Best Travel APIs to Help You Build a Great Product

Updated 13 Jun 2023

17 Min




Today’s travelers want to book flights, hotels, and car services on one platform, not a dozen. Stratos report proves that an estimated 700 million people will make a booking online by 2023. Apart from this, there are over 148 million travel bookings made annually.

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 the most useful flight, hotel, and car booking APIs.

What Is an API for Travel 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. Let's delve deeper into what API is: API (Application Programming Interface) is a special interface that developers can use. The main purpose of using an API is to implement the functions of a third-party application into your own product.

Companies license third-party software products through travel APIs. It is a more efficient and quicker way compared to building software components from scratch.

Next, we’re taking a look at the most popular travel APIs. By the main categories:

Hotels booking APIs

Such solutions are GDSs (Global Distribution Systems), connectivity vendors, and switches. The term of GDS refer to the global reservation systems for travel services. Using them, customers can use them to buy a flight ticket, order a transfer, and choose a hotel. In our case, we are talking about the last case. Connectivity vendors and switches are the scale aggregators that link hotel reservations, spots that are ready for booking, and details from a diversity of channels. They operate well both directly with hotels as well as with intermediaries. A switch is a subtype that links hotel CRS and providers and becomes a point of access for each aforementioned party.

Cars rental APIs

With car rental APIs, software engineers can design the utter solution to ensure the business’s customers with the most relevant offers from the most demanded worldwide car rental agencies, companies, and tour operators.

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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Travel API benefits

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

The key function of travel APIs is data transferring across travel agencies. Travel APIs enable travel agencies to get the most recent data about flights, bookings in hotels, car rentals, and even more, extracting them from a broad list of providers. It raises usability, value, and engagement in your travel platform as well as allows presenting the most relevant available flight or hotel variants to the audience. Having a wide spectrum of options to choose from, you are able to gain competitiveness and demand.

What's more, there are some more advantages and opportunities travel APIs bring:

No standalone availability management and control

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) ensure APIs that software engineers can apply to extend the solution with flight booking details, available apartments, or any other useful travel data. Therefore, separate travel agencies are free of management and maintenance of their own travel assets. This also makes it easier for self-serving and making individual bookings for customers.

Maximum client attraction and retention

Surfing your solution and striving to find the best option for a flight or hotel reservation, APIs enable retaining customers without a need to redirect them to external travel software. API integrations guarantee that your travel agent withdraws all of the customer payments using secure payment gateways. This makes your website reliable for all of the parties engaged in this process.

Accelerated integration, seamless customer journey

Travel APIs can be added smoothly to the existing travel website or app and have perfect compatibility with external solutions. It enables travel agencies to implement any existing types of APIs available on the market with no influence on the functional flow. Developers are able to integrate the API rapidly, which is a way to advance the functionality at a decreased time-to-market.

These are the core advantages that your company can obtain from travel API integration. To summarize, we’d like to highlight that the most vital advantage of working with API is that it saves time when developing your own services. The developer gets ready-to-use solutions from travel agencies and does not need to spend time designing code for features that have already been implemented for a long time.Why is this important?

  • The API can take into account nuances that a third-party developer may not consider or simply not know,
  • The APIs give applications a certain consistency and predictability - the same function with the help of the APIs can be implemented in different applications so that it will be clear and familiar to all users.
  • The API gives third-party developers access to closed services
  • All you need to do is select the best travel API provider for your business. Here are some points that you may consider while choosing a travel API service provider for your business.

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.

Refine software with travel APIs

Get the broad spectrum of travel API benefits with Cleveroad professionals

Flight Booking APIs

The most in-demand and credible APIs for booking flights are:

1. Skyscanner Flight Search API

Documentation: Skyscanner 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 flghts API

Skyscanner flight search API

2. FlightStats Flex APIs

Documentation: 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 API

FlightStats Flex APIs documentation

3. British Airways NDC

Documentation: 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.

British Airways NDC website

Flights API by British Airways

4. Expedia API

Documentation: 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. Expedia works with an API key authentication. It's a single purpose API with a RESTful architecture.

Expedia API

Flight info API by Expedia

5. Amadeus APIs

Documentation: Amadeus APIs

Amadeus provides tech solutions for the travel industry. They offer several APIs like:

The APIs integration allows users to access:

  • Flight information
  • Fares
  • Sales reports
  • Tickets purchase

Amadeus flight APIs can be used for production needs. They work in REST/JSON and SOAP/XML formats.

Amadeus APIs

Amadeus API for travel

6. Sabre Flight APIs

Documentation: Sabre APIs

Sabre APIs cover flight bookings, payments, pricing, reservation administration, and more.They help developers simply implement valuable travel details from Sabre into the business, optimizing the entire development flow. Apart from that, Sabre APIs can decrease software creation costs, cut down duplication of efforts and accelerate the time-to-market. This enhances product development, making it precise, easy, and rapid, skyrocketing profit streams for customized, end-to-end travel applications and websites.

Sabre APIs

Sabre APIs

7. Travelport APIs

Documentation: Travelport APIs

It is a united vendor covering the 3 GDS: Apollo, Worldspan, and Galileo. These APIs offer you to extend your travelers’ choice. Travelport’s APIs help you ensure a broad spectrum of options you diver through your solution by linking you to more airline, hotel, and car products as well as their add-ons. APIs let you design software that delivers an excellent experience to bookers, with the absolute guarantee they’re receiving the widest variety of available options.

Travelport APIs

Travelport APIs

Hotel Booking APIs

As we've mentioned, 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 APIs that connect users to hotel pricing, booking, and property management.

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1. Connectivity APIs

Documentation: Content API

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 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 website.

Booking Connectivity APIs work for:

  • Creating and updating content
  • Adding rooms and rates
  • Opening and closing properties Connectivity APIs

Hotel channel manager API by

2. Google Hotel Prices API

Documentation: Google Hotel APIs

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 Prices API

Google hotel finder APIs

3. TripAdvisor Content API

Documentation: 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 Content API

TripAdvisor offers a great hotel database API

4. Amadeus Hotel Search API

Documentation: 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

Amadeus hotel search API

5. TravelgateX Hotel-X API

Documentation: 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
  • Reservations

Hotel-X API is GraphQL-based.

TravelgateX Hotel-X API

TravelgateX allows to customize their Hotel-X API

6. Cloudbeds API

Documentation: Cloudbeds API

To create a custom integration for your project, Cloudbeds API is a perfect choice. It enables the software engineering team to interact with other service vendors to deliver advanced functionality for refined travelers’ journeys. You can also robotize and operate hotel details, guest data, rooms, reservations, and payments. For now, over 50 APIs are available with the field, type, and overview.

Cloudbeds API

Cloudbeds 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 car rental APIs we've saved for last.

42% of traveles book hotels on mobiles. Don't limit yourselft to a web platform, go for mobile development services too

1. Sabre Car Locations API

Documentation: Sabre Car Locations APIs

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.

Car Location API

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.

Book Car Reservation API

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.

Car Availability API

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

Sabre Car Locations API

2. Skyscanner Car Hire Live Prices API

Documentation: Skyscanner Car Hire Live Prices

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 Car Hire Live Prices API

Skyscanner offer API integration to car sharing services

3. TraveloPro's Globar Car API

Documentation: Global 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.

Here's what the car rental API offers:

  • Advanced search options
  • Real-time price tracking
  • Car rental reservation management
  • Car availability tracking
TraveloPro's Globar Car API

TraveloPro offers a great rental car API

4. Trawex Universal Car API

Documentation: 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)
Trawex Universal Car API

A universal car rental API by Trawex

5. eTravos Car Rental API

Documentation: 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

eTravos Car Rental API

6. Cartrawler

Documentation: Cartrawler

It’s the global B2B travel tech solution that will come in use for airlines, travel agents, and accommodation providers. These APIs offer 2000+ travel agents, OTAs, and also international airlines access to nearby car rentals. Currently, the services are available and supported in 190 countries. What’s more, they deliver unique access channels, such as 85 airlines.

Our Experience

Cleveroad is your certified technical vendor with solid expertise in most on-demand industries. We deliver flawless digital products tailored to the business goals of our customers.

The travel niche is the one that we truly experienced. Cleveroad tech team is knowledgeable in designing booking platforms, travel API integrations, hospitality, and travel management systems. Products ensured by our software engineers assist well-known market players and newly-established entities in streamlining the operation, enhancing productivity, and bringing renovations to the business.

Our competence covers booking platforms, HMS, and TMS platforms for the domain of hospitality and travel. We help businesses and startups to streamline management, maximize productivity, and comply with the highest client service requirements at decreased operational costs. To prove our expertise in the travel industry, let us introduce one of our cases in the hospitality and travel niche to you— Web platform for searching travel activities:

KoralGo from Cleveroad

KoralGo from Cleveroad

Our customer, a Singapore company, needed a solution to gather travelers searching for a place to stay and to the hospitality vendors, allowing the first to find the relevant option. To design a special solution that allows such functions, your client requires a reliable tech provider and has chosen Cleveroad to accomplish this project.

We’ve designed a product that enables travelers to look for services and apartments, taking into account user profiling filters and vendor offers located online. Besides, we’ve created a complex proprietary system of searching and ranking to calculate the Personal Value (PV) score and enhance user options. The final platform has delivered the opportunity to engage investors for business expansion through the product's Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and added value. Our fully-fledged platform reflects the requirements of both the client’s business and the target audience at which the solution is aimed at.

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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a travel API?

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.

How a travel API works?

Travel APIs fetch and process travel data (flights, hotels cost, availability, destinations). And allow third-party resources to get access to this information.

How to use a travel API?

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.

Author avatar...
About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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8141 ratings, average: 4.69 out of 5


25.08.2022 at 14:45

Very weird article, haven’t mentioned anything about the most important part of travel which is tours and activities

Clara Berry
06.10.2021 at 08:04

A great list.. But many prominent companies are missing. Like Mystifly.

02.08.2021 at 04:36

Very much simplified Info. Easy to Understand!!!!!

Ali Gammack
25.07.2020 at 08:21

No Airport Parking API?

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