a helping hand – whether from an app or a PA can make all the difference to your experience. And, like any traveller, there will surely be times when your plans don’t go the way they should and you are left confounded as to your next step.
Your flight has been double-booked and now you must sit in the middle aisle, instead of the front-row window seat that you took the time to book online.
Your taxi has not arrived to collect you from the airport on arrival in a foreign country and you have no cash in the currency you need and all you know how to say is “how are you?”.
Finally, you get it right and land up at the hotel you carefully selected to stay at. Surely you are at the home-stretch now? But wait, the concierge can’t seem to find your information on their system and they have regretfully booked your room out to someone else. Great start to the trip, right?
After a long and tiring flight, with the added stress of being in a strange environment, these mishaps can really ruin the experience of your trip.
We’ve chosen these top tools to help make your travel plans run that much smoother.
All areas are covered, from planning your trip to conversing in another language, sleeping arrangements, flights and even food. Many of our PAs have the privilege of working with clients who are constantly on the move, so these tips come from their tried and tested first-hand experience of knowing what works and what doesn’t.
Let the journey begin.
Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, Rome2rio is a tool we believe will make your flight schedule that much easier. It is a worldwide tool that allows you to get from A to B, showing you all options of travel, no matter where you are. It contains route information from over 4800 transport operators in over 150 countries, giving you a wide variety of options when planning a trip. This tool is one to keep handy when planning your excursion.
Tripit is a tool that allows you to keep track of where you should be and at what time you should be there. A must for business travellers! All you need do is forward the confirmation emails you receive and the information will be added to a planner, giving you an accurate itinerary. It can be a flight, car rental or even restaurant booking. Your itinerary is detailed with important dates, times, confirmation numbers, directions, maps and even weather forecasts. It becomes an essential tool when you want to stay organised when you’re on the go.
This app is downloaded directly to your mobile and assists when you come against a language barrier. The app allows you to practise any language in the world and is set up in a game-like format. You earn points for correct answers and have fun while you learn a new language. It’s a smart way to learn the language of a new country you are visiting and gives you something to do when you’ve got pockets of free time like waiting to board your next flight.
Now comes the question of where you are going to stay once you get to your destination of choice. With Airbnb, you will be able to rent short-term and discover what it’s like to live like a local. The choices range from apartment rentals to hotel rooms, giving you more than enough variety. It is well established and has proven to be an effective way of finding accommodation on your trip.
5. XE Currency
When you’re in a new country and are still not used to the way things run and the prices that everyday items cost, try the XE Currency app. You can convert every currency while on-the-go using live proprietary exchange rates and historical charts. It even works when you don’t have internet access. By having this app close by, you will be able to enjoy your trip without breaking the bank account.
6. Time Out
On your trip and feel like a bit of an adventure, but no idea where to go? This worldwide app allows you to explore the best parts of the city you are currently in. Discover new places to eat, drink and be immersed in the country’s culture on a whole new level. You will be in the know when it comes to the most exciting events and can even build your own customised home screen where you can pin all your favourites. It is a must when you are looking for an authentic traveller experience.
While we try not to be biased (ok maybe just a little), we firmly believe that a personal assistant is a top tool you should invest in!
When working with a personal assistant, of course, you have the advantage of somebody else dedicating time to booking your flights and ensuring your itinerary is in place; but more than that, you have forged a relationship with someone who knows you on a deeper level and will understand the way you want things to be run.
They will know the times that would suit you best to fly, the seat number you would like, your preferred method of transport and even the type of accommodation you would most enjoy staying at. They do the research for you, making any travel experience (for work or leisure) one that is easy to navigate and memorable.
If you are travelling for business, all you need do is pop a mail to your PA to say where you are going and when and the rest is sorted. Your itinerary is sent straight to you so that all you need do is open it up, read what is happening and go about your day.
You will know and trust that your money is being spent wisely and you will have a go-to person whenever you find yourself in a tricky situation. Has your flight been overbooked? They will help you out. Not sure where you should be staying? They have you covered. It isn’t just about the travelling itself when it comes to working with a personal assistant. It becomes about the experience you have while travelling. No one wants to feel uncomfortable when they are already feeling on edge in a strange environment.
Making things simpler and more manageable is their job. Having attention to detail is just a part of it, and there will never be a point where you feel like you cannot rely on them.
All the tools that we have mentioned are incredibly useful, but having a PA far exceeds the scope of each of them, making every trip a simple and enjoyable experience.