5 Things to Know About Travel App Development

11 Apr 2017
10 min
author avatar
Nataliya Kh.

Think of the best trip you've ever had. What is there in your hand? You're holding a mobile phone with Google Maps app launched as you're looking for the way back to your apartment booked with the help of Airbnb. Lucky you are! Technologies again come to our assistance, and now allow to save your precious time and even money on planning a trip. 

Travel apps have taken their place among useful digital tools for numerous users. However, travel applications are not only an effective tool for travelers, but it's also a beneficial business.

Are you sure you know everything about tourists' apps and what tricks stand behind their success? In the article, we'll tell you how to create a travel planning app and how to make money from it no worse than big names do.

What is a mobile travel app?

The category of travel applications includes numerous different apps that can serve users as useful tools during traveling. A variety of translation apps, city-guide apps, restaurant apps and even messengers can assist people on their trips, so we can call them traveling tools. However, in this article, I want to talk about multifunctional applications that are used for searching, planning and booking everything you need for a trip, and can provide translation features, city-guides and a messenger all in one app.

Travel planning apps are organizing tools that provide various features such as event scheduling, flight and hotel booking, car rental, searching for tourist attractions and a lot of others all in one app. They also often include reviews from other users on any service or attraction, so others could understand what to expect from the chosen place.

Travel app design concept

Travel app design concept by Cleveroad

Why should you choose a trip planner app as a business?

Well, first of all, people are now traveling a lot, and they often do it without the help of travel agencies. So, if you create an app that provides services that are in high demand among travelers, then you'll definitely get a great amount of users from all around the world.

Another point is that traveling is a popular topic for discussion on web spaces. People love sharing their stories and photos from exciting trips in different social networks. If you give travelers a great app for travel planning, you can be sure they will immediately tell their traveler friends about it. This way, your app's popularity can grow extremely fast.

And, one more point here is that traveling never loses its popularity. People loved traveling a long time before mobile phones appeared, and I seriously doubt that they'll ever stop it. That's why the tourism business won't lose its position anytime soon, and you can be sure that your travel app will stay popular for a long time.

How to create a travel app

If you want to create your own travel app, then you should understand how they work. Of course, all of the travel apps are diverse and may contain different functional sets, with a number of bigger or smaller features, but all of them often have something in common. Besides, no one launches their brand new app with a full pack of features. It is always a good idea to start with an MVP of your app for travel deals.

That's why, at first, I recommend that you to take a look at the basic features that you'll need to include to make a good mobile travel guide MVP.

User's personal account

A travel planner app is a personal tool for a user, that's why a personal account is a must-have. Moreover, you may gather more information about your users during the registration so you could learn more about your target audience.

Sign In & Sign Up in the app for travellers

Sign In & Sign Up in the app for travellers by Cleveroad

Schedule and notifications

Since a tour guide app is meant to help users plan their trips, one of the basic features should be a schedule. It's very convenient to have all your plans scheduled in one place. What's more, you can add a notification feature, so your users will never forget about important plans.

Search and filters

Give your users a comfortable search tool so they could easily find all the needed information about sightseeings, city attractions or big national events. However, users may get lost in the sea of information if you don't provide information filters. Don't forget that smart user experience in your travel itinerary app is the right way to success.

Adventure Guide app

Adventure Guide by Cleveroad

Navigation and geolocation

One of the most important things that your users need during a trip to a foreign city is a good route planning app. That's why you need to provide your users with a handy navigation system so they could easily travel around the world. To make your travel guide app more convenient you should consider both online and offline maps, in case your users go somewhere far from civilization :)


Location-based app development is gaining more and more popularity. See how you can add value to your app with location-based features.  

Also, you should add a geolocation feature to make a smart navigation system. This will help users easily find nearby cafes, hotels, and different tourist attractions.

Booking services

All the best vacation apps provide booking services. Your users will be able to choose and book flight tickets and an accommodation for a future trip right through your app.

Moreover, in a partnership with some hotels or airline companies, you may also provide some loyalty programs that will give discounts on their services for your users. That will definitely encourage people to choose your app.

Flight booking app

Flight booking app by Cleveroad

Transportation service

A lot of people prefer using cabs instead of public transport in a foreign city, so an in-app cab service is a must-have for your trip app. By the way, this feature can be a good way to make some extra money, because you can make a deal with a cab company like Uber, and they will pay for each of your users who choose their service.

What to add to your trip planning app to make it popular?

Everyone may think: 'My trip app is one of best travel planning apps'. However, it's not that easy to make your app recognizable among other vacation apps, unless you have something special to deliver to your users.

I suggest you to take a look at some features that will definitely make your app popular among travelers.

Users' reviews

Your app may provide short information about hotels, cafes or restaurants, but what users will really believe is testimonials and reviews from other users. Reviews can be not only about a specific place but about a city as a whole. This feature in a mobile tour guide will encourage people to use your app more because they won't have to go to different travel websites.


There are a lot of tricks that help to engage users and build a loyal audience. Check out some of the most actual in 2017.

Weather forecasting

Weather is one of the main factors that can influence the way your trip is going. Travelers need to know what to expect from the weather, so unexpected rain or frost doesn't ruin their plans. That's why a good vacation planner app has to provide in app world weather forecasts too.

App for the Weather forecast

Weather forecasting app

In-app language translator

Many travelers know several foreign languages pretty well, however, a major part of them knows only English and not all of them good enough. That's why a language translator in your trip itinerary app is a savior for every traveler. The translator will help users avoid suffering during communication with citizens, and, allow them to travel without any barriers.

Currency converter

Language is not the only problem for travelers in a foreign country. It's also rather difficult to deal with foreign currency, especially in small countries. To help users easily find out local currency you can provide an in-app currency converter.

Integrated social feed

People always use social networks to communicate with their friends, so don't leave them without it during their trip. Integrated social media in your travel organizer app will let your users chat with their friends and share photos and videos from their vacation.

How do leading travel apps make money?

If you still don't think that apps for planning trips are a good idea for your business, I suggest you take a look at three examples of the best vacation planning apps that have over a million downloads from app stores and learn how they monetize their apps before getting to bespoke travel mobile app development.


TripAdvisor is one of the best trip apps that provides a smart research system for tourists. Its users can find everything they need to plan a trip including flights, hotels, attractions, and, also recommendations and feedback from other travelers.

TripAdvisor is available in 45 countries and has 315 million visitors monthly. It's free for users, however, TripAdvisor makes big money. According to MarketWatch, in 2015 the revenue of TripAdvisor was $1.49 billion.


Take a look at some of the useful advice that will help you create a profitable real estate app


Kayak is a free trip planner app that allows users to find and book the best hotels and flights. It also provides a tracking feature that allows you to follow a flight status, and, of course, it provides managing functions for your travel plans. A lot of travelers choose Kayak as the best flight booking app.

Kayak has been awarded as the best app for business travelers and has been on the top of the lists among the best travel apps. Moreover, according to Statista research, Kayak significantly increases its revenue every year, and in 2015 its revenue was $9.22 billion.

Kayak's annual revenue

Kayak's annual revenue (Source: Statista)


Tripit is one of the best travel booking apps that allows you to find and book the best hotels and flights. What's more, there is a synchronization feature that allows you to sync your travel schedule with the calendar in your mobile and post your plans on Facebook and Twitter. This set of features makes users consider Tripit as the best app for vacation planning.

So, how do free travel applications can make big money? There are some common ways for all travel apps. Let's take a look at them.

  • Subscription. A lot of hotel chains, restaurants, and airports constantly pay travel apps for placing their information, so users can learn more about their services and contact them.
  • Click-based advertising. Trip apps provide information about hotels and restaurants, but also they let users go directly to the sponsors' websites. For this option, hotel and restaurant owners pay travel apps for every user that clicks and goes to their website.
  • Banner ads. As well as many others, traveling apps offer business owners company logo placement and adverts on the app's screen.
  • Notifications. Travel apps may offer paid a notification feature for both users and sponsors. Users get an additional feature that helps them keep in touch with all updates on flights and travel news, and sponsors can get one more way of advertising.

All in all, we can say that a travel app is a valuable business. They can easily become popular among users and they are ease to monetize. All you need is a fresh idea and, of course, a professional travel application development team that will make your idea work.

Visit Cleveroad Dribbble page if you are looking for inspiration. We have a lot of travel apps design concepts there. Enjoy!

If you've already decided to create your own travel app, feel free share your idea with us and you'll get a qualified consultation from our sales managers.

Rate this article!

An image An image
An image An image
An image An image
An image An image
An image An image
Love it!
(1363 ratings, average: 4.53 out of 5)
Latest articles
Article preview image
Steps to build a custom healthcare application
Calendar icon
12 Sep 2019
Clock icon
10 min
Article preview image
Cost to build an app like TikTok
Calendar icon
09 Sep 2019
Clock icon
8 min
Article preview image
Why outsource development to Ukraine?
Calendar icon
05 Sep 2019
Clock icon
10 min
Back to top
As s part of our team, be ready for:
An image
Competitive Base Salary
An image
Comprehensive Benefits
An image
Great Work Environment
An image
Drug Free Workplace
Tell us more about yourself