“He who does not travel does not know the value of an app.”


 Moorish proverb

OK, kidding. The Moorish proverb has a different meaning. But just think of our interpretation - mobile usage grows and becomes an integral part of a traveler’s life. Being a modern tourist, can you imagine sending pigeons to inform your friends about your soon arrival? Or maybe riding a horse to reach your destination and reading your route by stars? How about living in a wigwam that has neither user feedback nor ratings? It’s awful. At least for our time. So, let’s speak about travel mobile app development, the latest tendencies in this sphere, top apps, how to find trip app developers for hire and in what ways an application can leverage new opportunities for your business.

Some Stats

We love stats. It helps to understand things and see them in a new light. That’s why we are going to start this article with some statistics telling you about the latest tendencies in the travel industry. No-no, it hasn’t been calculated by us. It’s TripAdvisor that has conducted the research we are referring to.

The survey has defined that around 60% of mobile phone users have ever used a travel app.

Just think of it. 60% out of 100%. What a large market with a variety of opportunities you could use to take your business to the next level! The key findings of the TripBarometer Connected Traveler report released by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest website for tourists, are represented in the chart below.

Stats by TripAdvisor Report
Stats by TripAdvisor Report

As you see, people are eager to make their travel experience easier. They are looking for convenient and modern tools to easily book an accommodation, find a car rental agency, plan a route or search for a good restaurant. This means that the development of a travel app can broaden the horizons for business: a hotel, restaurant, bicycle rental, entertainment place, resort, etc. 

If you are thinking of developing a travel app, you should definitely learn about other purposes of using applications while traveling. All this information can help you choose the best business strategy, determine a killer feature and set a motion vector for your business. 

Other findings say that:

  • 38% of travelers use their mobile devices for tasks
  • 62% use them for calling
  • 65% for taking/sharing photos
  • 54% for surfing online
  • 52% for navigation
  • 48% for staying on top of news
  • 36% for games

Now it’s time to choose the category and bring your idea to fruition. If you want to develop a game app, go ahead. You will get at least 36% of travel app users. But if your idea is a hit, it may be able to acquire even greater audience.

Categories of Travel Apps

There are dozens of tourism applications in app stores. You can easily find a travel planner, weather app or a tracking app to your liking there. To give you an in-depth understanding of where to move with your idea, let’s analyze the most popular categories of apps for international traveling. Each group is accompanied with some examples for you to get a better idea of it and to gain inspiration. 

  • Booking services - Expedia, Kayak, Hotels.com, AirBnb, Skyscanner
  • Restaurant review - Yelp
  • Taxi apps - Uber, Lyft, Curb
  • Deals - Groupon, Travelocity, Trivago
  • Smart trip apps - TripIt, TripAdvisor
  • Translators - Translator with Speech, Talking Translator
  • Travel guide apps - Tripomatic, Wikitude
  • Dating - Love's Connect, GayCities - Gay Social City Guides
  • Entertainment - GoGo Entertainment, Disneyland, Postagram
  • Travel map apps - Maps.me, GPS TRACKER, Tube Map London Underground
  • Travel planning apps - TouristEye, TripCase, WorldMate
  • Different - Free WiFi finder, Rover - Dog Lovers for Hire, XE Currency

Top Travel Apps

Top Travel Apps
Top Travel Apps

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most popular apps and try to understand what makes them so special. 

  • Yelp 

This application serves as a local guide for finding the right place to shop, eat, drink, etc. It’s very easy and convenient to use and solves a vital tourist problem of getting acquainted with the infrastructure of a new destination quickly. 

  • FlightRadar

An interactive application allowing millions of users to view an air traffic radar and watch planes moving around in real time. FlightRadar was announced as the best selling app in 2015. 

  • TripIt 

This mobile trip app helps to carefully plan a journey with no great effort. The most part of the job is done by TripIt. Its users are supposed to forward their booking confirmations to the team that takes care of all necessary micromanagement.

  • AirBnb

The project allows the users to easily find a place to stay while traveling. They can not only book an accommodation but also offer a room for rent and earn some money. 

  • TripAdvisor 

Many people consider TripAdvisor to be the best app for travel lovers as it offers millions of hotel, restaurant and flight reviews wherever you choose to go. Besides, it helps to find a competitive airfare, reserve a table in a cafe, find great deals, discover new sights to visit and more. All in one place and on different devices: iPhone, iPad, Android phone, etc.

As you see, all these apps for travelling are aimed at providing the best travel experience and helping people to have a perfect trip. If you are able to do the same, your success is assured. 

So, now we know that the travel niche is great for launching your business. Having analyzed the top travel apps with their peculiarities, we can talk about mobile travel app development. Let’s have a look at the key points you need to bear in mind when building an app. 

Key Points to Consider when Developing a Travel App

Key Points of Travel App Development
Key Points of Travel App Development

  • Target clients and their needs

If you want to develop a trip mobile app there is a question you need to answer first of all. Being crucial for the future of your product it requires a great deal of attention. Thinking of how to build a mobile travel app should not be the first thing on your mind, you need to consider its target users first. Who are these people? What are their pain points? What kind of an app are they looking for? Are they interested in a travel journal app or travel insurance app? How can your idea meet their needs related to efficient trip planning? Creating a portrait of your target users should be at the top of your agenda. The better you know your audience and their requirements, the more valuable proposition you will be able to offer them. 

  • Purpose 

We know, we know. You can’t wait to discuss the most fascinating thing that is the features of your app for travelling. You might already imagine millions of downloads on the first day of its release. But prior to this, think of the purpose of your application. Is it a diary app, a travel planning app or maybe a weather app for travelers? What problem is it going to solve? Why do people need it? 

  • Wow! Factor

We don’t want to disappoint you, but having just an idea is not enough, especially if you have the intention to compete with big players. You need to analyze your competitor apps and their killer features. This will help you to invent something unique that no one else has yet.

Idea + Killer Feature = Success

  • Competitor research 

This is an essential part of any business launch. A basic market research has already been done for this article and introduced above. A deeper analysis can be made either by you or by the development team you are going to hire. 

Our team can assist you in conducting a competitor analysis as well as building a digital business strategy.

  • Platform 

Once you’ve got the idea, analyzed your competitors and made sure that you are on the right way, it’s high time to decide what platform to use for development. Should it be a cross-platform or custom app? iOS or Android? RoR or PHP? All these questions need to be answered. The choice of a platform depends on your goal. If you’d like to develop a promo project to attract funds, then hybrid solutions may serve as a temporary measure. But if you are planning to launch a fully-functional product with sophisticated features, refer to native development only. All in all, it is recommended to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of HTML5, Android, and iOS applications before making any choice.

All in all, it is recommended to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of HTML5, Android, and iOS applications before making any choice.

Read: How to Choose the Right Development Platform for a Mobile App?

It is most likely that your mobile app will require web back-end. Without it, a lot of features such as messaging or registration are impossible to implement. The majority of startups tend to choose Ruby on Rails for their projects. Why? Because it’s highly scalable, fast and secure. 

Read the advantages of using Ruby-on-Rails in your project in the following article: Why Startups Use Ruby on Rails?

45% percent of travelers use a mobile device for booking activities, 55% use a laptop.

  • Development team 

No matter how good your idea is, if the app is poorly coded. All your efforts, time, and money may slip into obscurity. Severe reality for a very high price. Choosing the right team is as important as making a plane secure. Be careful with that. It would be great to find a professional travel app development company to work on your project. A lot depends on this choice. Your future contractor has to be skilled and experienced in developing travel apps for Android or iOS. As they say: “A good beginning makes a good ending”. If you are not careful enough this may influence the time and cost to develop a travel app. 

Read a detailed guide on how to select a proper app development vendor: How to Hire an App Developer for Your Project.

  • Design

No matter whether you are going to build a travel organizer or an itinerary app, its interface is one of its main success drivers. Your project may be extremely cool and one of a kind but if it looks awful, no one will take notice of it. Or if there is a similar competitor application with a better interface, people are most likely to use it, but not your product. Pay close attention to UX/UI. Your app should look nice and be intuitive. Even if the cost for design may go a little bit beyond your expectations, spare neither trouble nor expense.

Is That All?

Of course, it is not enough just to hire travel app developers. This is only the beginning of your way to launching your e-business with the help of a mobile travel app. You will also need to think of marketing, brand awareness and a lot of other things. It’s like when you are waiting for a baby and need to prepare a great deal of stuff before it arrives. The main point is that all these arrangements are pleasant, right? Your app is your baby. Let it grow flawless and prosperous!

Interested in implementing your mobile travel app idea?

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