Mobile apps are nearing the complete replacement of traditional travel agencies. Today, with the help of travel mobile apps, tourists can not only perform standard bookings and payments but also meet locals, enjoy unique activities, and even pack their suitcases. Travel companies worldwide hire mobile developers to enrich their services, implement innovative ideas, and bring traveling experience to an even higher level.
In this article, we’ll also share a couple of ideas on how travel apps are benefiting tourists and reshaping the entire travel industry.
Over the last decade, the travel and tourism industry has gone through tremendous transformations due to the widespread use of mobile technology. With the help of mobile apps, traveling abroad has become a casual experience for billions of people without any stress about the unknown. Now, you can make bookings directly from a smartphone, without needing to go to a travel agency. Moreover, you don’t need to carry a pile of travel documents with you, as you can also save flight tickets and hotel reservations on your smartphone.
In addition, you can regularly check weather updates, study local places of interest, and plan various routes beforehand. Another good thing is that you don’t need to carry lots of cash, as you can pay most of the bills online. It is no wonder that travel mobile apps are transforming the tourism industry and remain among the top downloads in the App Store.
Despite the competition among travel apps remaining incredibly high, some products simply outperform the rest on the market. Here, we have collected 10 great examples of how mobile apps are transforming the travel industry.
Planning trips yourself instead of using travel agencies is one of the best examples of how mobile apps impact the travel industry.
For instance, Google Trips grabs your flight tickets and hotel reservation numbers directly from your Gmail account and automatically arranges them. In addition, the entire app remains available offline, so you can download offline city guides for your destination, discover restaurants and bars to visit, and even find discounts on local attractions. As Google Trips makes constant suggestions about things to do, you can easily fill your trip with fun activities even when traveling alone. Another interesting app is MakeMyTrip, which remains India’s leading online travel provider available on Android. The app’s key features include booking flights, buses, and hotels as well as managing trips with the help of leisure planner and travel detail updates.
If you want to go on a simple road trip, mobile apps are also here to help. For example, Roadtrippers app not only plans your driving route but also lets you book hotels along the way. In addition, Roadtrippers points out local attractions and scenic areas. So far, Roadtrippers remains available exclusively for US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, although more countries are about to be added.
Booking flights might easily become a stressful experience, especially when you see thousands of offers at a time. A number of mobile apps help you find the best available rates. For example, Kayak app goes through hundreds of travel sites to find the best rates for flights, hotels, and rental cars. In addition, the app provides flight status updates and airport terminal maps.
Packing suitcases is another stressful experience for many tourists. However, mobile apps transform the tourism industry even by reshaping pre-travel activities. For example, the Packing Pro mobile app helps you organize your suitcase with the help of a checklist that breaks down what you’ll need by category.
Airbnb mobile app is a vivid example of an innovative approach toward how mobile apps are changing the travel industry. The app helps travelers book vacation home rentals in 191+ countries, searches for both long-term rentals and last minute accommodations, and creates customized itineraries by adding personalized experiences and events. For hosts, the Airbnb app allows them to rent their extra space as well as provide extra services from a tea room to guided tours.
With its relatively new Trips feature, the Airbnb app suggests participating in a range of unique local activities such as feeding camels in the Sahara Desert or fishing in Alaskan rivers. What’s more, locals can recommend authentic places for further visits.
Learning a little bit of Chinese while staying in Beijing? Why not? With Google Translate's recent update, released in October 2018, travelers can snap photos with text, highlight it, and later translate it into English. Among others, the new update includes such languages as Thai, Vietnamese, Hindi, Bengali, Nepali, Punjabi, and Tamil. This feature is particularly helpful for reading menus and street signs.
With the Drops app, learning a language becomes an inspiring audio-visual game, which features bright illustrations. The app contains learning programs for over 30 languages and dialects, including Icelandic and Mandarin. Drops is free of charge within the daily time limits, but unlimited access is only offered with the premium subscription.
Currency exchange might also stress you out while on a foreign trip. Although there are many conversion apps, Elk Currency Converter stands out among the best ones due to its clear design. When you enter a conversion, you get the resulting value times ten, with numbers provided in a large font size on the screen.
As traveling might also include long layovers, it is important to have some quality rest. With Lounge Buddy app, travelers can load all of the nearby lounges in all of the airports across the globe, with photos and lists of amenities. It is possible to book a lounge with the app ahead of a flight or upon arrival.
Taking pictures is always a must for travelers. Trover, as one of the leading photo-sharing apps, helps taking automatically geotagged pictures as well as encourages users’ commentary and helps travel planning. Trover uses photo boards for the content display, although pictures can also be navigated by a toolbar, which arranges the content by country. Unlike Pinterest and Instagram, Trover displays only real photos and provides consistent and reliable advice from users.
Sometimes travel expenses simply cannot be controlled as there are so many temptations! Sound familiar? In case you tend to overspend while traveling, there are Trail Wallet and Travel Spend mobile apps, which are similar in many ways. Your basic steps are simple – you preset the initial budget and track your subsequent expenses. To have a better clue about multiple expenditures, you can upload pictures of receipts and break them down according to categories and time periods. The apps will also show you various statistics, including daily average spending. It is definitely worth downloading prior to going on a shopping spree.
We have also developed mobile apps for the tourism industry. So far, we have worked on the improvement of trip-planning activities and turning them into an amusing and fun process. Our company has developed a mobile trip planner app from scratch called “Tripline” for an LA-based startup. With the help of Tripline, you can create trip itineraries by marking destination points on the map. Place-adding is easy: you can search any name through the in-app search bar. Whenever you find a place, it automatically appears on the map as a red dot. Later, a line connects the red dots and thus visualizes the entire route.
In addition, Tripline is well-integrated with various social media, so you can import your photos and check-ins from there as well as add photos from each of your destination points. As soon as you create your itinerary, you can share it with those traveling with you or with the whole Tripline community, follow others, and comment on their routes. We also paid attention to ASO and used our App Store product page optimization guide to make the app page stand out.
Over the past decade, mobile apps have transformed the travel industry. Traveling has become much more personalized as each tourist is capable of booking and planning their own trip anywhere on Earth with an Internet connection. As travel agencies rapidly lose their relevance, many of them hire mobile developers to create new apps for enriching traveling experiences and facilitating trip planning.
It is likely that this trend will continue, and mobile apps will dominate the tourism industry and make traveling easier than ever before. Mobile developers will continue to compete and tailor the most functional and valuable product. As a result, we should expect that more sophisticated and personalized travel services appear on the market in the nearest future.
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