13 March 2018

    Anna Monreal

    Different applications: booking vs travelling in the world of travel apps


    Once upon a time any pre-trip 'to do list' included items related to clothes, medicines or personal hygiene. And not least a passport and tickets! In the modern world we' re all also now searching for our mobile phone (and its charger). 

    But with every trip we also become more concerned by what mobile apps we are taking on our trip. Netflix for many is a must on long trips nowadays. But what about apps that help us travel? Travel apps are fast becoming the 'unforgettable' item when on the move.

    So which are the travel apps you simply shouldn´t travel without? And even more importantly, which are the travel apps indispensable once you are in-destination? Are we fully taking advantage of technology to improve our travel experience?

    According to App Annie – a provider of analytics and market intelligence to developers – the most downloaded travel apps in 2017 were Uber, Hotels.com, Expedia, TripAdvisor and Fly Delta.  What is clear is that the needs of travelers are related mainly to transportation and the search for accommodation, as the rankings show.

    But App Annie does not discriminate between pre-trip and in-destination, which makes it difficult to establish which apps we reach for when packing our virtual suitcase.

    To clarify this dilemma we have asked our very own expert here at Hotelbeds Group: Sergi Mesquida, Head of Innovation and New Ventures.

    Sergi states that the most indispensable apps when abroad are ones related to transportation.  Top of the list is Citymapper: “It is very useful when looking for the best transportation, as it shows you in real time all the possibilities of public transportation in the city where you are located”. He also is fond of Trip advisor, Google Translate and XE currency converter.  

    When it comes to planning the trip logistics, as a good Google fan, he recommends Google Trips. This automatically maps out a half -day or a full-day of activities with suggestions for things to see and do.

    Last but not least, he could not miss the top-ranked Google Maps, when it comes to maps and orientation in an unknown city.

    It seems very clear that travelers needs in-destination are more much more focused on transportation and navigation, than booking for flights, accommodations or activities – something perhaps developers are overlooking.

    The big question however is, will new technologies such as AI, Virtual Reality or Robotics change the needs, desires even, of travelers once in-destination? Will entirely new apps appear – companies even – or will existing apps just incorporate these technologies into them? Only time will tell.