When creating code, developers don’t have to start from scratch. Developers have the option to use APIs to create software and code using a pre-existing framework. Developers can use APIs to create code and software with a pre-existing framework, allowing them to concentrate on their unique proposition instead of inventing it every time they write a program. An API is a socket. An API allows a device access to existing infrastructure traditionally. Think about how you would use an electric device. You don’t require a portable generator to hook them up. Today here in this post we will learn about travel API and which travel API is best? So let’s start!

What is API integration?

API integrations allow travel agencies to automate tasks, integrating their programs and databases with current industry applications. They ensure seamless and continuous communication between multiple applications and enable workers to reap the benefits of multiple cloud-based applications while enhancing product innovation.

APIs allow travel agencies to launch innovative initiatives quickly and efficiently without spending much time and money.

What is a travel API system?

A travel API system helps managers book, track, and analyze corporate travel. Typically, a travel API system is a platform that provides travel inventory, policies, and reporting. However, it can also refer to the general process of managing corporate travel.

Why does anyone need Travel API?

Let’s say you have a travel website. These days, it may not be enough to make a platform out of only “10 best places to visit” guides. For example, on TripAdvisor, people can post reviews, check booking prices, and book services. Everything a traveler needs should be in one place. Many travel agencies offers to book a hotel, buy airline tickets, rent a car, and take care of packing. You can even search for tickets to events and cruises. If you’re developing a travel app or website, you’ll need to cooperate with hotels, restaurants, and attractions to collect details about their location, address, and current prices. You also need to ensure the information is updated instantly, or you’ll get a lot of disappointed customers. Travel platforms require travel APIs to get current information and display up-to-date details. Fortunately, several companies already offer to use their APIs, including some of the leaders in the travel industry.

Key features of a best travel API

When comparing different travel API systems, it is crucial to understand which features are most relevant. These are the ones that can help you manage your trips in a safer, more efficient, and more profitable way.

Customizable travel policies

An API system should include a travel policy. It’s important to include travel policies in your apps, even if the company’s managers make the bookings on behalf of travelers.
The travel policy should be customizable based on multiple criteria:

  • Special policies apply to a particular type of traveler, such as C-level executives and departments that often need to book last-minute flight bookings.
  • International policies regarding nightly hotel rates
  • Rates for hotel rooms per night are based on the city.
  • International and national policies that determine the maximum price of international and national flights
  • The maximum price of flights on specific routes
  • No minimum number of days is required to make a reservation.
  • The maximum price for train tickets worldwide
  • Maximum train ticket price for specific routes

This policy should be predefined in your travel API software, making it available when someone books a trip. Instead of being presented as a lengthy, boring document, a travel policy can be made accessible to all by using the booking app.

Customizable approval flows

Your travel API system should include approval flows within the platform. Thus, in any case, that is not contemplated by the policy; users could request approval of their reservations and save the details of their trip. This way, they would avoid wasting time choosing the right itinerary and sending the corresponding email. You should be able to determine these approval flows in any way you like, such as assigning different people in different departments the ability to approve these trips or customizing the level of enforcement.

Do all trips require approval? Or only those that doesn’t fall under the policy or are booked by certain travelers? Your travel API system should be as personalized as possible.

A large inventory

Your travel policy and approval processes are vital to maintaining compliance. You are missing out on great savings opportunities if there are no lodging options or low-cost airlines in your travel management system. Your platform would be wise to include them since millennials always choose low-budget options.

No additional charge for assistance

It is a costly and outdated practice to charge a surcharge per call. Support should be included in your travel API software at no extra cost. You can see exactly what you’re paying and avoid surprises at the end. Travelers can get the help they need, when and where they need it, without worrying about being called by a finance colleague who may charge them a lot of money.

No redirects

It is annoying to book a vacation only to redirect to another website. We lose all trust in the site when we are taken to another provider’s website.
Redirects can be a problem when traveling for business. They also make it difficult to keep track of your expenses. You will search the internet for all your bills at the end of each month.

Reports on travel expenses

One of the most important features of travel API systems is the ability to record information about your business trips. Some of the important things you should be able to track:

  • Travel expenses by the period
  • Travel expenses by department or team
  • Travel expenses incurred outside the policy
  • Travel expenses by project, client, or event
  • Travel expenses dedicated to recruitment

In addition to reporting, the trip API system should include the ability to add tags and categories to trips.

Consolidated billing

You can book all your business trips in one place. However, some travel API systems don’t work as a single provider, so you end up with multiple invoices from different providers. To save time and hassle, choose a system that consolidates all your monthly trips into a single invoice from a provider. The finance team will be delighted with you.

Check the status of all your trips in one place.

The most important reason to use a travel API system is to be able to consolidate them. Let’s see a real example. Suppose 20 travelers need to book their trip to attend an upcoming event.
As a travel manager, you should be able to log in to the management platform and see the following:

  • Who booked their trip in compliance with your travel policy
  • Who requests a reservation outside the policy, and why
  • Who has selected an itinerary but has not finalized their reservation
  • Who has not booked their trip

When you’re responsible for booking travel or helping others book travel, you need to know what’s happening. You must be able to monitor everything instantly to know if any travelers require additional help.
Moreover, once trips are booked, you should be able to access one place to view booking confirmations, itinerary details, potential cancellation notices, and more.

Simple and intuitive booking experience for travelers

Even if your company doesn’t allow travelers to book on their own, you should be able to offer a simple and intuitive booking experience to those who are in charge of making those reservations.
If you’re not interested in allowing self-booking, choose a travel API system that travelers love: one that’s easy to use, meets their needs, and provides support when needed.

Relevant means of transport for your organization

A travel API system should include flights, hotels, and rental cars. What about trains? Your employees will often choose trains as their preferred mode of transport. You should consider travel management software that supports trains.
You should consider including transportation modes that employees use frequently. This allows all options to be unified on one platform. It also includes all business trips.

Mobile application for travelers

Yeah, I know. I know. We were almost in modern age of technology. And we still need to check if there is a mobile app? Yes. We still have to do it. The truth is that some travel API systems still do not offer their mobile application or have some that are too basic and difficult to use. Before you embark your entire company on a new travel API system, you should download its app and test the navigation experience.

Collaborative bookings.

Collaborative bookings tie into some of the features we’ve mentioned earlier, like approval flows or the ability to review incomplete bookings.
However, it is such an important feature worth dedicating its section:

  • When your CEO chooses a flight and a hotel and wants you to finalize his reservation
  • When travelers are allowed to choose the journeys they want, but not book (so you have to finalize the reservations they have chosen)
  • When you need to review a trip for multiple people, you can save it and check the details with each traveler before completing the booking.
  • When a potential employee, client, or contracted talent chooses their travel details, it must be booked by the main office.

The possibilities are endless. And just as you can save a draft of a report, collaborate on it with others, and come back to it later, you should be able to do that with a travel booking, too.

Ease of seeing which assumptions are included and which are not in the company’s policy when searching

What if your travelers got to the last step of booking a hotel they love, only to find out right then that it doesn’t fall under the company’s travel policy? What a waste of time, right? It doesn’t matter if it’s a hotel, a flight, or a train ticket. Your travelers should always know in advance whether or not that option falls under the travel policy.

Integration with expense tool

Your travel API system should integrate with the one you use daily for expenses. There is no possible excuse.
If no integration is available, verify that the travel API system at least:

  • Offer an external API so that your development team can integrate it with the expense management tool
  • Offer customizable integration services

Storage of traveler information

Booking business trips can’t take two hours. If you store all the travelers’ information in your travel API system (first and last names, details of their travel documents, dates of birth, etc.), it will take you significantly less time to make reservations. Most of the time, it will only be a matter of minutes.

Accumulation of loyalty points

Some do not allow travelers to accumulate points in their accounts and make all business trips accumulate points in the corporate account so that the company receives the rewards. Either way, you should use a travel API system that stores the numbers for these loyalty programs. This way, travelers won’t have to enter them every time they book. And suppose your company only allows points to accumulate in the corporate account. In that case, an office assistant or administrator should be in charge of recording these numbers in the profiles of all travelers.

We recommend that, with so many ways to save money on travel, you should allow those who spend the day commuting from here to there to accumulate those points!

No long-term contracts

Uncorking a cava at the end of a long sales cycle is no longer carried out. The new thing is to try a system, see if it convinces you and stop using it or directly not hire it if it does not cover all your needs. As you explore the new travel API platform, ensure you’re not forever tied to it. The system you use to book and manage travel can greatly impact your experience as a travel manager and on each of your employees who must frequently travel for work.

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Bottom Line

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