How To Create a Mobile Travel App?

 

I remember the times when arranging your own trip was a true challenge only for the brave. For the rest, there were travel agencies.

With the escalation of technology, the world has become smaller and reachable. Together with that, the fact of the journey itself is no longer such a big deal. Any place you want to visit, any hotel to stay, any food to taste, is just in the distance of a few taps on your smartphone. Now there is a particular application for all types of trips and tourists' needs.

If you want to make a travel app, you are on the right road to success. Despite the high competition, travel application development is a perspective niche for investments.

Why? Because mobile applications are expected to generate 188.9 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2020. For that, travel apps also have high repayment potential.

mobile applications are expected to generate 188.9 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2020

Image source: Statista

Moreover, according to Nielsen's measurement data, the unique audience for a tourism app has increased up to 11% in just one year (from 123,655 million in 2014 to 137,225 million in 2015). Wherein the in-app time spent reached the 2:03 mark, which is 40% higher than the year before.

According to the "Mobile travel trends 2018" report by Travelport Digital:

  • 80% of tourists use a smartphone app to research future trips
  • 77% of travelers use a mobile app to book or pay for a flight
  • 65% of tourists would be open to using a chat platform to plan or book a trip in the future

If you want to create a successful travel app, you need to choose its type, decide on the business model, and calculate the MVP cost.

That's where The App Solutions come in.

In this article, we highlight all the aspects of travel mobile app development.

Let’s start.

The most popular travel app types

To develop a travel app you need to decide what kind of app you are going to create. Below we share the most popular types of travel mobile apps with examples and some technical aspects.

Flight booking apps

Using such apps, travelers compare flight costs, book, and pay for tickets.

Now, let us look at Hopper, a flight booking application and its main features.

price prediction algorithms

Image source: Myglobalviewpoint

  • With price prediction algorithms, users can purchase plane tickets and book accommodation at the lowest prices.

 the app informs users about the lowest ticket prices

Image source: Myglobalviewpoint

  • Using push notifications, the app informs users about the lowest ticket prices.

Hopper users receive personalized recommendations

Image source: Myglobalviewpoint

  • Hopper users receive personalized recommendations based on flights they are tracking, history of previous vacations, and their budget. 

Now let's go a little deeper into the technological side of flight booking apps.

Aside from developing a travel app API from scratch, you can integrate existing APIs. They display real-time data on flights and allow users to book tickets. You can use the following

To provide users with secure in-app purchases, we suggest integrating

To find out more about other mobile payment solutions, read HOW TO INTEGRATE PAYMENT SYSTEM INTO THE EXISTING APP

Accommodation booking apps

Accommodation booking apps allow travelers to view, book, and pay for rooms.  App users can also leave a review of the place they have visited and rate it. At the same time, the most innovative renting apps include a check-in feature and electronic keys.

Marriott's hotel booking app illustrates such apps perfectly.

guests can use a built-in check-in feature

Image source: Mobileapp.marriott

  • Before entering the hotel guests can use a built-in check-in feature.

electronic key to open their hotel room door

Image source: Mobileapp.marriott

  • The app also gives guests an electronic key to open their hotel room door. 

Let's see the technological side of accommodation booking apps.

To save budget in the development stage, you can add accommodation booking features to your travel app using:

Read also: How much does it cost to develop an app like Airbnb?

 

Transport apps

With transport mobile applications, travelers receive access to local transport information and routes. Often, such applications have a geolocation feature to define user location and suggest the nearest transport options. Big news: you can add even more value to your travel app by integrating ridesharing taxi services.

Want to see how transport app works? Check Citymapper. This application provides users access routes with official data from local transport companies.

users can enter the name of the road, postcode, or landmark

Image source: Independent.co.uk

  • Using Citymapper, users can enter the name of the road, postcode, or landmark

The app then shows a transport option, including public transport

Image source: Evanevanstours

  • The app then shows a transport option, including public transport, cycling, Uber, or walking.

To build a transport app with built-in schedules, use:

To enhance the app feature list with taxi services, you can integrate

Let's move on to travel apps.

Read also: How much does it cost to build a taxi app like Uber?

Travel guides apps

With a mobile travel app guide, travelers receive access to local attractions, insider tips, events, and sights. After visiting a particular place, travelers can share their experiences with other app users by writing reviews and recommendations. You can give users even more value by integrating currency converters, offline maps, and text-to-speech features.

So let's take a closer look at Triposo, an offline travel app guide.

 the app provides users with personal recommendations about sights

Image source: Androidsigma

  • After analyzing content from various websites, the app provides users with personal recommendations about sights, places to sleep and eat, and nightlife.
  • Triposo is also powered with phrase books with a text-to-speech feature and currency converter.

Let's dig a little deeper into technological solutions.

Travel guide apps are powered with smart algorithms. They gather data from numerous websites, parse it, and show the description for each location.

To create a travel guide application, you can collect information from the following websites:

You can integrate the text-to-speech feature using:   

To empower your app with voice navigation, travel app developers might integrate:

After you've defined the type of your future app, let's jump right into the travel app monetization model.

Read also: How to develop an app like Yelp?

Key points to consider when developing a travel app

Before you hire travel app developers, there are some key points to consider. We at The App Solutions  often face the doubts of our clients. The most important are why to develop a trip mobile app if customers can simply get all the information from the mobile version of the website.

Criteo Analytics report that travel apps for Android or iOS bring 130% more conversion in comparison to a mobile browser. So, the result is worth the effort:

Users and their needs

Your passion for creating the best app for the travel industry, first of all, should consider the needs of your clients. Who are these people? What is their income? Do they prefer standard tourist spots or like to explore unknown places? Here you need to find out how your ideas will interest your customers. The better you know, understand and anticipate your audience, the more valuable a proposition you can present to them.

Competitor research

As you can see, the market is quite competitive'. But the good news is that key players provide their resources and databases, thereby, freeing you from a huge pool of work. For instance, Trip Advisor API gives access to a massive database of UGC (user-generated content) including photos and reviews.

Choose a development team

Finding trip app developers for hire is a crucial stage of the travel app creating process. Your team needs to be, not only professional but also share your beliefs and passions.

Your delivery team should help you to define the concept depending on market trends, determine the project milestones, and contribute to finding the best performing solutions.

Read also: How to choose best app developers for hire

How to Make Money from Your Travel App? 

According to Statista, over 90% of the apps placed in Google Play are free.

over 90% of the apps placed in Google Play are free

Image source: Statists

The point is that most applications uploaded to the app marketplaces are supposed to be free. But when mobile application became popular, its owners applied different monetization models to gain profit.

Below you will find four monetization models you can apply to a proposed travel app.

  1. In-app advertising. In this business model, the advertiser pays the app owner for running adds across the app and access to the app user base.
  2. Commission. The app owner receives a commission from every booking or payment made in the app.
  3. Premium version. With this monetization model, you initially provide users with free basic travel app features. Still, to receive access to advanced app functionality, users should buy the Pro version.
  4. In-app purchases. In-app purchases allow users to purchase additional travel services, while the app owner receives the transition fee from every sale.  

Still, to make these business models work, your app should be popular among users.

And the best way to develop a travel app that meets user expectations is to start with MVP. 

Now, let's dig a little deeper and find out what  MVP is and its benefits. 

Mobile travel app MVP

MVP, or minimum viable product, is an app with a minimum set of features which may solve a definite problem for users.

Below we share the common practice of using MVP for project viability testing.

  • For initial testing, you need to create the app with basic functions
  • Then, you test an app MVP on the market 
  • And find out whether it has the potential to succeed.

In our experience, MVP is the most reliable tool to understand your audience needs and expectations with a minimum budget and in a short time. 

But why should you develop MVP for your mobile travel app?

Reasons to develop a travel app MVP

As we have said, MVP helps a travel app development company to gather feedback from the app user. Their interest in the product gives the green light for the full product version development.

MVP also has the following advantages: 

  • Minimize development costs. Consider that every additional app function and design costs money. By using the app MVP for initial testing, you invest minimum resources, thus save budget.
  • Test your business project. Any mobile application is a business project aimed at attracting customers and bringing in a profit. If you think your idea has a promising future, create the app MVP and find out.
  • Get feedback. Consider that your travel app should solve a particular user issue. This way, user feedback is essential for app development. Feedback includes insights into the most desired and unwanted app features, as well as solving user issues.
  • Save your time. Rather than spending time and budget on developing an app which might fail, with MVP, you create a highly demanded and engaging app in the short term.
  • Attract investors. To attract investment, you need something more than a business idea. By developing MVP for a travel startup, your business idea becomes more promising for investors and increases the chances of being noticed.

Now that you understand MVP goals and benefits, let's come to the final point.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop Travel App MVP?

In the table below, you will find the MVP feature list for different travel apps, the development time and cost estimation.



MVP Feature

Flight booking apps

Accommodation 

booking apps

Transport apps

Travel guides

Development time

Estimated costs

User’s personal account with Social Media Sign up/Sharing

 

+

+

+

+

60 hours

$2,300+

Location-

based 

Search & Filters 

 

+

+

+

+

70+ hours

$3,000+

Booking Services 

 

+

+

+

 

70+ hours

$3,000+

Payments

 

+

+

+

 

70 hours

$3,000+

Ratings & Reviews

+

+

 

+

32+ hours

$1,200+

Support

 

+

+

+

 

18+ hours

$710+

Navigation & Geolocation

 

 

 

+

 

120 hours

up to $5000+

Total

From 320 hours/ $12210

From 320 hours/ $12210

From 408 hours/ $ 17010 

From 165 hours/ $6500

   

 

Closing Words

With travel mobile applications, travelers can plan and book their trips in a more convenient way, therefore, the demand for traveling apps is growing.

If you want to develop a traveling app you can choose the type and adopt one of the monetization models.

Still, it is not necessary to spend a fortune on app development. We recommend to launch the travel app project as MVP and improve it using a continuous development approach.

Have an idea for a mobile app?

Get a free app cost estimate

 
Valery Filipets

Developer

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