Efficient travel apps will always be in a huge demand in spite of the season or weather forecasts. Building a great application is always a great chance to bring your digital mobile product on top in all major app stores and benefit from numerous users across the globe. The best bet is to follow the example of some leading and most recognizable travel applications. This time, we will have a closer look at some award-winning travel guides and booking applications to figure out their key benefits and features.
At the same time, being unique when developing a successful application is a key to success. You need to offer something new and original that will differ your product from dozens of other similar apps. You need to consider some unique design and interface features, advanced technologies and lots of useful data for the most devoted travelers as well as rookies. Today we are going to discuss travel app development process as well as such leading services like TripAdvisor, KAYAK, Tripos and some others.
Travel info always matters
You will hardly become an Amerigo Vespucci and discover some new lands. The same thing is in the niche of travel applications. They generally contain typical information considering all key factors that define an efficient content. In other words, you are very unlikely to invent something new in this sphere. At the same time, there is no point in wasting time on this. A lot of great features and functions have already been developed and implemented. All you need is to modify them adding some creativity and functionality.
You can benefit from several recognizable travel guides that provide an unlimited and free access to their content. For example, World66 is a huge portal where travelers from over the globe can share their experience and some best destinations to visit. At the same time, you can use several other resources like Wikipedia, DMOZ and others to create a huge informational database and customize it in accordance with your preferences and needs.
For instance, Triposo has already grown into a huge content resource featuring all possible traveling information retrieved from other open-source websites. Whenever you set for a journey or trip, the app automatically adjusts all necessary information featuring great places to see in addition to real-time recommendations and more.
Choose an API for your travel app
Choosing the right API is crucial for any travel application. For instance, you can opt for Google Places introducing over 95 million venues including business spots and places of interest. The API is constantly updated offering new spots and their descriptions. The information is thoroughly checked and moderated by the administrator.
Google Places has another powerful feature. Factual also provides information on more than 65 million venues from more than 50 countries around the world. Those venues include business spots as well as tourist attractions and sightseeing. Factual cooperates with venue owners and business partners who provide all necessary information on a particular spot.
Facebook Places can also boast its own powerful feature in the face of Graph API. It also contains information retrieved from Factual.
Yelp API additionally provides images, detailed reviews and images of places included in the listing. The feature appeared to be a great option for the US market in particular. It can boast an enormous coverage. The service is about to cover international places of interest as well as cities worldwide.
Some services provide access to information and data generated by users. TripAdvisor API is a perfect example of such database. Travelers can post their reviews, share photos, rate hotels and attractions, review cafes and restaurants, etc. The only difficulty may occur when finding a partner key to access all necessary information if you want your app developed on a TripAdvisor basis.
Another problem you can face is a huge number of fake reviews and recommendations. It may eventually result in hundreds of unsatisfied clients. Some establishments and hotels even pay for posting fake reviews. Providing a reliable and trustworthy information is the key to success when building a great travel app.
How to enable easy transections in a travel app?
Global distribution systems make it possible to enable efficient and secured transactions between booking agents and third parties. The main mission is to deliver high-quality service to the end user. In fact, those companies operate as intermediaries between distributers and service providers.
Many recognizable applications and reservation services use Global Distribution Systems letting users easily book tickets and accommodation, rent a car, purchase packaged tours and more. Originated from computer reservation systems in 1960, all GDS companies are aimed at making travelers’ lives as easy as possible. Expedia is a perfect example of systems’ implementation. The entire GDS network consists of some most reputable companies including Amadeus, Sabre, Worldspan, Pegasus Solutions and more.
Travel app monetizing strategies
Monetizing a successful travel app is rather easy. All leading services choose a simple strategy of booking tickets, flights, rooms and other facilities for hotels, travel agencies and airline companies. Only a few of them turn to advertising models of making profits.
You can follow the example of Hipmunk. The service directs high-quality traffic to hotel and airline websites and collects commissions for that. At the same time, the application lets users compare and contrast some best accommodation offers and online traveling guides provided by such leading web resources as Hotels.com, Airbnb, Booking.com and many others.
On the other hand, KAYAK introduces an easy-to-use searching system letting users find and compare ticket, hotel and other traveling prices without facing any difficulties. The application was designed in form of a sales channel for endless traveling service provides and supplier websites. Users can not only compare all prices but also complete the reservation while using an app. You will also appreciate additional tools and functions delivered by KAYAK. They include flight management options, status tracking systems, updates, overprice or discount alerts and more.
A great travel app should contain not only practical information describing prices, facilities and other key features. It should also inform users on the most interesting upcoming events and festivals in the given location. Implementing an efficient and user-friendly event search is a key to success when developing an award-winning travel app. Such products are very similar to event planning applications.
Offline maps in a travel app
Developers consider to major types of maps for a travel app. They include:
- Online maps;
- Offline maps.
Needless to say, any travel app is supposed to have integrated online maps. Otherwise, it will be of no use. At the same time, offline maps will make your product even more attractive to the end user.
One would hardly argue Google Maps is a great service without any weak sides. It is rather efficient and handy. The only drawback is that you can access them when being online only. Moreover, it takes 30 days to update the entire map database.
Whenever you need an efficient set of tools to build a handy and useful mapping application for any of the major mobile platforms, you can opt for Mapbox SDK. It will be a great choice for both Android and iOS developers who are seeking for maximum flexibility, attractive design and great styling. Although many iOS developers are used to MapKit, Mapbox will certainly be a good alternative. It has already grown into a major Google Map competitor in the niche of mapping service. If you do not want to give up using MapKit, you can integrate it with Mapbox letting you easily display your maps available both offline and online.
Mapbox for Android also makes it possible to display offline maps via various Android devices. You can check all the details and instructions in the Integrated Development Environment as well as JavaDoc documentation.
Nutiteq SDK is another great option whenever you need to implement offline maps in your travel app. It actually has the same features if compared with Google Maps. They include:
- 3D buildings;
- Free source map alternatives;
- Rotating maps;
- Titles and more.
Some major apps operate on the base of Nutiteq Maps. They include Like a Local Guide, Genova Official Guide, Moovit and more. It is a great alternative whenever you come up with an idea of developing a trip planner via public transport or a traveling guide.
Of course, you may opt for some other ways letting you integrate online maps with your traveling app. The above-mentioned include only some major and yet most popular tools. Do not forget to implement other options and tools including weather forecasts, currency converters, transport rentals and more to make your application flawless.