How to Develop a Travel App

Features to Consider in the Travel App Development

Today, we are used to buying packaged tours having no problems when planning a vacation. However, there was the time when people tried to arrange their trip on their own facing numerous challenges. Those times have passed. New mobile technologies appeared to make our lives easier. With the introduction of travel apps, the world has certainly become tinier.

All you need is to indicate the initial information to get a full data on all available hotels, prices, flights and schedules. You can visit the most isolated place and arrange a trip effortlessly. This is all thanks to award-winning travel applications available for all types of tourists. Whether you prefer an active holiday or simply relax by the swimming pool, travel apps will certainly make your stay.

A growing popularity of applications for tourists made them a good choice for startups. More and more users are opting for them. The audience is estimated up to 137+ million of active users in 2015. For this reason, a travel app is certainly a great idea if you want to launch a successful startup.

What Features Should a Travel App Have?

The main idea of any travel application is to put an ease on the process of exploration. They provide access to the most isolated areas and let us discover new interesting places we have never been before. Their mission is to broaden our travelling experience. If you want to implement a successful business strategy for your startup, you should clarify some basic features your travel app should have:

  1. Trip Plan. The main mission of any travel app is to let user arrange their trip. In other words, they need a travel plan. The application should provide them destinations, itineraries, schedules, QR codes if possible, e-tickets and enough place to store all necessary information and electronic documents. Today, users have to use several applications at the same time to handle all tasks. You can come up with a single mobile solution to put an ease on the arranging process.
  2. Trip Journal. While some people prefer taking photos during their tri and share them via social apps, others like taking notes and write about some of the most memorable moments during the adventure for a blog, article, etc. A diary feature in a travel app will certainly be a great option. Experts say that a trip journal can soon appear to be a fundamental feature for the entire travel app community.
  3. Navigation. Today, we can hardly imagine an app without geolocation and navigation features. Travel applications are not an exception. Here we have a practical goal, as it is always easier to know where you are at the moment especially when it comes to an unknown country or city. Keep in mind that a successful travelling mobile app should be able to work offline as well. For this reason, opting for hybrid development is not always a good idea. Only native app development will ensure the correct performance of the app's map and other features. Google Maps SDK for Android and iOS will let you handle the task.
  4. Booking Service. We have some popular booking apps. However, they are not a part of travel applications. They come as separate services. If you can combine a booking feature with your travel application, your users will certainly appreciate such approach. Think if a function that will let the audience easily handle ticket reservation, hotel booking, etc.
  5. Travel Recommendations & Reviews. Reviews by real travelers are always a good source of information especially when it comes to less-touristic spots or isolated laces to visit. Yelp and Trip Advisor are yet the key applications on the market. However, you can take some features from them and implement in your own travel app. Moreover, they provide their API to put an ease on the development process.
  6. Multi-Language Support. Overcoming the language barrier is the major obstacle for the majority of tourists especially when they travel to unknown places. Translation feature is a must-have for any travel app. An augmented reality is a good idea as well. Think of a virtual assistant to translate words, sentences and phrases.
  7. Weather Forecast. Every time we arrange our trip, we want to know what the weather conditions in the region are. A weather forecast feature is also an essential function to bring your application to success. Open source API integration will make the travel app development process less challenging.
  8. Insurance, Hospitals & Emergency Services. Make your users feel safe and secured wherever they go. The app should contain information about the nearest hospitals, emergency service phone numbers, insurance information and other essential data.

Of course, the above-mentioned list is not full. You can think of some less complex features that will make your application stand out from hundreds of others alike. They may include:

  • Wi-Fi Searcher;
  • Currency Converter;
  • World Time;
  • WC Finder and more.

Travel App Development Key Points

The first thing you need to do before hiring a team of developers is to figure out the key points of your future application. Think of the main purpose of the app and problems it may solve. Develop a list of points or conduct a general outline including features and functions you want to see in the app. Once you are done with the task, take the following step to bring your idea to life:

  • Do the Market Research - developing an outline is the 50% of success. You need to do the research and define the main competitors and the biggest names in the niche. Check the example of failed apps and define the main reason of their failure;
  • Hire a Developer - Finding a development team is tougher than it may seem. You should choose from a local or outsource company. The prices will also range depending on the region. For this reason, you need to be very careful when hiring a developer. Discuss your development plan and define the scope of the future project. Ask for portfolio and interview your candidates.

Ways of Travel App Monetization

The major income of travel apps comes from selling different services like hotel booking, taxi reservation, tickets sales and more. Some applications take commissions. You can also opt for other monetization tools like:

  • Ad Blocks;
  • Direct Traffic Commission;
  • In-App Purchases;
  • Subscriptions and more.

GDS network will let you handle transactions via smartphones.

Summing Up

It does not matter whether you are related to travelling business or not, developing a travel app for a startup is certainly a good solution. You can become a reliable and trustworthy mediator between travel service providers and tourists. Such approach will let you generate higher revenues from commissions as well as raise the popularity of the app among customers.

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