An unforgettable travel experience begins long before the luggage is checked and the sunscreen applied. For ever-increasing numbers of consumers worldwide, the travel experience starts online.
In 2018, 71% of U.S. travelers researched their travel plans online and 83% used digital platforms to book tickets and accommodations. Furthermore, just over half of consumers (51%) admitted that the visual content and imagery of the travel sites they visit can influence their trip decisions.
What Makes An Amazing Travel Website
An attractive, informative, and user-friendly website is crucial for nailing a potential customer’s first digital interactions with your travel business. More than acting as a reflection of your business, your website is also a reflection of the travel experience your customer can expect should they make the choice to book with you.
And this is a choice that travelers don’t take lightly.
In 2017, users spent an average of 29.8 minutes browsing a hotel’s website before a successful booking took place. This is a staggering figure considering that the average session duration for all sites regardless of industry is just 2 minutes and 17 seconds. Willing to give more than 13 times the attention than what typical user-behavior entails, travelers are looking for much more than just basic information and a few pictures when they come across a travel website.
Travel is an industry that quite literally promises its customers the world. That’s a lot to consider, and before a traveler is ready to commit to a journey, endless decisions big and small need to be made: Is this the right destination? The right time of year? Are we staying in the right area? Is there enough time to see and do everything? Am I getting a good deal? Can I trust this company?
A well-designed travel website intuits these questions and communicates a reassuring answer at every turn.
How To Design an Amazing Travel Website
Top travel websites accommodate for the fact that potential guests arrive at a travel website at varying points in their booking journey, and thus bring a different set of questions and concerns with them. Some visitors may not have even narrowed down which hemisphere they want to travel to, while others may be on the highly-specific hunt for child-friendly lodging with hypoallergenic bedding located equidistant from the airport and downtown.
From dreaming of far away destinations to ensuring appropriate facilities to itinerary planning to cost breakdowns, it is crucial to create content that is helpful to users at every stage of the travel planning and booking process.
But detailed and diverse content alone is not enough to achieve an effective digital travel experience. In 2017, one study found that 77% of online travel shoppers felt their booking decisions were influenced by site functionality. This number was even higher among millennials, with 87% admitting that site design influenced their decision to purchase.
Designing a beautiful travel website that’s also easy to navigate encompasses all of these different types of content can be tricky. The following infographic from travel booking service Reservations.com details eight web design trends that savvy sites are using to create memorable travel experiences from start to finish: