Blog / Tech / Mobile App

What Technology Do You Need to Build a Travel App?

  • Rating — 4.9 (62 votes)
  • by Elena
  • Updated on November 12, 2020
  • Read —
    5-6 minutes

Traveling becomes not just a hobby but a lifestyle for many people. Travel bloggers, people on vacations, those who travel for business, they all have one common feature – smartphone is their second self.

People today are used to search, book and buy everything online and they don’t want to change it while traveling. Since everything gone mobile, planning a trip moved into our smartphones and some companies reached an incredible success with their apps – Booking, Airbnb, Expedia, Skyscanner and many others.

Here is a small statistics of mobile apps usage while traveling that will make you want to develop your own travel app:

statistics of mobile apps usage

If you decided to join the race of travel apps, we are here to advise you how to make a travel app that your users will absolutely adore.
The direct economic contribution of travel and tourism amounted to approximately 2.31 trillion U.S. dollars in 2016.
travel apps

The most essential technologies and features for travel apps:

Travel Itinerary Generator

Once planning your own trip has been a real challenge making you keep everything in mind and buy all the services in different places. Or you could always go to the travel agency of course.

Now more and more travelers prefer arranging their own trips independently and itinerary generators are one of the most used apps for this purpose. Generally, user mentions the location he wants to visit and the app creates the travel plan accordingly. That’s how the traveler can easily get suggestions for things to see and do even without planning the trip beforehand.

The most popular trip planners are Google Trips, TripIt, TripCase, Roadtrippers.

travel app features

GPS and navigation

Arriving to the destination point, tourists want to feel comfortable understanding their current location and how to get to the hotel / restaurant / bar / museum etc. 85% of tourists use navigation apps for orienting in the new area. What is very important about navigation apps, they need to work offline. So developing apps for travels, make sure that the map or even the entire app is able to work without Wi-Fi or cellular data.

Though the development of such functionality is not easy, Google provides the developers with Google Places API, map itself and Facebook Places API gives the free access to a massive database of services and touristic locations.

geolocation in travel apps

Social media sign up/sharing

Due to the active social networking today the majority of tourists share their travel experience via social medias like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Give your users the possibility to interact real time and share the holiday details with their friends and other travelers. That will not only be loved by the users but also work as a promotion of your app.

Adding social media login possibility will not only speed up the registration time, but also give you access to user’s personal data that can help the algorithm to build the perfect trip suggestions.

Reviews and recommendations

For those travelers who don’t like spontaneous trips and prefer to plan everything in advance, the feature of reviews and recommendations is the perfect solution to find the best hotel, restaurant or any other place to visit. Such people are more likely to visit the place, recommended by their friends that just a random bar on the corner. For example, TripAdviser got a viral success by just being a platform for reviews because tourist like to share their experience with others.

Currency converter

When traveling to another country, every tourist needs to change currency and having an app where he can learn the current exchange rates is a big bonus. Just imagine that you are in a shop and want to buy something but you don’t understand whether the price is accurate or too high. Having a currency converter in your smartphone can ease shopping or any other money spendings abroad.

Booking service

Travel booking apps are becoming very popular among the travelers who like to arrange their own trips. Such an app can save lot’s of time and money when booking tickets and accommodation. Let your user to find the best deals, mix tickets with hotel rooms and transfers. Adding the loyalty program to your travel app will not only attract the new users but also keep the existing customers. How to motivate the user to travel more? Include notifications for price changes or some hot deals that last for a short period of time and the true adventure hunters would not miss a chance use it!

booking service in travel app

Weather forecast

Many tourists forget about the weather and climate differences in distant parts of our planet and are not well prepared for the ramifications. Sometimes an unplanned journey can end up with a failure instead of spending a good time. That’s why integrating a real-time forecast into your travel app would be a great idea. Tell the user about temperature, wind speed, humidity and other important factors find themselves to make the trip well planned and well spent.

Built in translator

Most likely, when traveling abroad tourists don’t speak the language of the country they are going to and can possibly meet some inconveniences. To protect your users from trying to communicate in a funny broken manner, you can integrate built in translator in your travel app. That will be especially useful if the countries with different writings like Greece, Asian countries, eastern countries and so on. For example, Google translate has a function of translating the signs or any other text using the camera in smartphone. Future is already here!

travel app features


The first step you have to make toward developing the travel app is learning the needs of your future users. You have to find out as many facts about them as possible: who are they, what is their average income, do they prefer ready-made tours or like to explore new unknown spots? When you understand your clients, you’ll know how to make the perfect travel app that suits all their needs.

The next step is making the competitors research. What features do they propose, what is their monetization strategy, what clients are they oriented on? May be their app lack some important functionality that you can include into yours?

The final step is choosing the web development team. You should not only choose the experienced team but also the one, who believes in your project.

Don’t hesitate to share your idea with us and get your app developed!

Elena Elena is the business analyst passionate about everything connected with startups, business ideas, and analytics. She’s aiming to find the solution for every challenge, young companies meet on their way.

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May 13, 2018 at 6:26 PM

Great article! These fundamental pieces of advice will help me to develop and improve my app.


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