Type “best travel apps” into any search engine, and the ones we all know and love pop up first. Naturally. But, TripIt aside, when you travel you’re bound to have specific needs that don’t organize your trip. As needed, prepaying for a parking spot, or deciphering labels at the grocery store.
As such, I’ve rounded up five apps that can accompany TripIt in your phone’s travel folder. Let’s dig in.
1. Mobile Passport Control
When it comes to avoiding long lines at customs and border control, you might immediately think of Global Entry—and for good reason. That loyal traveler program is so popular that many people trying to renew are unable to book an appointment for the next year (or longer).
See: Mobile Passport Control. This is another trusted traveler program offered by US Customs and Border Protection, but unlike Global Entry, it does not require pre-approval. Just download the app and submit your passport information to get started.
“Get the Mobile Passport Control app. There’s something very satisfying about shaking hands with your friends waiting in long lines at customs and border patrol.” – Ashley Torres, creator of Daily Pursuits
Planning a road trip? Rent a car for your next vacation? Download SpotHero now – and thank me later.
Here’s how it works: SpotHero allows you to search and compare prices for thousands of parking facilities across the US and Canada. Once you find a place of your choice, you can book and prepay for it through the app. When you arrive at your destination, follow the instructions on how to park your car.
cable. simple And best of all, the app can save you tons of time and money on parking at airports, events, and more.
3. Priority pass
So, you’ve heeded the airline’s advice to arrive three hours early for your flight—and since you have CLEAR (thanks to your discount with TripIt Pro), you zip through security, Checks the clock, 10 minutes. With two hours and 50 minutes to spare, you hope to get some work done in the comfort of an airport lounge.
Don’t have lounge access through loyalty programs or your ticket class? That’s where Priority Pass comes in With an annual membership, you can access and experience more than 1,300 airport lounges around the world. The Priority Pass app can help you locate their lounges, save your preferences for later, and more
“TripIt and Priority Pass are my travel apps. They help me stay organized and entertained while I’m on the go. I love people-watching in the lounge; It’s one of my favorite parts of the travel experience.” – Julia Menez, founder of GeoBridge
4. Google Translate
Is the container called milk or yogurt? You need cough medicine, but you don’t speak the local language—now what? In these situations (and countless others), Google Translate has you covered. Just type in the word(s) or phrase(s) in your language, toggle to the desired language—and voila! A translation will appear, and you can be sure you’re choosing milk for your morning coffee (not yogurt) or asking the pharmacist for the right remedy for your ailment.
My favorite feature? With Google Translate, you can scan an image and it will translate the text right on your phone. It makes finding your way—around town, a menu, and more—that much easier
Suggestion: TripIt’s Nearby Places feature can help you find local grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants and more in the right app.
… but not for the accommodation—for the experience. Yes, the little toggle at the top of the Airbnb app (where it says “Where?”) lets you search and book tours, classes, day trips, and more. My job is to find out what I can do in the destination even when I’m not staying at Airbnb.
You can search by activity type (eg, arts and culture, food and drink, sports, tours and more), read reviews and book an experience right in the app. After you book, you can message the host through the app if needed.
Best of all, you know you’re getting a local experience—and supporting a local business—in an app you’re probably already familiar with. It’s a win-win.
Suggestion: Don’t forget to forward your parking reservations, tours, classes and your other bookings to TripIt to keep all your plans in one place.