What is important to you when you plan and book a holiday? There are many factors involved and of course everyone is different; but we were surprised to notice that the flight itself did not rank highly. Why? Because flying doesn’t excite us (ed – maybe different if you are fortunate enough to afford business class….).

Booking a flight ticket is boring and the effort required to get us to a destination is a nuisance. We want to get to where we want to be with minimum of fuss. Ideally as cheap as possible too (the holy grail!).

The flight ticket is the result after you’ve decided on a destination. When choosing, travellers either have a preconceived idea or they compare a few destinations before making a decision. Either way, the customer then goes to try and book a flight using a flight engine or via their favourite airline. But something frustrating happens at this point. They find the price of the ticket is more expensive than anticipated for their dates of travel. This is more likely with shorter trips where bookings are normally made less than a month in advance*. Annoyingly the user either has to exceed their budget (which leaves a bitter feeling) or repeat the cycle and find a new destination (which wastes time).

 

Fixing the user journey

Unfortunately it’s pretty difficult to always put you in the destination you want to be in at the time that is most convenient for you. Sorry! But can we tackle the problem from another angle? Let’s first go back to my original question – ‘what is important….’. The 3 biggest factors we observe are – the destination, the hotel and the total cost of the trip.

We could begin by showing you random (but awesome) hotels. Travellers don’t mind spending more on a place to stay if it ticks all the boxes – but without the context of knowing if you like the destination it feels a bit empty.  So we definitely need to agree on a destination before showing you great hotels.

What if we start with the trip cost? For shorter holidays (say less than a week) the amount we spend is much more sensitive than say our yearly 3-week holiday where we might splash out that little bit more to get the comforts we deserve for working hard all year. So beginning here is not be a bad idea, especially for shorter trips. But are we open to destinations that do not feature on our radar? Do we feel up to exploring new places? Europe’s diversity and history opens up some amazing cities to be in if we are.

Looking at the major travel sites, we see so many attempts to get travellers to spend more. The reasons might seem obvious, but it is nevertheless disappointing and in our mind frustrating for the customer. It also costs the user so much time in iterating searches to eventually find something they like and fitting their preferences; another undesirable result.

Can this user journey be changed to truly be budget driven? We believe so and hope that once we launch our users help us along the journey to accomplish this ideal.

Download the app today on Android with the following link – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.takemeaway.takemeaway

*TripBarometer 2016 by TripAdvisor