With the Travel category making its way into the top 10 most popular categories in the iTunes app store, we can’t deny that travel apps very much in demand. This is affirmed by easyJet’s latest mobile statistics showing bookings carried out over mobile now account for 20% of their travel bookings. With more consumers using their phones to browse and purchase their hotel and flight bookings online, airlines and travel agencies are taking the opportunity to release apps that offer great functionality for their customers. Online check-in, live updates and personalised content are just a few of the things that can make your travel experience just that bit smoother and more pleasant.

So, what is the key to success for travel apps in such a competitive environment? Well, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite travel apps and made note of the great features that make them stand out above the rest.

Offer security in booking over mobile

We can still be sceptical about carrying out very large bookings over mobile. Customers may be in the habit of jumping onto their laptops or desktops to carry out hefty all-inclusive holiday bookings, just to be sure. Teletext has acknowledged this qualm and have found a stress-free way for users to carry out holiday plans, from browsing to organising documents, all through their app.

Users can search for holiday deals, quotes and guides all through the Teletext Holidays app. Once they have finalised their details, the app offers a click to call function that will direct them to a dedicated travel expert who will offer more information and carry out the booking over the phone. Once this is done, all travel documents are stored directly within the app, just for convenience. By incorporating one-on-one interaction in the booking process, users can feel safe in booking large holiday deals on mobile, which is an innovative and unique spin on the typical holiday app.

Check out the Teletext Holidays app here.

Save your consumers precious time

Listed among the “10 best money-saving apps” by The Guardian, the Trivago app is an all-rounder that finds travellers the best prices on hotels worldwide. The Trivago Rating Index pulls together rating from available hotel review scores online (such as Expedia, Hotels.com, Holidaycheck, ebookers) so you can save time browsing the net and instead see the best deals around, collated in one single app.

The app also offers great functionality such as their save button, which is convenient if you want to book a hotel you have discovered at a later date. Saving your users time in organising their travels is key in attracting an audience to your app.

Check out the Trivago  app here.

Making life simple through in-app check in

Budget airline EasyJet appears to be delighting their customers with their well thought out apps currently rating at 4.5 stars in iTunes alongside an impressive 4.4 star rating in Google Play. The brand has really focused on their mobile offerings, and also have an Apple Watch app that will sync alerts across the wearable device too.

The EasyJet app offers features that ensures their users have a smooth and hassle-free travel experience before flying. Users can manage their bookings, change flights and add extra luggage straight through the app. But better than this, users can scan their passport straight to the app to check-in and save their boarding passes to their mobile, available for offline view. Key functionality like this will make an app like this an absolute necessity for your travels.

Check out the EasyJet app here.

Search hassle-free across devices

We browse for travel deals across different devices all the time, and trying to rediscover deals that we found from a mobile search on desktop devices can always be a bit frustrating.

Skyscanner, leading flight, hotel and car rental comparison site worked to ease this particular pain point for users. Once you are logged in to your account, your searches and price alerts will sync across all your devices. This means you can pick up where you left off, wherever you carry out your holiday browsing. Keeping the nature of your users’ behaviour in mind will ensure that your app fares well with your audience.

Check out the Skyscanner app here.

Updates on the move through flight trackers

KAYAK is another leading flight, hotel and car rental comparison site, and they too show that they’re serious about mobile, even offering mobile-exclusive deals. But one of the leading features of the app is the flight-tracker functionality.

This means users can track the status of any flight, which is convenient to ensure that you’re not getting to the airport too early or if you’re cutting it fine before your flight departs. And if you’re picking someone up from the airport, you can track their flight using their flight number. You can even monitor a flight’s progress through a live map view.  Offering live updates can really deepen user engagement and raise your app retention rates.

Check out the KAYAK app here.

Let your travel app do the organising

Filtering through endless email confirmations of your restaurant reservation, car rental or hotel booking of your trip and making sense of it all can be quite overwhelming. Well, Google’s aptly named Google Trips app now organises your essential travel information all in one place.

The app will generate an automated trip with a day by day plan of things to do. It’ll even generate food and drink suggestions based on locations near to your hotel, and it’s all downloadable offline! Integrations such as this can really put an app at the heart of a user’s travels, and offering personalised content will make an app stand out above the crowd.

Check out the Google Trip here.

There are lots of things to consider if you want to create an app that will gain traction in the Travel category. There are some great examples out there that work well as case studies for features that are user-friendly. Combined with the essential mobile marketing tools, your travel apps can soar through the app store rankings.

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