Globetrotting is an exciting but expensive hobby. If money is not an issue for you, then you have nothing to worry about. You can just use one of countless travel apps or websites to book your first class flight tickets to exotic places, make reservations in top tier hotels and spas, indulge in various native activities or just lounge on a beach somewhere. The sky is the limit for you. But what about people who don’t have that much money to spend on a single vacation? Or what if they need to travel for business purposes and can’t afford to spend so much money on flight tickets and hotels? They need to plan. They want to make the most of their money, which means surfing the internet to find flight tickets at the lowest prices, finding budget-friendly hotels, etc. to make sure that they don’t end up spending too much money on a single trip.
Planning a trip can be a hassle to many, but to make this task easier, there are travel apps like Hopper that predict the lowest flight fares and hotel reservations up to one year in advance.
Budget-travelers are always on the lookout for travel bargains that will shave off their expenses and smartphone apps like Hopper are their go-to tools to plan their trips and make advance reservations. So if you are looking to create a travel app like Hopper and be that bridge between travelers and the best flight and hotel prices on the internet, then read on.
What is Hopper?
Hopper is an AI-based price predictor for air travel and hotel reservations. It uses its state-of-the-art AI engine to predict the dates when the airfare and hotel charges for your trip will be lowest and suggests if you should make bookings now or wait for lower prices.
How Does Hopper Work?
- Hopper works to find the best airfares and hotel prices for you. It asks you to enter From and To locations and how many people are going to travel or the place where you’re traveling to and would like to book a hotel room for your stay there.
- Then it asks you for your travel and dates and if you will book one way or roundtrip tickets.
- Once you have provided it with all the information it requires, Hopper goes to work, looking for all the airfares for the selected date of travel or hotel in the area of your choice.
- Once it has curated a list of all the flights and hotels, Hopper tells you if you should book the tickets or rooms now or wait for the cost to go down. It also predicts if the prices will climb up after a certain date and how much.
- Then it lets you choose your action, you can either select Watch This Trip, which will tell Hopper to keep looking at that trip and notify you if there is any price fluctuation or if it is to be expected. Or you can select a flight and book tickets from the app itself.
- Hopper then looks out for the trips that you are watching and sends you push notifications with fare predictions.
How to Make a Travel App like Hopper?
Before you set out to make a travel app like Hopper you need to make a lot of crucial decisions.
The first thing that you need to decide is the type of app you want to create. Generally, there are two types of mobile apps- native and hybrid. Native apps are the ones that are dedicatedly developed for a particular smartphone operating system like Android and iOS. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, share a common code base and are developed for all platforms at the same time. The major difference between a native app and a hybrid app is the quality; native apps are considered better if you are looking to make a state-of-the-art app. But if budget takes priority over quality, then you should go for hybrid apps since native apps need to be developed separately for all the platforms which cost more.
The second thing that you need to decide is your business model and your target customers. You need to decide if you are going to follow a subscription model or a freemium model and if not, then how will you generate revenue and all these other things should be thought of before you approach a mobile app development company to develop your travel app. Conduct thorough market research, know your competition and what you clients want and move ahead with caution and a well-thought-out plan.
Once all of that has been taken care of, you need to sit and decide what features you want in your app. Since we are talking about how to make an app like Hopper, here are some of the top features it has to offer that you should consider adding in your app as well,
1. Prediction Algorithm
What makes Hopper truly unique is its AI engine that predicts if there is going to be a fluctuation in the prices or not and tells you if you should buy the tickets now or wait for lower prices. But it doesn’t misguide you. If the AI engine doesn’t see the prices for your tickets going down, then it tells you that you should book the tickets now since the price is not likely to go down or if it is going to go up. For you to have an app that can help budget-travelers, you need a similar predictive algorithm that can all your customers to book their tickets at the lowest possible prices. It also predicts how low the prices are likely to go for a hotel or a flight.
The search option is very crucial. Hopper has a lean search screen which at first only asks you how many people are going to travel, their age, and your To and From locations. Once you set up these parameters, Hopper takes you to the next screen where you are supposed to enter the date of your travel. Furthermore, here Hopper provides you with a handful of filters like if you are looking to buy roundtrip tickets or just one-way tickets and if you are looking for a flight with a layover or not, etc. After you have picked your dates, Hopper bunny will get to work and search for the lowest airfares according to your filters and give you a list to choose from. For hotels, Hopper allows you to add your stay details, location and the type of hotel that you are looking for using various filters and then gives you a list of all the hotels in your entered location with their costs.
3. Watch List
Airfares and hotel costs vary over time, people surfing for bargains know this all too well. But it is very difficult to keep your eyes everywhere, but not for Hopper. Once you have saved a trip and added it to your Watchlist or a hotel and its prices, Hopper keeps a keen gaze over them and the list of prices that it provided to you earlier and if there is even a slight fluctuation, it lets you know. Furthermore, if a trip in Watchlist reaches a point where the AI doesn’t think the fares are going to go any lower or worse they can go up, it will alert you about that as well.
There can be different filters that you can add to your search section. Hopper has a handful of filters for both hotels and flights. For flight fares, you can select if you want costs for a one-way trip or a roundtrip. Furthermore, you can add if you want to see only the lowest fares or not and do you want to see flights with layovers or without one. For hotels, Hopper offers you filters like rating, cost, and the amenities that you want.
This feature allows your customers to see the location of hotels on a map along with their per-night rates. This allows users to know more about the location of a hotel and where it is with respect to some other place they wanted to stay close to.
6. Secure Payment Gateway
It won’t be a complete travel solution if your users aren’t able to book their flight tickets and hotel rooms from your app itself. And for that purpose, you need a popular and secure payment gateway. People are always wary when it comes to shopping online and given all the news about online scandals and money being stolen from people’s accounts, they are very careful about their bank and card details. So you need to put their minds at ease and use a payment gateway that is known for its security and has people’s trust. Furthermore, allow your customers to pay with more than one means; apart from credit and debit cards, allow them to pay with their E-Wallets as well.
Push notifications are a great way for you to interact with your users and it can serve multiple purposes. While it is a great marketing tool for you, it is an essential feature for users especially for an app like Hopper. One of the major benefits of Hopper push notifications is that they tell users whenever there is a fluctuation in the fares of the trips that they are watching and gives them fare predictions as well. This way, a user can book the tickets and rooms at the right time and at the lowest possible fares.
Users can see their trip history using this feature. All the past trips that the user has made are listed here.
9. Seamless UI/UX
An app is not going to reel in many users if it is tedious to use no matter how useful it is. Users don’t want to invest too much of their time in trying to learn how to use your app or find where is any specific feature. All the essential features should be right there in front of his eyes but still, they shouldn’t over-clutter the screen at the same time. Good user experience can bring a lot of new users to your app and at the same time do wonders in retaining the ones you have. Make sure that you pick colors and themes that are eye-pleasing and not too bright for your app. Try to be very sorted as far as giving information is concerned; don’t bombard your users with a lot of information at the same time. Also, make sure that the searching process doesn’t take too long since people these days don’t like to wait at all, so if the searching takes more than a minute, it is a bad sign for your app.
If you want to create an app like Hopper, then you really need to think from a user’s point of view. They want this app to be well designed and easy to use and they only want essential information. At the same time, you need to make sure that your prediction algorithm works. Hopper claims that it can help its users slash their book prices by 40%! This shows their faith in their algorithm and its capability to deliver. Furthermore, Hopper’s AI predicts future prices with 95% accuracy up to 1 year in advance. You need to develop an algorithm that can deliver similar results as well on top of having its own identity. A skilled and experienced IT developer can be of great help in this area. A mobile app development company can do wonders for your app, with the help of its expert developers and designers and using its top-notch IT resources and latest tools.
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