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Which Apps and Devices Are Best for Foreign Travel?

Which apps and devices are best for foreign travel?

This is a reprint of an article I wrote on mobile devices and apps for the Fox Cities Chamber Business, an up and coming business publication produced by The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry from their May 2012 issue, in which we ask the question “Which apps and devices are best for foreign travel?”

Get the Most Out of Your Next Business Trip

Which technologies are the most useful when traveling for business? One great value provided by the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce is opportunity for its members to learn through foreign travel. To see and experience other cultures is to place our brains in a “fast learn” cycle. On a recent business trip to Japan, I felt technologically better prepared than ever before for foreign travel. Here are some tips for helping you to become a “business savant” on your next trip:


  • iPhone: I recommend a GSM-based iPhone such as with AT&T. Recently AT&T has gotten their “preparing for foreign travel” script down to a science. I had no trouble anywhere with inbound or outbound calls, text messaging, email communication or even billing after the fact.
  • iPad: I took an iPad along as well as a notebook computer. Because I also have a keyboard for the iPad, I found that I didn’t need the notebook at all.

The mobile apps or applications we found to be the most valuable included:

  • iBooks (or eBooks in general): There are some excellent books available to help you build affinity with your foreign business counterparts. Learning a bit about their culture is both a compliment to them and an important strategic business tool. But don’t carry books around.
  • Fly Delta (app): This single app takes a lot of the struggle out of travel. If you’re flying Delta Airlines, install this app as soon as possible. It tracks frequent flyer numbers, your itinerary, checks your flight status(es), looks up alternative flights and optionally alerts you when it’s time to check-in.
  • MasterCard ATM Hunter (app): This app does one thing well and that is to help MasterCard customers find the nearest ATMs that will allow them to get cash. In a place like Japan where a very small percentage of the ATMs are likely to work with your bank card, this is a valuable tool.
  • Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram.  Stay in touch with your followers, particularly when you have something novel to share.
  • LinkedIn: Some industries and many parts of the world have not yet widely adopted the use of LinkedIn.  Show your potential business partners how to share their professional information and trusted contacts by inviting them to join you on LinkedIn.

One Final Thought
It’s not enough to purchase devices and download the apps you think you’ll use. You need to become adept at using the technology before you hop on the plane.

A big Thank You to my friends at the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

About Jeff Hayes

Jeff is an agile consultant, coach and trainer with a career spanning 30 years. He specializes in co-creating learning environments to help humans learn how to learn, become more curious and productive, and to build resilience.

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