The era of traditional travel agents sitting in a brick and mortar shop has almost become a myth for today’s generation. The mobile generation is entirely influenced by the ease and control availed by mobility services.
While there’s an app for everything, travel apps have managed to gain a little extra attention. Location-based travel apps have made an invincible space in almost every millennial smartphone nowadays, irrespective of how frequently they actually travel.
The travel app market is vast
According to a report, 31% consumers search for the next trip through their smartphone. While another report from MMGY Global released last year, unveils that in comparison to 19% respondents downloading a booking site app in 2015, the year 2016 it increased to 39% of respondents.
The two reports clearly signify the growing travel apps market.
However, there are also plenty of examples of apps that have failed to prosper, The reason is often poor in-app UX (user experience) and the sizable disparity between immediate and advanced booking prices.
At this stage, it is important to bridge the gap between what users are being delivered and what they are looking for.
Here are four companies who have commendably managed to gain a large and loyal audience through delivering a great app that puts traveller's needs first:
With millions of installs and an average rating of 4.5 stars, this application claims top spot. Skyscanner is designed to assist you in booking flights, hotels, and cars, all in one place. The all-in-one travel app allows the user to search and compare flights, hotels, and car rentals, and eventually book the cheapest offer they find. Apart from these staples, Skyscanner also comes with winning features like price alerts and "multi-city" search which allows travellers to see prices to everywhere along with the cheapest prices. Ripe for inspiration. Skyscanner is now available in 30 languages.
The application has been the choice of millions of go-to-trip planners for quite some time. Just like its competitor Skyscanner, it offers options from various travel sites and allows the users to choose the best option that fits their budget. Apart from that, the application allows the users to unlock private deals and have an extra piece of discount through ‘mobile-only’ rates. Another exciting feature in the travel app is that it gives you the option of choosing flexible dates at the time of searching. With this, the users can look for the best rates and accordingly book their flight tickets and hotels. With the Kayak, you can organize your travel plans, track flights, get price alerts, navigate through the airport and more.
Apple added Hopper to the app store’s best list in 2015, while Google added it to their own list last year. The application definitely carries distinct traits with it. The makers claim that it can help you book a flight ticket in less than 60 seconds however, it is another much-lauded feature that separates Hopper from other applications: Using a complex algorithm based around memory and old data, Hopper predicts the right time to buy a ticket and lets you know though push notifications! The app has received numerous recognitions including a place in Buzzfeed’s list of 23 life-changing apps, Vogue’s best apps of 2015, and New York Time’s money saving app list. Not bad, not bad at all.
Considering Airbnb only caim into mainstream consciousness a few years ago, it is quite amazing that it now holds the badge of being the world’s largest accommodation provider with over 2 million properties in more than 34,000 cities from 191+ countries. Airbnb allows users to find great bargains on accommodation, often at much cheaper rates than staying at a hotel. Not only this, if you are the kind of traveller who likes hanging with the locals rather than getting secluded in a five-star hotel, Airbnb offers you the chance to stay with a local at their home, what could be more welcoming than that? One of the recent update includes a feature named Trips, check it out as it's another step towards making Airbnb an all-in-one travel app.
The travel apps listed above are available on both Android and iOS stores. Though on the face of it they seem similar, on closer inspection, all have unique features and have remained focus on delivering awesome UX, ease of access and real time data alerts.
Shahid Mansuri co-founded Peerbits, one of the leading mobile app development company India, in 2011. His visionary leadership has helped the company go from strength to strength. Special thanks to Shahid for taking the time to contribute to the WeSwap blog.