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8 Types of Travel Apps

8 Types of Travel Apps

Types of travel apps

Travel apps help businesses diversify their offerings, cater to new audiences, and expand revenue streams. It’s a smart idea for any travel business to think about developing one. But exactly what type of app could you create?

Nowadays, there are so many different apps and app types on the market that help users at every step of their travels — from creating bespoke itineraries to booking flights and hotels on the go. All apps are unique, often with their own features and selling points, but they can generally be categorized into a few types.

Here at Zoftify, we help travel businesses get started on their app journey, so we’ve put together a list of the most popular types of travel apps to inspire you.

Let's dive right in!

Types of travel applications

Travel booking apps

Booking apps

One of the best known types of travel apps is booking applications. These are both extremely popular among travelers and hugely beneficial for companies in the leisure and travel sectors. Booking applications enable travelers to book accommodation, experiences, and even whole tour packages, straight from their smartphone.

The typical functionality of a booking travel app includes an advanced search tool, a booking engine with extensive listings, and one or several payment gateways to ensure a quick and simple payment process. More advanced booking applications implement extra APIs, customer reviews, and loyalty programs.

Holiday booking apps

Holiday booking apps are among the most popular types of travel apps. Their goal is to provide travelers with pre-packaged holiday experiences, saving them the hassle of extensive trip planning. Some holiday booking applications focus on providing very specific traveling experiences, like surfing or hiking trips, while others offer a diverse range of options across multiple destinations.

Beyond general booking app functionalities, a holiday booking app will often implement destination guides, travel tips, and customer support to assist users in making their travel plans.

Accommodation booking apps

An accommodation booking app focuses on allowing users to find and book places to stay, like hotels or private vacation rentals, during their leisure or business trip. A travel app can list the company’s own accommodation, whether it’s budget one-night stays or luxury rooms, or act as a platform for another accommodation provider (or network of providers).

The most obvious examples of this model are Booking.com and Airbnb, which connect the traveler to a hotel or rental apartment provider of their choice, by listing millions of accommodation options around the world. Keep in mind that more than half of Airbnb bookings are made on mobile devices, and more than half of Booking.com's revenue comes from mobile, so there’s huge potential in accommodation booking apps.

These apps enable travelers to search for options based on their destination, travel dates, budget, and specific preferences, and usually provide detailed information about listed hotel rooms and vacation rentals: from photos to guest reviews. Accommodation apps may also upsell extra services, like spa access and breakfast add-ons.

Transportation apps

Transportation apps share a lot of similarities with booking applications in terms of the development process, technology, functionality and design, though they serve a different purpose. A lot of transportation apps rely on real-time availability and pricing data to help business and leisure travelers check their options, whether it’s cheap flights or luxury rental cars.

Flight booking apps

A travel app for booking flights can help travelers find and purchase airline tickets with ease. They often feature price comparison tools, convenient payment options, and list a wide range of flights from multiple airlines by connecting to global distribution systems. These mobile apps sometimes include notification and alert features to keep users informed of any flight updates and check airport and baggage information.

Skyscanner is a great example of a flight booking travel app: it helps leisure and business travelers find cheap flights and compare prices from more than a hundred airlines thanks to advanced search technology.

Car rental apps

Car rental mobile apps allow users to search for vehicles and specify their pickup and drop-off locations. These apps offer cars across all price ranges and classes, and often enable users to compare prices and check vehicle information. They may also upsell insurance coverage services, and include route maps, geolocation technology, and user reviews.

Apps like Hertz and Turo are among the biggest names in the car rental industry, with the second being more of a car sharing solution. They include all of the typical functionalities of a car rental app, but also offer loyalty programs and customer support.

Concierge applications

A concierge travel app is typically designed to provide personalized assistance and recommendations to travelers: from restaurant reservations and transportation arrangements to local insights. The goal of a concierge mobile app is to provide convenience and support to business and leisure travelers and cater to their personal preferences.

Typically, a concierge app offers recommendations for activities and locations, weather updates, transportation options, language translation tools, and customer support during trips.

Many luxury travel agencies rely on their concierge apps, offering travelers VIP access to events, securing luxury hotel rooms, and reserving restaurant tables. It’s like having a personal assistant in your back pocket.

Tour guide apps

Tour guide apps

A tour guide travel app is for providing helpful and educational information about local attractions, landmarks, and points of interest. These apps may list local guided tours and feature audio guides, interactive maps, and historical or cultural insights about various locations. The purpose is to deeply enrich the travel experience.

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for a travel app like this to include advanced augmented reality features, to provide interactive experiences or gamify the travel process.

Travel planning apps

A travel planning app allows users to organize and manage their itineraries, acting as a pocket companion for the entire trip. Users can manage their flights, accommodation, and activities all in one place, while creating detailed schedules, storing travel documents, setting reminders, and sharing plans with other travelers.

The goal of these apps is to simplify the often tedious process of planning trips and gives users secure and easy access to their plans and documents no matter where they are. These apps are often very personalized and may suggest options based on customers’ previous choices and traveling preferences.

For these apps, it’s also really important to provide offline access, so travelers can see their itineraries on the go, even in locations without internet connection.

Navigation apps

A navigation app serves an important purpose: providing leisure and business travelers with real-time directions and guidance in unfamiliar locations. A mobile app like this relies on geolocation to offer turn-by-turn navigation, route planning, and traffic updates, so users can find the most efficient paths to their destinations and avoid getting lost while traveling.

A navigation travel app will often feature offline maps, voice-guided navigation, and a search tool for local attractions, making it an extremely valuable tool for a user to keep on their phone. Advanced functionalities can include integration with public transportation schedules and walking routes for additional convenience.

Translation apps

A translation app allows leisure and business travelers to communicate with others no matter where they are in the world. A travel app of this kind typically offers text, voice, and image translation capabilities, so users can understand and convey information in any foreign language. Imagine how helpful it would be to understand what someone is saying or read a warning sign, just by pulling out your smartphone.

Some translation apps provide offline translation features, educational resources, and pronunciation guides too, which can help travelers engage with local communities and deepen their understanding of the culture and customs of their travel destination.

Travel insurance apps

An insurance travel app helps users purchase and manage travel insurance policies to protect against unforeseen events during their trips. An app like this simplifies the insurance process and typically offers different types of travel coverage, from trip cancellation and medical emergencies to baggage loss.

A travel insurance app can also provide leisure and business travelers access to policy details, claims filing, and emergency assistance while traveling.

Conclusion

As technology advances and the travel industry expands, more and more apps will enter the market to fulfill the needs of travelers around the world. The app types we've listed are some the main categories that travel apps today fall under — they continue to shape the way travelers interact with companies and will remain a fundamental part of the travel market.

Understanding what makes each type of travel app so valuable for both users and travel companies is a good place to start if you’re thinking about travel app development for your business. With your very own app, you can enhance the traveling experience for your customers, tap into new revenue opportunities, and broaden your audience.

FAQs

How many different types of travel apps are there?

There are lots of travel apps on the market. There are generalized booking applications for all travel needs, and then there are niche apps like Xe currency converter and virtual tour apps like Panoee. Lots of applications share similarities when it comes to purpose and functionality, which is why we can categorize them into several types of travel apps. You may wish to develop a booking app, transportation app, navigation app, concierge app, travel planning app, tour guide app, insurance app, or translation app.

Whatever their purpose, apps make great traveling companions for users, and smart investments for travel businesses.

How can flight booking travel applications benefit users?

These travel applications focus on allowing users to find and book flights, view flight details, and check availability. A flight booking app makes it easy to book flights thanks to advanced search and filter functionality, and compare prices with access to global data.

How can I start the development of my own travel app?

Build an app for your travel business by contacting our team of experienced travel app developers.

Here at Zoftify, we work with you through the entire development process to create the perfect travel app for your business.

We’re experts in app development for the travel industry, so whether you’re interested in concierge or virtual tour apps, reach out to us today through our contact form.

Alex loves travel and tech and founded Zoftify to help travel companies use technology more effectively. Before this, he worked in tech consulting, where he led international mobile development teams.

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