Planning a trip can be a big deal: you must plan for transportation, lodging, dining, sightseeing and more. To add to the stress, much of this must be arranged well beforehand—and can be quite costly. Thankfully, travel chatbots are stepping up to the challenge to help travelers plan their trips smoothly and at a low cost. Before you plan your next vacation or business trip, we’d like to introduce you to the top 10 travel bots, many of which are available on multiple platforms. By inviting some of the best bots for travel to plan with you, you’ll ensure your trip is stress-free.
Here are top 10 Travel bots
Kayak is a natural choice for out top 10 travel bots because it’s so comprehensive: it lets you book a flight, book a hotel, find things to do, rent a car and more. Furthermore, if you’re experiencing wanderlust but don’t know where to go, it’ll even suggest travel ideas.
Kayak’s bot is essentially a full-fledged travel agent who will help you every step along your journey. You can talk to it on Slack, Messenger, Amazon Echo or iMessage.
This bot is for booking flights only. While it might not be as featured as other travel bots, it accomplishes what it sets out to do very well. Simply give it details about your trip, and it’ll monitor flight options to give you the cheapest ones available. What’s great about this bot is that you don’t need to have specific plans in mind. You can be as general as possible (like “Asia, next year”) and it’ll keep on the lookout for good deals.
Claire is part of a larger travel platform called 30SecondsToFly, which allows businesses to set travel policies and keep tabs on their travelling teams. Its bot feature, though, stands out as a great way for employees to individually book policy-compliant trips. Team members simply tell Claire where they want to go and when, and she helps to arrange their plans—including assessing risk of delay.
Finding a place to grab a bite can be tough in a foreign city. Enter Thrillist’s Slack bot, which helps travelers find bars, restaurants, cafes and other places to dine. This bot does a great job showing how a business and media company can translate its content into a useful conversational UI.
This travel chatbot is specifically for travelers and residents of Singapore, but it serves as a great example for how cities can use bots to make their services and attractions more approachable to foreign visitors. Bus Uncle lets users know how long they’ll need to wait to catch a bus, then offers jokes to pass the time while they wait. It’s full of personality, adopting the voice of a bombastic but loving man who loves to crack a cheesy joke or two. Every city needs a Bus Uncle!
If you just need to book a hotel and transportation, Expedia will help you find great deals. It doesn’t offer as many features as other travel chatbots. However, it is notable for its human handoff feature. If you ask the bot something that it can’t understand or help you with, it’ll connect you to a live agent then and there at no charge. This is the best of both worlds when it comes to customer service. No matter what your issue, help is always there.
Like Bus Uncle, this bot is among top 10 travel bots and it focuses on just one city—London—but is an amazing example of how cities can promote travel with bots. Lewis feels like your in-the-know local friend; he not only helps you get around, but will provide safety tips, information on the local culture, and will suggest sights to see based on the weather. It goes beyond simple lists of places to go; Lewis strives to actually inform visitors just like a local would.
Hipmunk covers all the travel bot basics for you; where it shines is finding a place to go. When planning a vacation with friends or family, hold a group chat with Hipmunk and it will help you brainstorm where to go and what to see. Start with a vacation theme and it’ll give advice on where to go. Then work together as a group to decide what you want to do at your destination of choice! The way it turns trip planning into a fun group activity makes Hipmunk a no-brainer for our top 10 travel bots.
Kiki helps gaijin (that’s Japanese for “foreigners”) find places to eat and drink in Osaka, Japan. Like Lewis, it does a great job of eroding away the cultural divide. Not only does Kiki recommend restaurants based on what you want to eat, but it will explain dishes to users who are unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine.
The Kiki team hoped to provide a way for non-Japanese speakers to find and order the meals they’ll like when travelling, and it does a great job. One can imagine how helpful such a bot in other countries would be!
This bot is unique from our other top 10 travel bots in that it pairs you with a human. If you’re visiting a city, ask Trip Talkin to put you in touch with friends of friends who live there. This way, you can get tips from locals and possibly find people to hang out with at your destination! TripTalkin is currently in beta.
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