Ask any savvy traveler what his or her favorite app is and you’ll get an array of answers. That’s because the coin phrase “there’s an app for that” isn’t just a standing joke; it’s the truth.
That said, navigating through hundreds of travel apps is a daunting task and it’s easy to overlook some real gems. While big hitters like TripIt, Airbnb, Grabr and Evernote are definitely worth a mention, we’re guessing you already have those downloaded.
So, here are 5 travel apps you haven’t downloaded but should.
For local language tips: Memrise
Mastering a new language is no easy task but it will certainly make your trip a more immersive one. While there are countless language learning apps out there, Memrise is our personal favorite and for good reason. Two geniuses invented it: Ed Cooke and Greg Detre, aka a Princeton neuroscientist.
Through a series of flashcards and audiovisual games, you’ll learn conversational basics plus some slang phrases. Serious about becoming fluent? Opt for their “Pro” version, which is $59.99 a year.
For speedy immigration: Mobile Passport
This app may not be as fun and interactive as Memrise but it sure does come in handy. Instead of filling out a customs form every time you arrive in the United States, the app allows users to import information—like your passport details and customs questions—electronically.
Besides saving a tree (yay!), you’ll also get to skip the line, as there’s a dedicated mobile passport lane at specified airport locations including biggies like JFK, Newark Liberty and Chicago O’Hare.
For offbeat adventures: 5 Every Day
Heading to La La land? 5 Every Day is currently only available in Los Angeles but we sure hope that new cities will be added soon. The app works as a discovery app, with five main categories: art, city, food, music and wildcard. While the City of Angels can feel overwhelming to newcomers, 5 Every Day makes it easy to browse through local events that suit your interest.
Plus, as a solo traveler, it’s a great way to make friends along the way. LA is a bustling city and as such, listings change daily. There’s always something new to discover, from dive bars to pop-up galleries.
For saving money: Award Wallet
This clever app won’t only save you money in the long-run, but it will give you peace of mind, too. Award Wallet keeps all your mileage points and balances (think frequent flier miles, credit card points and hotel rewards) in one place so you never again have to hunt down passwords at the last minute. Enter your loyalty programs once and the app will do the rest.
There’s also a premium version that takes things to a whole new level by keeping track of all your logins and expiration dates, the latter of which is the difference between a free flight and a missed opportunity.
For unrestricted access: Hotspot Shield VPN
Hotspot Shield VPN isn’t exactly new but it’s still worth a mention, especially for entertainment-obsessed travelers. A VPN, otherwise known as a virtual private network, allow users to access any information from anywhere in the world. So, say you are in Hong Kong and can’t live without your daily dose of Netflix; that’s where Hotspot Shield comes to the rescue.
Similarly, if you are in Bulgaria and trying to purchase concert tickets via StubHub, you’ll find yourself in a jam. By downloading this VPN, you won’t have to worry about blocked websites and can roam the internet as you normally do at home.
Want to become the ultimate travel hacker? Sign up with Grabr and fund your entire flight by delivering items to customers around the globe.