Last Updated: 07 Oct, 2020

Merging User and Travel Experience: Best UX Practices for Booking and Reservation Websites

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Whether you want to build a new travel site or improve the existing, user experience (UX) is the first thing to consider. Attractive and easy-to-use sites gain better user behavior metrics, which results in a higher conversion rate. That’s why successful travel agencies pay full attention to UX practices.

A well-designed travel website with vivid images, offers, and destination information will activate the travel mode for users who visit the website. It will give would-be travelers all the information they required to arrange their travel.

A booking engine is the heart of any online travel or hospitality business, but it can be valuable for virtually any enterprise.  An online booking system ensures the accessibility of real-time information to customers and employees. A traveler may book a hotel room or bus ticket directly from the company’s website, online travel agency (OTA), aggregator site, or off-line (on the phone or in the company’s office), and the data will be simultaneously updated in the booking engine and all distribution channels. This largely eliminates the risk of overbooking and information loss.

The more steps between a customer and their purchase, the less likely they’re to make it. A convenient online reservation system that reduces those steps is valuable for anyone who schedules appointments or takes bookings of any kind. Since more leads can simultaneously interact with the system than with a human agent, more reservations can be made, increasing sales. It also means a reduction of workload and mistakes by human employees. Smoother personalized customer experiences will drive repeat business.
 

How To Design, Build, And Test The Travel Booking Website

 

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Today’s travel is about creating unique user experiences. The customer’s journey starts on your website, and you have the power to make it remarkable and memorable. Vibrant imagery and vivid copy are a must for travel websites, but it’s not enough to inspire visitors to book a trip. The user experience should be designed in such a way that they accomplish their goal effortlessly. Enter UX/UI designer. For example, Travelopro has a team of designers skilled at creating websites, mobile apps, and branding for tourism businesses.

Both the back and front-office interface of your booking application must be welcoming, intuitive, and user-friendly. Make sure the website is mobile-friendly as well: most sites’ interfaces are still poorly adapted to phones and tablets.

Booking web apps can be a point of susceptibility since user accounts contain sensitive user data. Specialists should scan the source code regularly to spot vulnerabilities. Hotel aggregator sites that provide APIs pull their data via a variety of other third-party tools. It’s worth checking how secure the top hotel metasearch engines are. Make sure to check network weaknesses with penetration tests; take thorough control of authentication and authorization, data security issues, and session management.

An online appointment scheduling system is an important feature for most businesses. Searching and booking flights and lodgings are the core of all travel websites and mobile applications. Tech entrepreneurs who decide to create a booking web app as a service can reap the benefits of an online marketplace.

Merging User and Travel Experience


An efficient website booking system is essential, but a proper customer experience involves much more than that. The product should enable the users to:

  • Search across various options;
  • Make bookings from any place, anytime, in multiple languages and currencies;
  • Get last-minute deals and special offers;
  • View ratings and read and write first-hand reviews;
  • Make well-informed decisions about accommodations, flights, tours, and other travel products;
  • Pay for the services safely and conveniently;
  • Cancel a reservation easily;
  • Feel sure their personal information, booking history, and financial details are safe.

Instant messaging, chatbots, and additional cool features will help your service stand out from the crowd. Regardless of the number of features, both the back-office software and booking website interface must be intuitive and user-friendly. The visual design should entice visitors to book trips and lodgings while inspiring confidence and trust.

Intuitive Search and Simple Navigation

 

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User-friendly search and navigation is another preference UX option for travel websites. The search and discovery process across your site must be intuitive, frictionless, and agile. Here, the most important things to recognize are the handy calendar, elaborate filters and hints.

An important UX point is to have the days from the previous and following month. Flexible date tool is also useful, especially when customers search for the arrange vacation options and are not tethered to specific dates. People love to compare prices if they left for vacation a day earlier or came back a day later.

Though, flex search isn’t the easiest feature to implement in terms of UX. For flexible dates, they prefer ‘choose the month’ option. It is convenient to see all range of prices and quickly select the option that suits you best.

A set of options suggested to the customers on the main page may also help them in the search process and even plant some ideas. The most widespread options for travel websites include popular destinations, bargains, and most visited pages. Taking into account recent research, it’s useful to make emphasis on experiences rather than material staff. This is one of the main reasons some leading sites have launched experiences among choice options. 

Best UX Practices for Booking and Reservation Websites

 

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Displaying user’s multiple languages /region currency:

For any travelers, converting the foreign currency into their national currency is time-consuming and not effective. Thus, including the Currency option in the navigation bar is an important aspect of designing any travel website. If you can detect the geo location via ip and activate the country’s currency, that’s a great advantage. It can be an attraction for users as they will be able to estimate their travel budget in their own currency.

Display travel discounts and offers above the fold:

Showcase your discounts and offers in the first fold. They could have just searched and filtered, but why make them think and discounts always are an attraction. Keep in mind, the users get attracted to what they see first, so, the displaying these above the fold is key. This will help the users to choose the offers wisely. It also helps to achieve the recurring users’ ratio.

Building travel confidence in times:

Add any link to FAQs or survey to show concern and build travel confidence for the users. For present scenario, customer support who can assist user’s quires adjustments while travelling. Make the link visible by placing it at the top. Adding valid links such as travel surveys, hotel preferences survey is also helpful.

Offer your subscribers something in return:

You can call it a customer relationship trick covered in showing a gesture for gratitude. Include offers like discounts and great deals, you can provide for signing up or subscribing to the website. Show them we are here to provide them with many benefits. This will help you to get more subscribed users.

Get Rid Of Boring Titles:

Play with phrases and words to create attractive titles or headlines. Don’t go with common Headlines such as “Travel Articles”, “Our Blog”, “More Options”, “Travel Guide” etc. Attracting users with a cool and catchy phrase makes the customers to dig more into your website. Be more creative for texts you show in your website.

Build Sense Of A Community From Your Forum User Base:

As it is a travel website, use words related to travel. For e.g. using “Connect with travelers” instead of “Forum” or “Users” can create a connection between the users and you. Make it sound personal so that the users can feel a connection. For this, you can use words like travel community or travel circle or travel club.

For websites having an acceptable number of travelers, use X travelers not X users. It is a travel website so using travel words creates a better impression.

Footers links are there for a reason:

Again, use more creative, personal, and caring words. Footer is an area where the last impression for any website resides. Whatever the users see above, they might forget in the term of scrolling down. So an attractive and strategic footer can keep the users engaged. Include more tabs and links in the footer.

For a travel website, include links for as many places as you want. It’s human nature that we remember some things only after seeing anything related to them. For e.g. sometimes the traveler cannot decide exactly where to go or can’t even remember the names of many places. On seeing the link of different places on your website, travelers can discover more before choosing. The travelers can look for many places via your website rather than searching on Google. This also enhances the SEO performance of your website.

Remind them to save time and money, gain in the last fold

 

Once again, the footer section can create an emphasis on the users. We would again mention using catchy phrases and attractive lines to make the users feel confident and related. Create your own advertisement with lines like “Save time, save money”, “Travel more, spend less”, “More travel more fun, less spend more earn”, or “We make your trip better”.

Make the users sign up or subscribe. Use subscribe to email option but in a creative way so that the users cannot resist subscribing. E.g.: Instead of “Click here to receive email notification”, use something like “Send me a link to get the free booking APP” or “Send me the links for hot deals and offers”

Personalize at the core of UX

 

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Once the user uses your site, plays around with few links, throws in few search keywords, uses few filters, then you instantly know what the user is looking for in your site. Use the same information and personalize your pages. When the user comes back, it’s more personal and very convenient for them to continue where they left off.

Make your travel booking website special

The following features can significantly enhance pre- and post-booking customer satisfaction:

  • Your website booking system can provide personalized recommendations based on the users’ search history. It can be alternative dates, flight and hotel deals, local events, and so on. The more customer data is accumulated, the more accurate results the algorithm will yield.
  • Airfare, accommodations, and other travel product prices fluctuate. Data on seasonal trends, and airlines’ and hotels’ special offers and deals accrued over the years, predictive analytics can help travelers book at lower prices.
  • Travel assistant chatbots can help users with the most frequent issues 24/7, guiding them through search, looking for deals, booking, and an entire trip. Chatbots can also assist you in marketing to present and potential customers. 
  • Instant messages can inform users about their reservation confirmation and changes in rates, feed the best value options and exclusive deals, remind about scheduled activities, give personalized tips and advice, etc. The instant messaging feature can help a small business win customer loyalty.
  • Dynamic pricing allows varying room prices based on demand and supply. Hotels can quickly react to changing market values and maximize the rates. Surge pricing algorithms can increase revenue at least twofold.
  • It’s nice to have an in-app map with tourist attractions marked around the users’ booked lodging. 
  • 360-degree photos, immersive videos, and virtual tours can both attract customers and help to show them around a hotel or other locations.

Conclusion

 

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So, are you inspired and ready for some travel UI/UX tweaks to implement in your travel and tour site? They are really simple and easy to implement travel UI/UX ideas.

A reliable web design and software development company can help you with both selecting and creating the necessary functionalities. Make sure to hire specialists with experience in building travel booking websites and mobile applications.


 

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Oct 10, 2020

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