15 Best Travel APIs to Help You Build a Great Product
Today’s travelers want to book flights, hotels, and car services on one platform, not a dozen. TrekkSoft’s report proves that: in 2018, the number of direct website bookings fell to 66.7%. While bookings made through agents increased from 17.5% to 24.3%.
In turn, travel platforms started to adapt their user experience. They've become more open to sharing their tools, and travel APIs seem to be the best means for that.
In this article, we're explaining what is travel API, how it works, and list 15 most useful flight, hotel, and car booking APIs.
What Is Travel API and How It Works
Previously, if a travel company wanted to expand their business onilne, they had to go for software development services. And build the tech solution from scratch or buy it from another company.
Today, we have travel booking APIs. They fetch and process data collected by CRM systems and allow developers to connect to this data. It's a kind of a control panel for linking with software components without dealing with the code itself.
Companies license third-party software products through travel APIs. It is a more efficient and quicker way compared to building software components from scratch.
How exactly does travel API integration work?
Let’s take TripAdvisor as an example. It's not just a travel content website now but a platform that allows visitors to read reviews, check prices, and book services, all in one place.
TripAdvisor has over 200 million reviews and is a trusted source for millions of travelers. It works with hotels, eateries, and attractions collecting the main content details (location, name, address, prices) and updating them in real time.
Here’s how hotel booking engine API helps them. TripAdvisor’s partners like online travel agencies, hotel chains, or individual hoteliers provide the platform with their pricing.
So when a user enters booking dates into the search field, TripAdvisor makes a call on the API of a trading partner. In turn, the partner automatically gives the relevant price.
Some suppliers provide hotel search API that allows using their services directly. If there's an integrated API of a payment gateway, travelers make secure payments using their credit or debit card or e-wallet.
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Main benefits travel APIs bring:
- Allow adding markups for end-customers
- Charge users directly
- Less content maintenance, more focus on core tasks (like marketing)
- Reduce travel agencies overhead cost
Booking APIs become better and easier to use by both third-parties and customers. That’s why more and more partners work directly with brands. It’s a way to reduce the need for traditional tracking methods via affiliate networks and tracking providers.
Flight Booking APIs
Next, we’re taking a look at the most popular travel APIs. By the main categories:
- Flights booking APIs
- Hotels booking APIs
- Cars rental APIs
As you can guess, we’re starting with the top 5 flights booking APIs.
#1. Skyscanner Flight Search API
Skyscanner is a leading travel search platform that offers millions of travel options. Skyscanner API integration allows developers to easily integrate their application into the platform and get available flight info.
This flight search API employs an API key authentication model and is a single purpose API with RESTful architecture.
Besides, Skyscanner has a very active dev community and detailed documentation.
Skyscanner flight search API
#2. FlightStats Flex APIs
FlightStats offers a flight API that provides real-time flight data to travel agencies. The information includes details about flights, airports, fleets, routes, schedules, ratings, weather conditions, and so on.
FlightStats offers two flight data APIs:
- Flight Data Services APIs
- Trip Data Services APIs
Both show real-time flight information for worldwide scheduled flights. The difference is that with Trip Data Services, they combine flight data with trip data.
FlightStats Trip Data APIs offer push services for tracking flight information and getting alerts in case of delays or flight disruptions.
These APIs are designed to use with REST, support JSON, JSONP, XML formats, and SOAP.
FlightStats Flex APIs documentation
#3. British Airways NDC
British Airways is the largest full-service airline in the UK. Their flights API allows accessing flight data and other relevant travel information.
BA offers REST for the integration of the data into third-party applications. It supports JSON, XML, and URI Query String/CRUD request format.
Flights API by British Airways
#4. Expedia API
Expedia is another travel booking website used as a travel fare aggregator and metasearch engine.
Using their flight search engine API, developers integrate best functionalities into their apps. That allows users to easity check information like availablility, rates, restictions, booking notices, and more.
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Expedia works with an API key authentication. It's a single purpose API with a RESTful architecture.
Flight info API by Expedia
#5. Amadeus APIs
Amadeus provides tech solutions for the travel industry. They offer several APIs like:
- (forecasts travelers' flight and shopping choices)
- (finds the best prices for flights)
The flight API integration allows users to access:
- flight information
- sales reports
- tickets purchase
Amadeus flight APIs can be used for production needs. They work in REST/JSON and SOAP/XML formats.
Amadeus API for travel
Hotel Booking APIs
As I’ve said, travelers want to see everything in one place – from hotel reviews to booking options. Hotel booking API integration helps developers to build the best apps that keep all the needed features in one place.
So we present the best 5 APIs that connect users to hotel pricing, booking, and property management.
#1. Booking.com Connectivity APIs
Connectivity APIs are built for property management system providers and channel managers. They are must-haves if you want to connect your software to the booking.com website, create or modify properties there.
If the software is connected to the hotel booking API, you can register property and modify content (photos, rates, rooms, facilities) directly in the interface, without using the booking.com website.
Booking Connectivity APIs work for:
- creating and updating content
- adding rooms and rates
- opening and closing properties
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Hotel channel manager API by Booking.com
#2. Google Hotel Prices API
Hotel Prices is a part of the Google Hotel developer platform, which includes Google Hotel Ads API, Hotel Prices, Book on Google, and Hotel Content.
Google Hotel Price lets users search for hotels right on Google and in Google Maps. In turn, customers get a list of hotels with prices, photos, reviews, and street view panoramas.
This travel API integrates hotel prices into applications. With its help, developers implement prices and reservation statuses of a given hotel.
Available in REST architecture with JSON format.
Google hotel finder APIs
#3. TripAdvisor Content API
Most people pay attention to the reviews before booking travel services online. That's what TripAdvisor is an expert of. TripAdvisor travel API allows to retrieve photos, detailed reviews, and rating info for hotels, attractions, and restraurants.
Approved users of the TripAdvisor API access:
- rates of hotel, eateries, and attractions
- 'write-a-review' link
- ten best hotel, eateries, attractions pages (by location)
- ratings, awards, number of reviews
TripAdvisor offers a great hotel database API
#4. Amadeus Hotel Search API
Hotel Search API allows looking for hotels for a given location and time. Travelers can search broadly for all hotels, or narrow down to a specific hotel and focus on its offers. All due to a sophisticated filtering system.
Users get details about places to stay and can choose the best-fitting options based on price, location, service level, and lots of other factors.
Amadeus hotel search API
#5. TravelgateX Hotel-X API
TravelgateX picked a flexible approach for its hotel API integration. They added a business logic layer in front of their HotelX API's transformation layer. That allows developers to modify the API functionality and response data related to access management, pricing, commissions, currency exchange, and more.
What the Hotel-X API works for:
- searching for hotel rooms
- getting price quotes
Hotel-X API is GraphQL-based.
TravelgateX allows to customize their Hotel-X API
Car rental APIs
Online car rent is growing in popularity. No wonder: if you rent a car, you don’t need to deal with local transport or change the route due to transportation issues. Or deal with local taxi pays.
The need for car APIs grows fast too. So here comes our list of top 5 car rental APIs we've saved for last.
#1. Sabre Car Locations API
Sabre is a leading travel tech provider that works with 40+ car rental brands. The company provides three car APIs that come handy to devs that work with travel industry products.
Allows users to search for cars according to vehicle type, city, address. Travelers choose the car pickup and return date/location, calculate the length of the rent, and choose a vehicle according to their interest.
Used to reserve one or more rental cars. It’s a rental car API that allows adding extra information while renting. Like flight arrival, address, different return location, billing number, location code.
Shows rental car availability and pricing data depending on pickup location and date. It works as a car information API, showing:
- available rental cars closest to the specified location
- price by vehicle type
- rate plan type (prepaid, inclusive, negotiated/corporate)
Sabre Car Locations API
#2. Skyscanner Car Hire Live Prices API
Skyscanner goes beyond their flight cost search and provides a car rental API as well. Car Hire Prices API is a global car distribution channel.
Here's what users get after Skyscanner API integration:
- complex car search features
- real-time streaming of car prices
- browsing ability and live car price feeds
Skyscanner offer API integration to car sharing services
#3. TraveloPro's Globar Car API
TraveloPro's API connects to several GDS providers and creates an end-to-end online car rental portal. The car rental API integration works for both small and large-scale businesses on 190+ countries.
In the end, customers benefit by taking the best deals from global suppliers.
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Here's what the car rental API offers:
- advanced search options
- real-time price tracking
- car rental reservation management
- car availability tracking
TraveloPro offers a great rental car API
#4. Trawex Universal Car API
Universal Car API offers car booking in advance if travelers plan to visit a few destinations on their way. Each car the data API shows comes with a variety of pick-up and drop-off options.
Trawex provides car rental software solutions to multiple travel consolidators, agencies, and companies worldwide. Users can specify a search by car company name, vehicle type, or car equipment options.
Main features of the car API:
- fast and easy quotes
- real-time availability
- car rent for a selected period (day, month, year)
A universal car rental API by Trawex
#5. eTravos Car Rental API
eTravos is the largest cloud travel platform in India, powering more than 300+ clients – from Europe to Africa. Which offers to compare prices, schedules and amenities from hundreds of operators.
eTravos Car API connects travelers to its car rental system, giving access to the following:
- car search by location, travel dates, size, car list
- checking cost, availability, credit
- pick an insurance from several options
eTravos Car Rental API
Finally, we’d like to introduce a platform we’ve built, which heavily relies on API.
Meet oMap – a search-and-discovery app targeted on the Polish market. We had to provide fast real-time searching and build the full-featured map to look for services.
We've picked Google Maps APIs to deliver a top-notch experience of using online maps. With their help, we've managed to place all the services from oMap’s database on the map. And let customers plan their route while seeing the distance between two points.
Travel API is a set of web services used to access travel data from different consolidators. It's a kind of a control panel for linking with software components without dealing with the code itself.
Travel APIs fetch and process travel data (flights, hotels cost, availability, destinations). And allow third-party resources to get access to this information.
To start using travel APIs, developers need to integrate it first. As well as discuss the terms and conditions with the API provider and sign the agreement.
When the travel API is implemented, a user of a third-party resource can connect to the system and start searching for details. While the system makes a call on the API of a trading partner to get the info.