POSTED ON April 10, 2024

How to Create Travel App like Airbnb and Hopper


In the wake of the subsequent economic downturn, people around the world find themselves on the cusp of a new phenomenon known as “revenge travel.” Despite the prevailing challenges, they are eager to explore and embark on new adventures as most travel restrictions and heavy border controls have now been lifted. This surge in wanderlust presents a unique opportunity for travel businesses to tap into the growing demand by understanding how to create travel app that can rival the success of industry giants like Airbnb and Hopper.  

In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of building a travel app that can provide users with the seamless and immersive experience they desire.

I. Travel app development market size: figures & statistics 

Travelers are now using their smartphones to research and plan their trips, particularly mobile travel apps. These travel app development statistics will give you a peek into the most popular trends in this market with the role of mobile and travel apps.  

_ The travel app market generated 556 billion USD in revenue  

_ More than 800 million people used a travel app in 2022 

_ 58% of travel apps are used at least monthly. 

_ Travel app downloads numbered over 3 billion in 2023 – State of Mobile. 

_ Total time people spent on travel apps was over 15.7 billion hours globally. 

_ Travel apps consistently rank among the top 10 popular categories on the App Store. These apps cater to different aspects of travel, such as booking accommodations, finding attractions, managing itineraries, and more 

_ Mobile searches for “place(s) to travel” have more than doubled over the past two years, including searches for topics like “top places to travel in the world” and “best place to travel in February” – Google report 

As you can see, the travel app market presents a promising investment opportunity due to its evident demand and ample potential for development. With the growing interest in travel and the ever-evolving needs of travelers, investing in this sector can prove to be a lucrative venture.

II. Why do we need to create travel app? 

Travel app development has become a one-stop solution for travelers along with other travel software solutions such as travel portals, booking engines and tour operator software. 

1. Easy of access and bookings

Create travel app provides users with easy access to various travel services and information including flight bookings, hotel reservations, transportation options, and various tourist attractions of their destinations, all in one.  

With travel apps, travelers can book these services directly and at one click anywhere, anytime. This is one of the primary reasons why holiday makers utilize a mobile travel app instead of a travel website. 

2. Cost-effectiveness

Compared to developing from scratch, it is significantly cheaper and faster to create travel app, using a ready-built solution can be. It can save up to 20 times the cost and take only about 2 weeks to personalize the app and add content.  

On the other hand, with a travel app, you can also manage your operation and make data-driven decisions with its analysis and reporting features, that can improve your revenue and save cost of resources.  

3. Enhanced customer experience

According to GetYourGuide, customers have expressed a desire to be able to book experiences both well in advance and at the last minute, with a significant growth in bookings seen within different time frames. 

Travel apps can provide a seamless and enriched customer experience by offering features like travel planning, in-app booking, in-app payment, review and recommendation systems, integrated translation facilities, currency conversion information, and weather forecasts. Thanks to this, users can easily decide and plan their trips.  

4. Potential targeted marketing

These days, digital marketing and online business promotion are key tools for companies to leverage business visibility and productivity. It is a tactic in your marketing strategy.  

One of the best approaches to achieve your goals is to stay connected with your audiences and focus on the new one. Utilizing social media buttons helps your business collect more information, allowing you to directly interact with customers and explore what they are planning for their next itineraries. Create travel app can help you with this.  

5. Competitive advantage

Despite the high competition in the travel industry, it is a perspective niche for investments to create travel app. With the right features and a well-designed app, businesses can stand out and attract more users. 

Moreover, travel apps can be monetized in various ways, such as through in-app purchases, advertising, partnerships with travel service providers, and premium features or subscriptions, making travel companies stay competitive in the market.  

6. Simplified transactions

Another benefit of mobile travel apps is that it has curtailed the process of paperwork. As mobile devices are convenient and portable, travelers can save multiple copies of flight tickets and other documents on mobile phones. They don’t need to take them while going to the destinations. Also, the release of tourism apps has led to a reduction in the formalities associated with travel booking. 

With the option to make reservations and payments through the internet, it eliminates the need for carrying large amounts of cash while on vacation. Moreover, these applications are available round the clock, 24/7, throughout the year, providing users with convenient access at any time. 

III. How to create travel app: essential features 

There are many essential features that every successful travel app should have. Let’s dive in:


1. User profile management

To create travel app, it is most important to include user profile management features, allowing users to create and customize their profiles. Users save their preferences, travel history, payment information, and personal details. 

2. Integration with third-party providers

Travel app development should integrate with third-party providers such as airlines, hotels, car rental services, and tour operators to allow travelers to access a wide range of options and make bookings directly through the app.  

It eliminates the need to visit multiple websites or make phone calls, providing a seamless and convenient booking experience.

3. Search and filter function

The search and filter function in travel apps allows users to find specific destinations, accommodations, activities, or services based on their preferences. Users can filter results by location, price range, ratings, amenities, and more. 

4. Navigation feature

Create travel app also requires navigation features that provide directions, maps, and real-time updates on traffic conditions. Thanks to this, holiday makers can navigate unfamiliar locations, find points of interest, and discover nearby attractions or services. 

5. Booking function

The booking function is a crucial feature in travel app development, allowing users to book other services directly through the app. This function might simplify the booking process and save users time and effort.

6. Trip planner

What’s more, travel apps support users to create and organize their itineraries. Destinations, activities, and notes, set reminders, and plan sharing options are what users need within a mobile travel app. 

7. Notifications

To keep travelers informed about their bookings, updates, and relevant travel information, you should create travel app which utilizes notifications to keep users. Users can receive alerts about flight delays, gate changes, hotel check-in times, and more. 

8. User feedback and review

Everyone wants to share their visiting impressions and experience with others. And others also want to learn opinions from experienced people. Feedback and review feature will promote travelers to resort to travel apps more regularly.  

In many aspects, the world-renowned Airbnb and Hopper owe their popularity to honest feedback and ratings. 

9. GPS integration

GPS integration is a valuable feature in travel apps that provides users with real-time location tracking and navigation. It helps users find their way in unfamiliar surroundings, locate nearby attractions, and discover points of interest.  

With this feature enhances, your users overall experience will be enhanced.

10. Personalized recommendations

Using algorithms and machine learning, travel apps suggest destinations, activities, and accommodations based on the user’s interests and booking history. By doing so, this feature helps users discover new experiences and tailor their travel plans to their individual preferences.

11. Offline access

A well-designed travel app should include an offline mode that allows users to access certain functionalities of the travel app even without an internet connection. Users view their itineraries, ensuring they can access essential travel details even in areas with limited connectivity. For instance, a traveler goes into an area without Wi-Fi or cellular data, with the offline access, he/she can still access the itinerary planned before to access the right destination. 

If you want to explore more about 12 must-have features of Travel Portal Solution, read here

IV. Steps to build a mobile travel app


1. Select your mobile travel app type

First and foremost, to create travel app begin by selecting the type of travel app that aligns with your goals and target customers. Consider options such as booking apps, accommodation booking apps, transport apps, or travel guide apps. 

2. Research competitors’ apps

Take the time to research and analyze other travel apps in your niche. Identify their strengths and weaknesses and explore opportunities for differentiation. Additionally, consider integrating ready-made travel app APIs to enhance your app’s functionality.

3. Determine a travel app MVP features

For your travel app MVP, prioritize the essential features such as user profile management, booking, search and filter, in-app payment, … It’s a key step to create travel app.  

Remember to clarify these features because they might affect significantly your budget. 

4. Find a travel app development company

Select a reputable travel app development company or a skilled development team that possesses expertise in create travel app. Assess their previous projects and ensure they align with your vision and requirements. 

You can visit the websites of potential partners and find out their case studies, client testimonials, and project portfolios.  

There are various trusted platforms such as Clutch, GoodFirms, and Gartner’s Peer Insights that offer ratings, and reviews of travel portal development companies. 

5. Enter the discovery phase

During the discovery phase, work closely with your chosen development team to define the concept of your mobile travel app. Consider current market trends, determine the project scope and milestones, and collaboratively find the best technical solutions for your app.

6. Development process

Initiate the app development process with your chosen team. They will design the user interface, create travel app’s visual elements, and write the necessary code to bring your travel app to life. Regularly communicate with the development team to ensure the project progresses smoothly and aligns with your vision.

V. How much does it cost to build travel app? 

If you decide to create travel app with only the essential features and choose to hire software developers from countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, India, and others, you can expect a cost range of $15,000 to $60,000, depending on your specific requirements. However, it’s important to note that this estimate is subject to change based on the complexity of additional functionalities you may want to include. 

For example, incorporating advanced features like voice integration or in-app translation will inevitably raise the overall cost. These additional complexities require more time, effort, and expertise from the development team, resulting in an increase in the final price. 

It’s crucial to thoroughly assess your desired functionalities and budget constraints before embarking on the development process. By doing so, you can ensure a smooth and cost-effective journey towards creating your ideal travel app 

VI. What can your business offer mobile travel app users?  

It is understandable to have the desire to cover every aspect of journey preparation, but implementing such a comprehensive approach can be challenging and costly. As a result, travel services often specialize in specific tasks, ensuring that they excel in their area of expertise and provide users with everything they need. 

Here are some commonly recommended categories when create travel app:

1. Booking accommodation

One of the biggest challenges travelers deal with is finding suitable accommodation. Travel apps come to the rescue by helping users search for and book hotels, apartments, or hostels based on their preferences and budget. These apps simplify the process of finding a good place to sleep and rest while traveling.

2. Flight ticket

Mobile travel apps also offer the convenience of purchasing flight tickets online. With just a smartphone and the installed app, users can easily book the flight tickets they need. This type of travel apps saves time and provides a seamless booking experience for travelers.

3. Booking tours

In addition to accommodation and flight ticket booking, travel apps also provide options for booking tours and exciting excursions. These programs make it easy for users to find interesting tours or choose enticing excursions. The demand for such features to create travel app remains consistently high.

4. Tour guides

Some travel apps focus on being comprehensive city guides. Instead of offering travel booking services, these platforms help users navigate unfamiliar areas and discover which sights and attractions should be visited. They provide valuable information to enhance the travel experience and make exploring new cities easier.

5. Food search and filter

Travelers often rely on mobile apps to find the best places to dine while abroad. Searching for restaurants and cafes in a new country can be a daunting task, but travel apps simplify the process. Create travel app like this offer features that allow tourists to discover and enjoy local specialties, find interesting restaurants, and even dine in pleasant and unusual company.

6. App for drivers

For those who travel by car, there are mobile travel apps specifically designed to make their trips comfortable and efficient. These apps offer features such as clear navigation systems and useful tips for motorists, including problem areas and nearby refueling stations. Additionally, mobile travel apps can provide car rental services, catering to the needs of users who prefer driving during their travels.

7. Travel news app

While not as common, travel news apps are worth mentioning. These programs collect and sort information related to tourism, providing users with helpful tips and updates. Travel news apps keep users informed about the latest trends, destinations, and recommendations, enhancing their overall travel experience. 

You can also discover 9 cost-saving ideas for businesses on mobile software development here.

VIII. Create travel app with Adamo’s Trusted Travel App Development Services 

Having worked in the travel software development service industry for many years, Adamo consistently prioritizes three key factors: ensuring a prompt market launch, offering profitable software solutions for travel app development services, and efficiently allocating human resources for projects. Additionally, we possess the confidence and expertise to provide mobile apps, web-based applications, blockchain, and AI development services across various industries, including travel and hospitality, fintech, healthcare, and more. 

If you have an idea to create travel app, we are fully prepared to assist you. 

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