Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone.
We've all experienced delayed or canceled flights, and AirHelp thinks you should be compensated for it.
AirHelp -- which has five full-time lawyers on its 35-person staff -- helps travelers determine what they're entitled to when their travel plans are disrupted.
According to AirHelp, 26.5 million travelers are entitled to monetary compensation each year -- and less than 2% actually file claims.
"The problem is trying to figure out what your rights are," said cofounder Nicolas Michaelsen.
They resolve most claims within six to eight weeks (unless further legal action is needed).
"We'll follow through and take the airline to court," said Michaelsen. "We've done that a lot of times."
So far, they've been mostly successful: 90% of their 50,000 users have received money back -- with an average payout of $600 before AirHelp takes its 25% share.
A wayfarer's best friend, HitList keeps tabs on all the destinations you've been eying for your next vacation.
The site offers an alternative to endlessly perusing the web or waiting to book until a specific time of the week. Users select potential travel destinations, and then HitListmonitors real-time flight prices and sends email notifications when rates drop.
In addition to acting like a travel agent, HitList's image-based design encourages discovery. Users can browse locations, see the best time of year to travel and compare flight times. There's also a Facebook (FB, Tech30) plug-in that shares where friends have traveled (because if everyone's going somewhere, so should you).
Flights are booked through Skyscanner, one of the largest search engine databases.
3. Mobile Passport Control
The customs process is being digitized.
This month, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection unveiled its Mobile Passport Control app, which aims to speed up the cumbersome customs process.
U.S. and Canadian citizens create a profile with their passport information. For each trip, they just select their flight info, take a selfie and answer customs questions directly in the app. It produces a QR coded receipt to present to the customs officer.
This is a continuation of the Automated Passport Control self-service kiosks at many airports, which have cut down on wait times by as much as 40%.
Right now, the free app can only be used at the Atlanta airport, but other U.S. airports plan to accept the technology later this year, according to the CBP.
While you're Instagramming a picturesque vacation, you might as well meet some new people.
Enter Glimpse. Technically a dating app, the photo integration (it connects to a user's Instagram account) and geolocator make it a perfect opportunity to meet those around you -- especially because they might be Instagramming the exact same places.
Users choose a profile picture and add eight Instagram photos to their profile -- that's it. You can browse photos of those nearby (or around the globe), and the app notes who's been to the same locations as you.
"We use your photos to connect you with people you'd like to meet," said cofounder Elan Miller. "When traveling, you usually have limited time but want to get the local experience."