The travel and hospitality industry is a vast field. According to Statista, its yearly economic impact is almost $6.5 trillion. Since everybody loves to travel, it would be wonderful to have an app from which we can simply book our visa, flight tickets, hotels, etc. 

The worldwide tourism revenue is estimated at $1.34 trillion. In the US alone, it was projected for foreign travelers to spend about $200 billion in 2020. Simply put, there’s a significant amount of money in the industry. 

If you own and run a tourism and travel agency, it is time for you to create a custom travel app for your business. In this ultimate guide, we give you a comprehensive picture of travel app development, including the steps to create a travel app and all the features to include.

Types of Travel Mobile Apps

Trip planning apps 

Trip planning apps offer all the essential travel features such as hotel booking, taxi booking, train/flight booking, planning itineraries, and more. 

Some examples of this type of apps type include Yatra, MakeMyTrip, Expedia, etc. 

Flight booking apps 

Flight booking apps help travelers compare flight costs, book their flight tickets, and pay for their tickets online. The application also displays data of flights in real-time. This is done by integrating APIs (Application Programming Interface). 

Some examples of flight booking apps include Skyscanner, Hopper, Kayak, Kiwi, etc. 

Hotel booking apps 

Hotel booking and accommodation apps enable users to view, make reservations, and pay for rooms. It also includes features such as an online check-in facility, ratings/reviews, electronic keys, etc. 

Among the examples of these apps include Hostel World, Oyo Rooms, Airbnb,, etc. 

Transport apps 

Transport apps enable users to find information on nearby routes and transportation systems. These applications use the geolocation feature to define the nearest transport options and determine user locations. 

Some examples of transport apps include Ola, Lyft, Uber, Taxify, etc. 

7 Must-Have Features in a Travel App

To create a thriving travel app, you need to ensure your app includes the following must-have features:

Navigation and maps

Geography and traveling are inseparable. As a result, location features play a vital role in travel apps. Maps are an essential feature for any app that deals in travel and hospitality. 

Users must have access to comprehensive maps which are easy to understand, use, and navigate. Including in-app maps and navigation enables the travelers to spot the nearest hotels, locations, tourist points, restraints, etc., in no time. 

You may use some tools such as Google Maps SDK for iOS, which is already featured in Android applications. Moreover, you can integrate Facebook Places APIs or Google Places. 

Trip planner 

One of the primary reasons you use a travel app is to plan your trip. Apps that include such functions allow choosing transportation to arrive at those destinations, picking different venues, booking hotels, etc. 

All features must be presented to enable the user to visualize their trip from the beginning to the end. A travel app needs to have a feature to plan and schedule the trip. Users must be able to see the visa information, the estimated cost of their journey, etc. 

Social media sharing 

About 70% of travelers post statuses and pictures on social media platforms. Thus, it is crucial to include social media buttons on your travel app. 

Reviews and recommendations

Whether you’re creating a smartphone app for a travel agency or a travel aggregator, one of the most essential features is providing your users with honest recommendations and reviews. 

This is because many tourists and travelers give priority to reviews and ratings before choosing any service. 

Reviews and ratings on your travel app establish a sense of trust amongst your existing customers and also helps draw in new ones. 

Weather forecasting 

What are all the things that can go wrong while traveling to an unknown place? The answer can always give you goosebumps. Weather is an essential factor in a traveler’s decision-making process. 

For this reason, anyone can profoundly benefit if you provide them with precise weather forecasts, and there are many sophisticated APIs for this purpose. 

The built-in weather forecasting feature in travel apps enables travelers to prepare themselves ahead of time according to the current weather. 

Booking and payment 

You can use travel apps to directly book hotels, tickets, tours, and other travel-related services and products. Integrate a booking system that provides several features such as a quick comparison of restaurant and hotel prices. 

To make your travel app seamless, consider including an instant payment method. 

Emergency services

When travelers visit a foreign country, they might get lost or stuck in an emergency. If they do not know how to speak the local language and aren’t familiar with the place, emergencies can soon turn into tragedies. 

The ideal way to keep this situation from arising is to provide as much in-depth information about emergency services as possible.

It’s good to allow users to push out emergency calls through your travel app. In addition, you can contact insurance companies and help them get insurance.

How to Create a Travel App from the Beginning

Using these six simple steps, you can now create your travel app solution. Regardless of having experience in the development field, these simple steps will help you comprehend the overall concept. 

Define the goals and objectives for your app

The 1st step in applying for travel visas is to know what kind of visa you require. If you want your travel app to succeed, you must figure out what you want the most to get out of it. 

Tour guides, hotels, public transportation apps, precise backpackers, and several other types of services are all available to users. 

Research the marketplaces and industry

After finding out the app’s aims, you must conduct substantial industry and market research. Determine what makes them stand out and what they have forgotten about them by digging into their most essential functions and features. 

You may even dig into the target group’s demographics and customers’ feelings about them. This enables you to better understand your rivals and how you can outperform them. 

Choose the core features and functionalities of your app 

Decide on the functions and features of the app that will best exhibit the app’s value to users. You will learn what your customers want and how you can inspire them to use your travel app by completing this challenge. 

Hire travel apps developers

By this point, you must start looking for hiring travel app developers. Hiring a mobile travel app development business will ensure you have access to qualified, experienced, and well-trained workers. 

In addition, they would comprise a team of mobile app developers, project managers, user interface/user experience designers, and testing specialists committed to your project. 

Work with the development team to get the perfect app solution

After you have hired the team, you must sit down with them and describe your requirements. 

Even if it is not very clear, smart developers can easily decipher it. It’s also possible for the developer to come up with some vital additions and modifications to your project. 

Promote and market your app

If you do not promote and market your application on the proper channels, no matter how special and unique it is, it still won’t succeed. 

You should use digital marketing to promote your travel app to your target audience, who can then use it to discover its many features and benefits.

Total Cost to Develop a Travel App

The total cost of creating a travel app depends on several things like the app’s complexity, features, functionality, region, theme, design, etc. Here is the breakdown of travel app development costs.

Discovery and research 

The app development commences from planning and research. This phase includes App concept, Timeline, Architecture, and Competitor analysis.

Average cost: $4000 – $10,000


The app’s user interface/user experience (UI/UX) is designed and implemented in this phase. UI design is to make the app visually appealing, and UX design is to make it user-friendly.

Average Cost: $6000 – $15000 


All the features, functionalities, and modules are integrated into the app. After the core development, all features are implemented, and the APIs are finally integrated.

Average Cost: $10,000 – $30,000


Now, the testers test the design, code, and features. The travel app is set to launch after it has passed all quality checks. 

Average Cost: $5,000 – $15,000 

Launch and maintenance 

Finally, after these 4 phases have been completed, the app is released. Once the application is live, it must be regularly updated and maintained. 

Average Cost: $10,000 – $30,000 

Total Cost of a Basic Travel App: $20,000- $50,000 

Total Cost of a Medium Travel App: $50,000- $100,000 

Total Cost of a Large Travel App: $100,000+ 

Get Help FromOwlab

We are Owlab, a custom software development company that was initially founded in Ukraine. Now, we have expanded and have a development center in Estonia. 

We offer top-quality app development services and have niche expertise in retail, blockchain, fintech, healthcare, etc. We are all set to take up more projects and deliver top-notch custom software solutions for our customers!  Just contact our team with your project requirements and rest assured, you won’t be disappointed.