If you are travelling for work and downtime is precious, take the fuss out of trying to decide what to do, where to go and what to eat with these great apps.
You’ve just finished work and here you are in one of the world’s most exciting cities. Except, there’s a problem: you’ve no idea what to do with yourself. After all, where do you start? To help provide some clarity, download the Nearify app. It recommends things going on where you are – anything from music gigs to walking tours to art classes to sporting events – and covers over 200 cities worldwide (and 20 million events). Short of a business trip to Antarctica, it should be able to recommend something happening in your area.
Spotted by Locals
Maybe you’ve got an evening, maybe a weekend, but when you’re a business traveller who’s also a stranger in a city, what you really want is some local expertise to give you the inside track on how to make the most of your downtime. One way is to download the Spotted by Locals app. This helps you avoid the tourist traps by providing genuinely local, on-the-ground advice on what to do, what to see, where to eat and how to get there. It encompasses over 70 cities worldwide, and because it’s been established for a decade now, it’s built up a huge range of contributors and followers, so whatever city you happen to be working in, you’re sure to find the places that best suits you.
You don’t always have a lot of free time on a work trip, so why not combine sightseeing with your normal run? What’s special about the RunGo app is that it has turn-by-turn voice navigation, making it perfect for running in a city you don’t know. It includes over 90,000 routes in dozens of cities worldwide (best are the ones designed to take you past famous landmarks), although you can of course tailor your own route. And it comes with all the typical things you’d expect from a running app, like charting your pace, distance, elevation and overall performance, as well as synching with other devices and networks. Ideal for an evening downtime in your hotel room comparing each day’s running stats.
Being lost in a city is a familiar feeling for business travellers, and if you’ve left the comfort of the hotel Wi-Fi and you would rather not use your business data, you may find yourself a bit stuck. For great offline maps, you can’t do better than CityMaps2Go – just make sure you download them before you go from the hotel foyer! As well as up-to-date, detailed and well-designed maps, the app also features plenty of photos and loads of information on footpaths, bikeways and public transport. It boasts 60,000 destinations in more than 150 countries, so wherever your boss sends you, this app will help you get your bearings.
At the very least learn to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in the language of the European country in which you’re doing business, but if you can manage a few more phrases, it will not only make connecting with continental colleagues easier, your downtime will be more enjoyable too. After all, make an effort to speak the local language and locals will make an effort with you, meaning you’ll discover aspects of the culture otherwise closed to you. The Duolingo app is ideal in this respect. It covers all the main European languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and German) and you can learn in small bite-sized chunks, ideal for a free five minutes here and there while relaxing in your hotel room.
For the more adventurous business traveller – one who’s especially keen to dive into the local culture – the MeetUp app is perfect. Available in thousands of cities, it connects you to those who share similar interests and passions, so wherever your work takes you, you can connect with people who might be into cooking, hiking, photography, salsa or whatever, because there’s sure to be a group dedicated to it.