Android Travel Apps for Business Travellers

As a global business executive, I know first hand the demands of travel. I spent more than 120 days out of the year on the road, and have supported the traveling workforces of clients every day. So how do I stay connected? Here are my thoughts on the best apps for Android smart phones – a critical tool for helping me stay in touch and on top of things while traveling.

“Like most people I use my smart phone as both a communications tool and mini computer while traveling or on the road. My Apple iPhone is my primary device, because I like its exhaustive selection of applications. However, for those times when I need to travel with a second handset (to save on data roaming costs or to access local networks), I use my Android OS phone, which also offers a great range of apps.

I am constantly testing and sampling new apps to meet both my own requirements as well as those of our clients. Below is a list of my favorite travel apps – those that I find indispensable to helping me stay engaged even as I cross time zones. I selected them based on three criteria:
1. Provision of knowledge or data that I don’t possess myself
2. Backed up by expertise and a richer web-based content version
3. Ease, speed and functionality of the application version

Here are the key travel applications that I would recommend for Android OS users:

Oanda currency converter

When you travel a lot, or you’re a first-time traveler, it’s important to keep updated on the latest currency conversion rates. I like the Oanda Currency Converter because it’s quick and simple to use for single or multiple trips.

Wi-Fi Finder-Connectivity and communications remain a constant concern to business travelers, even in developing countries. Therefore I like to know of any paid or free Wi-Fi spots within vicinity of my accommodation or current location should I need access information or send receive files. Wi-Fi Finder is a great tool for preplanning and ongoing travel information regarding Wi-Fi hotspots.

Talk To Me Classic-If you’re traveling to locations where you don’t speak or understand the local language or writing, it is vitally important to be able to communicate, even if it’s just the basics. Talk to me gives you the option is to translate your native tongue into a variety of written and spoken languages so you can share and communicate more effectively. This is a great one speaking with hotel staff and taxi drivers.

Places Directory-Whether you’re a first timer or even a frequent traveler, Places Directory can always give you tips and advice and guidance on the nearest ATM, restaurant, entertainment facility or even just shopping. This application is constantly being updated and I find it great to getting my bearings and reducing the amount of time I spend wasted looking to somewhere eat in the life while traveling.

Call Log Calendar-Easily track phone calls and conversations when you’re on the road or focused on other business tasks. This application enables you to export all of your phone log information into your calendar so you can keep track of times dates, conversations for follow-up, or even info for billing purposes.

A website like xitx will provide you with the highest quality in the industry.

Resorts 360 Vacation Club Scam Complaints

Another multi-level marketing (MLM) program has launched. It’s called the Resorts 360 Vacation club and bloggers were quick to label it a possible scam. Resorts 360 launches on the heals of major troubles at another travel MLM called YTB Travel, when California Attorney General Edmund Brown sued them for “operating a giant pyramid scheme”.

Travel and tourism generates over $7 trillion a year. It’s not surprising that entrepreneurs working from home want to tap into those profits. Some of the programs have been all-out scams. They’ve charged people thousands of dollars and delivered little or nothing when the actual value of the so-called products was analyzed. Not all home based travel business opportunities are scams, some actually offer retail products with real value in the travel marketplace.

Now that Resorts 360 has launched, many are asking if the program is another MLM scam or a real business. That’s a fair question.

Without a doubt, there are some problems with the Resorts 360 Vacation club, but is it a scam? While the MLM company does deliver an actual product, the Vacation Club membership they sell falls short when compared to the memberships provided by competitors in the home based business arena. The Resorts 360 program offers access to fewer resorts and members pay more money for week-long condo vacations than with their competitors. It doesn’t make it a scam, but it does put those hoping to make money marketing Resorts 360 at a disadvantage.

Resorts 360 members get access to about 4000 resorts while one competitor says they have over 5000 and another advertises well over 5400 resorts. Members of the Resorts 360 Vacation Club are offered condo vacation weeks starting at $399. That’s about $100 more than one competitor and $250 more than another. A member taking just two vacation weeks per year can spend an additional $500 a year with the new MLM vacation club. Over a ten year period, that’s $5000 more.

With fewer choices and more expensive vacation weeks, you might think Resorts 360 could, at least, claim a price advantage in the marketplace, but that’s not the case. While their competitors sell memberships with lifetime benefits (100 years}, the longest membership available through Resorts 360 is just one year.

Over a ten year period, vacation club benefits with Resorts 360 would cost $2639 if they are renewed each year at the current price and a whopping $5616 if paid at the current monthly rate. Lifetime memberships with their competition cost $2995 and $1998. That means that for $641 less, consumers can have access to over 1400 more resorts, save $250 each on their lower condo vacation prices, and still have another 90 years of membership benefits to enjoy or sell and transfer to someone else.

Providing an inferior product and charging higher prices does not make the Resorts 360 Vacation Club a scam. Just like with any other purchase, the buyer must beware and compare their options.

While product is product, many people simply buy whatever the product is to get started with a home based travel business and hope to start making money from home. The question is, can those hopeful internet millionaires actually make money with Resorts 360?

Those looking to make money from home should not pay much attention to Resorts 360. Marketing experts say the disadvantages they face with their product will all but eliminate attracting their target retail market of travelers. Their higher prices will definitely not win over those who take the time to shop around. Maximum commissions earned are just $200 compared with both competitors who pay $1000.

Resorts 360 promises residual income as memberships are renewed and payments come in for the monthly programs. That seems very unlikely, however. With other MLM programs that require people to renew, over 95% of the members drop out and don’t renew. That’s because those people joined only to make money and when they don’t see profits, they move on.

As you can imagine, it could be very difficult to actually turn a profit with Resorts 360. It costs about the same marketing money to earn $200 profits as it does to get the $1000 profits. Some sales will be made, but how many marketing dollars will be spent to earn the low commissions? If it costs a member more than $40 to get someone to buy, that could put that member in the red and they can’t plan on making that up on renewals or MLM passive commissions either. A new member will probably have to sign up over 100 people, just to get about five who actively work the business and make some profit.

While Resorts 360 is not an all-out scam, it is obvious that they have painted a much rosier picture than MLM history would suggest. Those looking for a quality vacation club membership will find more benefits and more robust memberships else ware. Those looking for a home based business will also find better options with better vacation clubs and larger commissions. One competitor accepts credit cards for their lifetime membership and even offers payment plans with just $198 to start.

Home Business With Incentive Vacation Certificates

Incentive vacation certificates- also referred to as free travel vouchers- provide an excellent opportunity for both experienced and aspiring entrepreneurs to build a home-based business with little to no investment required. In fact, because the market for these no-cost coupons is still virtually untapped, there exists real potential to achieve significant success by distributing these products. Formal training or education in marketing or sales fields is not needed because any person with a little ambition and part time availability can earn a respectable income distributing free travel vouchers.

Not many people understand what incentive vacation certificates are; let alone that they can be used to start a home-based business. This is because it’s hard for most to imagine why an airline company or hotel would possibly want to give away free tickets or reservations. However, what many don’t realize is that these companies still profit when they give these coupons away: the recipients will still probably buy additional services or upgrades from the airline or buy merchandise and food from the airport. Hotels know that free guests will almost certainly spend money in their gift shops or eateries. Therefore, it makes sense to give these otherwise-unused seats and rooms away instead of earning nothing. After all, the vast majority of seats and reservations go unsold except during peak times.

How do you get free travel vouchers? It’s actually quite simple. Airlines and hotel companies contract with certain outside companies who are permitted to offer these coupons to the public under very specific conditions. These companies in turn offer printing rights to consumers. Buyers can elect between free airfare vouchers, free hotel stays and complete combination packages, although each has different terms and conditions that must be met. Once you buy the printing rights (very inexpensive, typically $10 to $25 for unlimited rights) your name or company information will be printed on the coupons along with a unique code that identifies you to the issuer.

Once you’ve printed some vouchers you can give them away for free or sell them- either way you’ll earn money when your customer redeems. Some people find little value in free things and so marketers actually sell the vouchers to their clients, while other people can’t resist the thought of a free vacation and so redeem certificates in droves. Generally speaking this is a product that is appealing to any demographic, so targeting consumers is relatively easy. Whether you charge for your products or not, you’ll need to market them using one or a combination of the following marketing tactics:

Hospitality and Travel Industry With Mobile Devices in 2017

Lately, the global travel industry has been going through a huge mobile revolution. There are certain constants in several geographies like material differences and customer demands, which are dependent on how hospitality and travel businesses plan to satisfy the demand.

Global travelers, especially the millennials book accommodations and airfare on small screens today.

  • In 2016, 51.8% of travelers who book trips via digital means will do so using a mobile device, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates.

Moreover, the ever increasing shift towards metasearch engines like Yelp and TripAdvisor, is another prevalent practice among holiday goers and corporate travelers.

  • TripAdvisor is travel industry’s most popular mobile app, with more than 230 million downloads and 150 million monthly active users. – eHotelier

The millennial travelers also loves to stay connected on the go, all the time. They are the first one to post reviews and rating about their hotel stay or travel experience, online.

Mobile has for sure become an integral part of the sophisticated multi-channel approach. It is driving B2B and B2C growth across the globe, in the overcrowded and competitive hospitality market. This has given rise to a revolutionary business segment – revenue management solutions for the hospitality and travel technology solutions. The impact of mobile is immense in LATAM as well.

  • Latin America’s travel industry was worth an estimated $60 billion in 2015, and will climb 3-5% for the next five years to reach more than $73.3 billion by 2020, with Mexico and Brazil accounting for more than 70% of the market, according to the latest Phocuswright report.
  • Another study by eMarketer suggests that Mexico will have 44 million smartphone users in 2016.

A question arises here. With the advent of smartphones and devices of choice to access the internet, how are global travel agents responding?

Most consumer-facing businesses have started to go exclusively online. After all, mobile in the travel business, mobile is committed to serve a multi-channel segment. No wonder that hotels, airlines and online travel sites are better optimizing their websites and revenue management strategies for more direct bookings. As a result of this, people are finding a simpler way to book their trips from hand-held devices.

Particularly in the US, sales of travel products and services booked on mobile devices continue to grow, while desktop- and laptop-based sales decline in absolute terms -eMarketer.