5 Essential Features That Travel Websites Should Have

by Emily on March 23, 2019

in Articles

It is well known that the period between Christmas Day and January is the peak time for holiday bookings, but a recent report found that Sunday evenings and Monday lunchtimes were the most popular time for holiday browsing, due to people spending their evening looking for an idyllic getaway before they return to work the next morning, or their lunch break on the first weekday back at work wishing they were anywhere else.

Mobile apps are now making it easier than ever to find and book your dream holiday, but when it comes to booking and parting with our well-earned money, we’d much rather use a desktop computer. Travel companies need to make sure that their websites are making the online journey for customers as easy as possible and that all of their important holiday information is quickly accessible and searchable. With that in mind, here are some essential features which all travel websites should be featuring.

Customer Reviews

A vital and integral part of almost all retail experiences, customer reviews are a very effective sales driving force and are a trusted source of information for new users. However, very few hotel brands and travel sites tend to use them, even though the information is right in front of them.

People are aware that sites, like TripAdvisor, are out there, so if a site doesn’t feature any reviews, then they will just go and find them there anyway. Aggregator sites like TripAdvisor are likely to be less concerned about getting negative reviews that the hotel chains which caused them in the first place. Even though it isn’t always ideal, embracing the worst reviews can make you seem more trustworthy and less like you have something to hide.

Simple Booking Calendars

Skyscanner has an easy to use calendar which you can use to search for arrival and departure dates. Bright colours stand out far more easily and make it easier for the visitor to notice if they have made a mistake in their booking, and it not taking minutes to readjust. With this, customers also want clear pricing for individual dates. Nothing makes a potential visitor bounce off your site quicker than charges, prices and tax that they weren’t expecting.

Beautiful, Appealing Images

When it comes to looking for the perfect getaway location, visitors much prefer seeing a few well-chosen pictures, rather than rows upon rows of tiny thumbnail images, some which have very clearly been edited or photoshopped. Visuals, on average, have 20 seconds to capture the viewer’s attention, so dark and blurry images will affect your bookings. The best images feature the kitchen space, bedrooms, bathrooms, outdoor green space and pools and floor plans.

Useful Information

When people are booking their holidays, you need to remember that they potentially only get away for a week or two a year, so they want to be rest assured that everything will go to plan. Having all the important information clearly accessible and displayed on your site is vital – if they have an important question for you whilst they are on holiday, your contact information should be clearly visible on almost all parts of your website. Remember, not everyone has data bundles or fast loading wifi whilst on holiday!

Other information you should include, especially if you offer holidays in various parts of the world, is embassy information and the contact information of trusted immigration solicitors. You never know what some people may need and with the impending Brexit situation, this is especially important.

Evocative and Interesting Copy

A lot of different operators offer similar holidays, in potentially the exact same hotels and destinations. When you are competing with others, you should make sure that you stand out from the crowd with some very well written holiday descriptions. Make it seem like it was written by a local and is in short, descriptive sentences. This, mixed with sales messages and attention to detail, should be enough to persuade holiday-goers to use you as their choice.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pattrick March 24, 2019 at 12:25

When I’ll build a travel website these features will certainly help me to implement. This is easy to read articles, thanks for your awesome post. I appreciate your hard work, Emily!

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Sajid Akhter March 25, 2019 at 11:02

Simple Booking Calendars is must for all travel website. It enables their visitors to choose their preferred dates and plan their itinerary.

Thanks for sharing, have a good day.

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