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10 Great Examples for the Best UX Elements of Travel Website

The better user experiences your site provides, the more values you provide to users in the travel industry. Make your website stand out with 10 great examples of essentials for a travel website.
By Rachel Phan | EnvZone Staff
on November 14, 2019 | 7 min read
Image credit: Dribbble

Online lodging and travel business are getting more and more dynamic. According to Statista, online travel sales in the U.S. has risen significantly to $755.94 billion in 2019 with it expectedly continuing to rise to over $800 billion in the next year. 

In an ASTA survey, travel agents recognize that customers are more knowledgeable. Clients now expect an in-depth, personal approach, and inclusive guidelines. Consequently, a new game begins: user experience. 

Online lodging and travel business are getting more and more dynamic. According to Statista, online travel sales in the U.S. have risen significantly to $755.94 billion in 2019 with it expectedly continuing to rise to over $800 billion in the next year. 

In an ASTA survey, travel agents recognize that customers are more knowledgeable. Clients now expect an in-depth, personal approach, and inclusive guidelines. Consequently, a new game begins: user experience. 

The Best UX Elements of a Travel Website 

What makes a good travel website? 

A well-designed website is a must for any online travel reservation and service aggregator. Good sites with great content about flights, accommodation, fare fees, luggage, car hire, and local guides, etc. will have a significant advantage in UX competitions in the travel industry. 

If you’re running a travel website, make sure your site has all these features. 

7 UX elements that a good travel website should provide: 

  • Simple navigation 
  • Intuitive searching results 
  • Comprehensive content 
  • Localization 
  • Personalization 
  • Transparency 
  • Social proof 

10 Great Examples for UX Travel Websites:

What are the most popular travel websites? 

What is the best website for travel packages? 

Firstly, it is a shame for not mentioning the superstars in the booking and searching service industry such as Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline … Don’t get it wrong! They do run efficiently, but a lot of people are used to them. Today, I am going to focus on the not very well-known to give you a detailed overview of this online business.

Let's take a look at 10 excellent travel sites below: 

#1. Airbnb 

We are browsing several amazing travel websites every day. However, when it comes to particular, Airbnb is one of the best UX travel websites. They started a business with the idea of connecting hosts and owners around the world so that travelers could find a home-like local place without wasting much time. 

Airbnb promotes its value effectively by using simple design and vivid photos. It’s a good way to give customers a clean look but not making them overwhelmed. 

10 Great Examples For The Best UX Elements Of Travel Website-bodyimage1
Courtesy: Airbnb

"Make it simple, but significant."

- Don Draper, fictional character on Mad Men

Their easy-to-navigate form is also a huge plus. It starts simply: enter your destination, check-in/out date and time, and quantity of guests. 

Now take a look at this: 

10 Great Examples For The Best UX Elements Of Travel Website-bodyimage2
Courtesy: Airbnb

This is a perfect example of intuitive searching results. Providing detailed information about location, price, personal requirements in filters, Airbnb brings you the convenience. Also, people generally recognize Airbnb by their ability to search by moving map.  

#2. TripAdvisor 

Going to a new city without knowing anything? This website will help you. 

TripAdvisor is started as a community between travelers. They offer a warm, friendly forum to help with research and plan. Users often share many tips for trips, also posts of local culture. 

From flights and lodging

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Courtesy: TripAdvisor

to suggestions about where to have dinner, where to go, they provide it all.

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Courtesy: TripAdvisor

As customer experience battle is getting harder and harder, TripAdvisor has its best shelter: social proof. This is how they turn travel reviews to the next level. 

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Courtesy: TripAdvisor

Nothing can win users’ trust better than exact reviews from former users. 

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Courtesy: TripAdvisor

In many years, TripAdvisor has built successfully a friendly and active social network among people who loves traveling, which is unfortunately still a rare sight on other travel websites. This is the reason for their success: sharing value in a community. 

 "A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well."

- Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon

#3. Skyscanner 

Skyscanner is honored as a top contender for flight hunting. This website has such an incredible engine for searching and comparing flights without the possible limits. 

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Courtesy: Skyscanner

The presentation is clear. When users go to the homepage, they will tend to focus on the search box. 

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Courtesy: Skyscanner

They provide a wider ability to search with screen-size maps. This feature allows you to see around the area that you’re searching without barriers such as narrowed map’s size or amending the search radius. 

Although cookies can cause some potential problems, travel websites often use your latest search to auto-applied to the search bar. By this way, customers can save considerable time on choosing filters and dates over and over. 

10 Great Examples For The Best UX Elements Of Travel Website-bodyimage9
Courtesy: Skyscanner

With this clean cookie notice, there is no doubt that Skyscanner is on top of preferences for travelers. 

Among the famous features of Skyscanner, transparency is the most important. They always upload clear-labeled sponsored in the search results, which is not very common in many travel websites. However, it successfully raises huge trust in users. 

Additionally, once you have made a reservation, a booking confirmation will be sent to your email address; it happens the same if you make a cancel. This might take some time (up to 24 hours) for the provider to issue the e-ticket or booking reference number. 

"Skyscanner has 700 uptime tests for monitoring service end-point and transaction monitors to test the most important customer journeys."

- VictorOps

#4. Booking.com 

The most dominant advantage of using this booking provider is that you are available to accessing a huge data base. You can easily find a place that meets your mobility needs. 

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Courtesy: Booking

A lot of customers said that they were very impressed with the accessibility filter of Booking.com. There are 24 filter categories in total on Booking.com, from star rating, budget, distance from the city’s center to very personal requirements. 

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Courtesy: Booking.com

Another notable thing is real reviews from Booking.com’s users: Immediate photos and feedback help a lot to persuade potential customers. As bad reviews will weed out the poorer rentals, the ones with good experience attract people with a powerful influence, especially on who is hesitate. 

Besides, the ‘Tours & Activities’ that they’re running will give you many interesting advices for a holiday vacation. 

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Courtesy: Booking

#5. Hipmunk 

Hipmunk is considered to be one of the most powerful metasearch engines for their huge and wide net of booking partners. They help customers to get affordable deals for traveling and save money as much as possible. 

10 Great Examples For The Best UX Elements Of Travel Website-bodyimage13
Courtesy: Hipmunk

The site is well organized and easy-to-use: not confusing or overwhelming with unnecessary information. As soon as you’re onto the site, you have the options to schedule and research on flights, hotels, car rental and even packages. 

The most amazing thing from Hipmunk is that no need to make an account; you can use it as a guest. Once you input the search bar, they will give you vital information, ratings, comments, photos, and the exact price of each hotel. 

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Courtesy: Hipmunk

They also provide comparisons in pricing and time between flights in the search results.

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Courtesy: Hipmunk

#6. Virgin Australia 

At first, it gives a simple and professional look.

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Courtesy: Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia is a part of the Virgin Group, who operate worldwide in many fields from mobile telephony to transportation, travel, financial services, media, music and fitness and, of course, the soon to be launched space tourism operation, Virgin Galactic. 

Returning to Virgin fare sales, what is worth noting from my user experience is that it provides easy and secure online booking. You may make your payments by PayPal as it’s allowed. 

Also, they are really clever in using the impact of travel influencers and the stunning photos of the destinations that they visit. 

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Courtesy: Virgin Australia

Great job! By this, they capture attention from potential users, while providing trustworthy aesthetic.  

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Image credit: ni-travel

Moreover, if you book Virgin Australia Holidays, you’ll having a chance of holiday packages offered that you can choose a destination and then mix and match Virgin Australia flights with accommodation options that suit you best. 

#7. Kayak 

Kayak is one of the most flexible search engines among travel sites. With wide range in search results, you can easily book a flight without choosing exact dates. Customers can also look for flights in 3 different airports. 

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Courtesy: Kayak

Understanding the concern with getting a good deal, especially if you are making a package trip, Kayak provide you the best solution. Although the price on specific time and destinations are a little higher, the difference is not significant. 

This is another feature: Detecting your recent location, the site shows every single of the cheapest airfare to destinations all over the world. You can check all the choices and change your preferences and the visuals will change based on the adjustments. 

#8. EasyJet 

Another orange-toned website, but EasyJet brings simple and easy-to-approach feeling. 

The killing point of EasyJet is that they provide searches based on local criteria other than destinations. 

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Courtesy: EasyJet

They can give you all travel essentials you need to plan your holiday: flight procedures, transports in the city/at the airport, lodging booking, even last-minute deals to ensure you have a good trip. 

This is the most appreciated thing when you move on to EasyJet Holidays. There are TripAdvisor reviews into its interface. Users can glimpse a summary of a hotel’s TripAdvisor rating straight from the search results. Although you just see the five most recent ones, it allows customers to access social proof without needing to leave the page. 

#9. Google Flights 

A newer to the game, Google Flights is expected to be the next big guy among travel search engines. It’s a great tool for searching cheap airfare and sending price alert, which help customers avoiding potential pain points in the future. Now, they also provide booking rentals service. 

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Courtesy: Google Flights

As you may seem from the picture, Google Flights holds attention by simple form. The navigation is also clean and easy-to-approach. Surprisingly, they save my last searching results, they also suggest trips that are closed to my previous destinations with suggested dates (if you allow cookies). 

They also show price graph and bags selection in case customers have carry-on luggage. 

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Courtesy: Google Flights

Another interesting feature you should note is that they will notice you if switching flight dates by one or two days can save money, which is absolutely helpful to travelers. 

#10. Couchsurfing 

Couchsurfing is a US homestay and social networking service via website and mobile app. They acknowledge travelers with local activities and economical social sharing. It is based on the unique idea that people are generally kind; hosts are not allowed to charge for lodging.  

At first impression, the UX design of the website is not very interesting, but their comprehensive content is amazing. Where else can you find a travel website that provide economical trips with cultural exploration and friendly hosts? 

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Courtesy: Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing creates a lot of events for travelers to explore the destinations. If you need to find any suggestions or support with flights, hitch-hiking, anything you may question, click on ‘Groups’.

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Courtesy: Couchsurfing

Remember: At Couchsurfing, everyone is kind and gentle! 

The Bottom Lines 

The travel industry is experiencing great changes due to hi-tech innovation, especially in the user experience on websites. The only way to lead the game is maintaining good online presence, which means including web-design, travel content, site-development, etc.

Team collaboration with a plan to solve your problem 

We understand the difficulties in maintaining a good online presence on websites, especially when it comes to travelling. EnvZone verified teams have worked multiple projects in travel industry. If you need help on UX resources, please feel free to contact us. Let’s get rid of no-worthy obstacles and work worry free! 

Don’t hesitate. Get your team collaboration now. 

"The more you hesitate in a game, the more your chance of getting hit. You focus isn’t there. When you hesitate, usually you’re in trouble."

– Sidney Crosby

This article is also credited to Lizzy Hillier, Altex Soft, Prototypr, Anna Monus

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