Essential features for user-centric travel apps: prioritizing the traveler’s experience

Essential features for user-centric travel apps: prioritizing the traveler’s experience

The travel app development market owes much of its sustained revenue to its inclusive and multifunctional nature. Projections indicate a steady rise, with expectations to surpass $730 million by 2027. For those who want to enter the industry and present their services to new audiences, it is essential to nail the ultimate guide to designing and creating applications for traveling purposes.

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In 2023, the rule of thumb is simple — interested parties have to achieve enhanced productivity of their one-fits-all-the-needs software. TripAdvisor, Booking, Xe, PayPal, and other solutions are popular for a reason, but switching between them might be exhausting. The next stage is to present applications that hit better and higher standards of accessibility, performance, and reliability — booking, finance, storage, entertainment, restaurant data, and other services within one intuitive interface.

Here are some of the features that will come in handy to let your app stand out among competitors. Onwards!

Features for user-centric travel apps

AI-Based personalization

Nowadays, artificial intelligence is a great source of inspiration and technological advancement for businesses interested in travel app development. That’s how brands can easily provide destination suggestions, hotel options, and activity recommendations without wasting resources and operational costs.

AI-based tools will definitely skyrocket the overall performance of the platform, increasing its personalization and customization potential

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  • Real-time getaway — its excellence in optimizing your routes and adjusting your trip at the moment is hard to underestimate. Relevant data on the current availability of transportation and hotels will be a perfect match to any traveler’s plan.
  • Tour guide — with GPS technology onboard, it delivers top-notch experiences in exploring different locations and discovering hidden gems during journeys.
  • Easy travel planning — such features will come in handy to create user-oriented itineraries that match particular interests and budgets. Let the members of your community customize its experiences in one click.

Augmented Reality

Any mobile app development company will revolutionize its approach to styling and developing its technological products with augmented reality (AR). It will help you streamline different processes within the system and personalize the software’s performance:

  • cutting administrative and operational costs with simple and automated reservations and other services;
  • providing comprehensive data to satisfy search queries before purchasing tickets, booking accommodations, etc.;
  • boosting customer confidence in the chosen decision-making strategy based on AR-generated real-time updates and notifications;
  • enhancing travel customization;
  • improving the informational and educational value of the service;
  • letting more people experience easy traveling, including AR journeys to remote places for customers with limited mobility;
  • boosting effortless navigation online and offline;
  • streamlining solving on-demand inquiries, and much more.

Integration with wearables

Simply put, this feature allows for seamless and near-instant data synchronization and connection between a travel application and wearable devices. Wearable technology is popular in fashion, healthcare, entertainment, gamine, and other industries. It is not only about smartwatches — the list includes solutions like Google Glass, VR headsets, AI hearing aids, and so on.

Voice assistance

On the one hand, you can establish something similar to Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa — such interactive work with apps usually pleases audiences of different ages, simplifying their learning curve in the market. 

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On the other hand, don’t forget about classic samples of voice assistance services in travel applications — voice-guided navigation and voice search, to mention a few. This technology helps streamline the process of booking and fulfilling repetitive tasks during trips. It increases the overall productivity of the app.

Real-time updates

Take time to adjust your application and make it generate notifications and display new data precisely, concisely, and without latency or delays. While taking the app’s responsiveness to the next level, this functionality drives your audience's growth and caters to its need for innovation and high-end efficiency. Without a doubt, its positive influence on decision-making and reducing risks of missing unique and here-and-now opportunities are worth the trouble of advancing the app’s architecture with corresponding techniques for real-time updates.

User reviews and ratings

Boost customer awareness of the best and the worst services in the area and enhance the experience value of your community at the same time. Let clients leave reviews and rate different places of interest and locations they visit during their trips. 

Not only will this feature come in handy for travelers, but it will also contribute to the quality of your business strategy and decision-making for future marketing campaigns — popular travel destinations with top attractions to check with a bonus discount from the team, for example.

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Multi-language support

Let’s check why this feature is a must for businesses interested in global reach:

  • Accompanied by in-app translator features, multi-language support is a highway to improve conversion rates. According to research, over 72% of customers surf the internet in their native languages.
  • By taking care of your clientele's search queries and assistance inquiries, you ensure they won’t abandon your page and services overall. In turn, it leads to decreased bounce rates and customers spending more time within the system.
  • It is a perfect opportunity to reach larger audiences and convert their interactions with your platform into profits.
  • That’s how you will cater to what your clients need and modern technological trends. If you are interested in a significant competitive advantage over other businesses in the field, it is a second-to-none chance.

Offline access

Ensuring a good internet connection might be challenging, especially for travelers reaching distant regions and areas. That’s why it is crucial to enable your target audience to download all the data they require for a safe and knowledgeable trip even without Wi-Fi. Offline use of maps, traveler profiles, purchased tickets, etc. has to be intuitive and flexible.

Integrated booking and payments

Make bookings easier for customers from different countries. By introducing these sophisticated mechanisms, you enable interested parties to reach different goals without switching from dozens of platforms — booking tickets, tours, and other services for the journey and backing them up with secure, fast, and reliable payments.

Integrated payments via PayPal, Binance, and other systems will diversify the palette of options for end users and improve their impression of your brand. This technological trick will allow clients to use your travel app as a self-sufficient booking and scheduling platform.

Social sharing

For those interested in gaining maximum exposure in the global market, social share buttons are an obligatory app design element. Thanks to well-tuned social media integrations with Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms, you will back up the desired user engagement ratio and entice prospective customers to spend more time in the system.

Such features have a drastic impact on brand awareness and recognition. While establishing your authority in the market, they also assist in building your community and boosting conversions, lead generation, and organic traffic — everything to satisfy your customers and increase your ROIs.

Weather updates

Whether you collaborate with Google Maps and its real-time weather information or create a weather update and report feature from scratch, it will increase customer satisfaction for sure. Traveling isn’t just about booking tickets and sightseeing. It is also about getting ready to face different weather conditions without the need to repack all the luggage you have taken with you.

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This feature will assist travelers in packing all the needed stuff and clothes for the trip. In the best-case scenario, your app becomes a weather forecast station and provides details about ultraviolet radiation intensity, air temperature, wind speed, and other meteorological conditions.

Itinerary planner

Ensure end users will navigate through their journey in advance and without issues thanks to in-built and well-optimized itinerary builder features:

  • API integrations will be efficient and add a nice touch of personalization to the app development process. For example, Google Maps is a must-have solution on the list.
  • Customize the interface with activity scheduling options. Let interested parties take control of their journey and visualize all the data you provide in one place.
  • In travel apps, such planners will prove to be best friends for customers of any caliber, letting them add notes, set reminders, and schedule their tours and other activities during their vacations.

Local insights

Don’t let your audience feel lost at the target destination. With quizzes, informational guides, and other solutions, it won’t be challenging to boost a traveler’s awareness about the place and its hidden gems. 

Aside from entertainment and unique attractions that locals will recommend, feel free to include the data about cuisine and top restaurants and cafes in the area. Enrich your app’s informative base with details about museums, theaters, local exhibitions, and other unique places of interest to visit first.

Health and safety information

Contemporary travel apps are better to include easily accessible information about medical facilities at the destination and contact information for emergency services. This way, you will prove you care about the target audience and simplify the journey for both novice and experienced travelers.

One of the features to include is a personal safety and health profile on the app. By sharing it and sending notifications, enthusiasts will be able to solve arising issues promptly and without hassle. It will be great to add fields to type in end users’ medical information, as well as emergency contacts of their relatives or friends. You can also cooperate with insurance services and offer such an option for audiences across markets.

Accessibility features

Do your research to understand what platforms and devices your audiences prefer. If you want to present an international service, performance flexibility is what you should opt for. It means web-responsive functionality on different devices and operating systems. Boost the cross-platform mobile app development process with Flutter, React Native, and other technologies and frameworks.

Intuitive navigation for non-techno-savvy customers is a must, but it is also essential to advance the app with all-inclusive features. In this case, it means optimizing your product for people with disabilities. To enhance the user's experience, features like voice commands and screen readers will be sufficient. It is important to run accessibility tests and see whether your app is stable, its layouts, media, and content are aligned, and so on.

User feedback mechanism

Adding in-app feedback tools is a must for any service provider. They collect data about end users’ experiences and impressions of the solution and harness user behavior insights for fixing bugs and issues, as well as optimizing software development and marketing strategies.

At the same time, it is a great communication channel to establish a solid connection with your audience. The feedback-collecting process is commonly associated with surveys and reviews, which reveal the real level of customer satisfaction. Such mechanisms will come in handy to optimize your troubleshooting and streamline your interaction with registered members of your community.


By introducing gameplay elements to the traveling app’s interface, developers boost user engagement and the overall appeal of the provided service. There are numerous techniques to apply:

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 You can find inspiration in other industries. For example, AliExpress offers four types of media entertainment, including GoGO Match and Merge Boss — full-service games that will enable registered members to earn coins and contribute to their shopping experience on the platform. For a traveling app, you can create a virtual treasure hunt and help interested parties get acquainted with their target destination more pleasantly and entertainingly.

Key takeaways: creating a modern travel app from scratch

The more features you include, the more expensive and demanding the project will become. That’s why market and audience analysis matters. Define what features will help your target audience reach their goals — voice assistance might be more appreciated than an in-app language translator. 

To get started, it is a nice approach to kill two birds with one stone and invest in the creation of a minimum viable product. This way, you will obtain measurable insights on what features should be on the menu of the original version of the travel app and what can be added in further updates.

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