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7 Essential Tools Every Business Traveler Needs

7 Essential Tools Every Business Traveler Needs

From booking your hotel to making an airline reservation, it could be a tedious task having to deal with your travel itinerary. Most times, as a business traveler, you are consumed with so many other details about your business that it becomes necessary for you to find tools that will help make the task easier.

Avoiding the busy nature of traveling, it becomes important to consider using these seven tools to plan your next business trip.

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1. GateGuru

GateGuru gives you a door-to-door solution for your travels, such as receiving updates and alerts to any delays, gate changes, layovers, or time adjustments. All you need to do is input your upcoming trips and GateGuru automatically takes care of the rest. You can easily discover the food options at various terminals and even rent a car with this app.

2. Travel Ticker

Travel Ticker offers users the opportunity to get the best hotel deals. As a business traveler, you do need to understand the pros and cons of places you will be staying. Travel Ticker offers you a detailed comparison of a number of hotels and allows you to find the optimal choice which suits your needs and expectations. This tool helps you with your hotel choices.

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3. Wi-Fi Finder

When you are traveling it is important for you to stay connected. However, it can be difficult to find a Wi-Fi hotspot while you are traveling. Wi-Fi Finder is an app that helps you stay connected while you are traveling. With more than 650,000 locations in more than 140 countries, this tool will help you find both free and paid Wi-Fi while you are on the go.

4. Points

Points.com is a site where you can add up your reward points from different programs, such as popular airlines, pharmacies, and banks. You can either buy more miles or points to get more points. You can also exchange your miles with other users or redeem your points. If you are a frequent flier who has more miles built on a bunch of different airlines, you can use this tool to get a free flight.

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5. Expensify

It can be a huge pain keeping track of receipts when you are traveling. To have a full report of your expenses, Expensify will import your expenses straight from your credit card or bank account. This app makes putting together your expense reports seamless and easy. It doesn’t matter if it is cash or the money in your bank account, Expensify will log it in your expense report.

6. AllSubway

AllSubway is an app that doesn’t want you to get lost. Getting around in over 160 cities in the world becomes easy and less painstaking with AllSubway. Whether it is London or New York, this is one tool that will help you navigate your way through different subway systems with ease.

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7. XE Currency

XE Currency is an app that helps you convert your currency into the local currency you are in. With more than 180 currencies, this tool is free and easy to use, helping you know the latest currency exchange rates. Even when you are offline, the app stores the last updates exchange rates so you can still access it.

8. Yelp

If you are a food aficionado and are concerned about new diets or cuisine, you need this tool. In between your meetings and the business you accomplish, Yelp serves you excellent reviews and directions to the best restaurants around. With this app you can have the menus on your phone and know what you should treat yourself with at the end of the day.

Conclusion

Before you travel for your next trip, make sure you have these tools (or at least some of them) to make you itinerary easier to accomplish.

Featured photo credit: http://www.picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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