The continuous evolution of Web3 is apparent to pretty much everyone remotely connected to or familiar with the tech industry. The latest development in Web3 is the addition of software services that customers can pay for through cryptocurrencies.
Travala though may very well be one of the few crypto powered applications that kickstarted this new Web3 revolution. Ever since its inception in 2017, Travala has become the go to travel booking application for individuals looking to pay through cryptocurrencies.
Now that Web3 is gaining traction and we're witnessing a rise in crypto-powered travel booking apps, it's essential to assess how Travala compares to its emerging competitors.
With that in mind, let's delve into the app's essential features, functions, and benefits to evaluate its effectiveness as a travel booking software.
What is Travala?
Some Web3 enthusiasts have dubbed Travala as the cryptocurrency equivalent of Booking.com and I personally agree with that comparison. In fact, Travala.com can rightly be considered the leading blockchain-based travel booking application in the world.
In the platform’s own words Travala.com is a frictionless travel booking experience that incorporates next gen blockchain technology and tokenized incentives. Over the years, the platform has managed to increase its reach to over 230 countries. It currently offers accommodation to travelers in over 2,200,000 properties across 90,124 destinations within those 230 countries.
But what really caught my attention was their flexibility in payment methods. I had the option to pay not only in traditional currencies but also in cryptocurrencies. Being a crypto enthusiast, this was a game-changer for me. I paid for my bookings with Bitcoin, and the process was straightforward.
On top of that, the platform offers several benefits tied to their native crypto token, AVA. I participated in their loyalty reward program, and it was great to earn rewards for simply booking my trip. They also have a reliable refund system, which gave me peace of mind in case my plans needed to change.
Key Features and Benefits
In the years after its inception in 2017, Travala has slowly managed to increase its reliability on the back of its decentralized nature in addition to some unique features and benefits.
Let’s take a look at some of those features in detail in this section and determine whether the app lives up to the expectation it has set.
For any application to reach top level status, it needs to provide a service that’s invariably unique from its competitors and Travala does just that by allowing customers to pay through cryptocurrencies. But what impressed me the most was the sheer variety of cryptocurrencies they support – over 40 of them. This includes the well-established Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as some less-known ones like TRX, XRP, and DOT. It’s a refreshing departure from the norm and caters perfectly to crypto enthusiasts like myself. You can find the full list of payment methods the platform currently supports here.
Having said that, the app still doesn’t restrict itself to one payment method as it allows customers to pay through traditional currencies as well.
Vast Accommodation Options
A huge secret to Travala’s success and probably why the platform is considered the leading blockchain-based travel booking app in the world is because of the immense range of accommodations the application offers.
These accommodations include 5-star to 2-star rated hotels, moderate sized hostels, variable size apartments and even full 5-star resorts. The platform allows users to search for a specific location and/or city, select their travel dates and enter in the number of travelers. After that, the platform’s built-in search engine returns a list of hotels and other accommodations ranked according to the ratings and reviews left by previous inhabitants.
Most importantly, users have the ability to search for locations in over 230 countries including all of the top travel destinations in 2023. Users also have the option of filtering search results by setting parameters like minimum and maximum price, free cancellations and included breakfast.But, how does one contact Travala to report the difference? Simply email them at . You’ll need to enter in your booking’s order number and a proof of your claim, for example: the link of the website where you found the cheaper accommodation.
Price Match Guarantee
One of Travala’s promises to its growing customer base was to find prices that are 40% cheaper than mainstream travel booking platforms. I’ll admit when I first read this on the application’s about page, I was a little skeptical if the platform could actually deliver.
However, upon diving deeper I found that Travala actually has a price match guarantee system in place. Basically, this system’s purpose is to ensure that Travala’s customers always get the best price on any stay or activity.
Here’s how it works: If you book a stay or activity through Travala and end up finding a cheaper price for the same accommodation through some other site, then Travala will refund you the difference. The only condition is that you have to report this difference up to 24 hours before your check-in date at the property or the start time of your activity. The refund will be delivered into your account as travel credits that you can use when booking through the app in the future.[email protected]
Loyalty and Rewards Program
Travala is all about building a community of members that use the platform. To that end, Travala offers a pretty extensive loyalty and reward program for individuals that become members of the platform.
Both its loyalty and reward program revolves around the platform’s native crypto token AVA. Members can use AVA to redeem loyalty rewards, make payments, receive discounts on payments and gated access benefits.
In short, the allocation of AVA is Travala’s way of tokenizing the concept of loyalty reward programs.
User Interface & Experience
Most people who don’t have any substantial experience in using Web3 believe that all Web3 applications are inherently complicated to use and navigate. Travala breaks that myth wide open through its increasingly simple and easy to traverse user interface.
I personally believe the platform’s UI is like every other booking application where users just put in the dates and destinations of their trip and search for accommodations, flights or activities.
They even offer a mobile application for both IOS and Android that makes searching and booking accommodations for your trips even easier.
How Travala Stands Out from Traditional Booking Platforms
I’ve mentioned this before as well, but the primary aspect of Travala that sets it apart from other travel booking platforms is its ability to accept both cryptocurrency and traditional currency as payment.
Now, individuals who aren’t well versed in the intricacies of blockchain and the cryptocurrencies based on these blockchain networks may well question how this functionality sets the platform apart.
Well, I’ve got some reasons as to why having cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment can be increasingly advantageous for customers.
Blockchain’s Transparency and Security
Blockchain is inherently secure as a system as it uses cryptography techniques to secure transactional data. In layman terms, it uses a public and private key to secure transaction and control access. Thereby making it increasingly difficult for any third party to hack into your transaction and steal your funds.
To add to that, all blockchains are naturally transparent due to them operating on decentralized nodes. Thus, ensuring that no centralized entity has control over the whole system and your funds.
Benefits of Decentralization in Travel Booking
I’ve just touched on how all blockchain-based transactions are decentralized. For those unaware, blockchain’s decentralized nature holds significant advantages in the realm of travel booking for customers.
In essence, decentralized transactions mean cutting out intermediaries like payment gateways and service providers. This leads to reduced transaction costs since you're no longer paying fees to these intermediaries. You get to keep the money that would typically go to these service providers in the middle of your transactions.
Additionally, decentralization means that your transaction data remains secure and scattered across the blockchain, rather than being held by centralized entities. This provides a layer of protection against the exploitation of your personal data, as these entities no longer have access to it. It's a win-win situation for travelers — lower costs and enhanced data security.
The Rise of Cryptocurrency
I, along with plenty of individuals in tune with the latest technological developments in the world, believe that the world will eventually shift to cryptocurrencies as the sole method of payment in the near future.
Almost every day a new cryptocurrency is introduced into our world and the prospects of decentralized financing also continue to increase. Changes like these tell us that the world wide web is going through a gradual shift and that it's starting to adopt more and more Web3 practices.
When you take that into consideration, Travala feels like an application that’s ahead of its time, as it's already incorporated cryptocurrency payments in its system.
Pricing and Deals
When it comes to pricing and the costs of finding/booking accommodations, Travala claims to be 40% cheaper than most mainstream booking websites. That’s not all talk either as the platform has put in place a best price guarantee system that allows customers to opt for a refund of the difference if they find another website that’s offering the same accommodation at a lower price.
This level of confidence displayed by the platform highlights its capability to secure the best rates for accommodations, flights, and activities across its vast network of 230 locations. This substantial advantage in pricing sets it apart from mainstream competitors such as Booking.com and TripAdvisor.
Furthermore, by offering the option to pay with cryptocurrencies, Travala.com gives customers the ability to reduce their transaction costs. This dual advantage of competitive pricing and cost-efficient payment methods makes it a compelling choice for travelers.
In terms of deals, Travala recently partnered up with Expedia, allowing its users to access exclusive seasonal deals related to flights and accommodations in specific destinations. Travala’s membership actually makes you eligible to receive constant updates related to any deals that are currently active. So, that might be something you want to check out.
Customer Service and User Feedback
Even though the booking process at Travala is quite easy to figure out, the platform’s customer support department is always ready to answer any queries users might have. Especially when it comes to servicing individuals that are looking to book last minute flights or accommodations.
Users can reach the platform’s customer support department through a live chat option on the home page. All you have to do is type in your questions in the chat box, which will lead to a customer support representative responding to your query via email. Alternatively, users can also email the support department at [email protected].
I’ve personally experienced the speed at which they respond along with how proficient they are in solving even the most complicated queries. But if you don’t want to take my word for it, there’re plenty of positive testimonials praising the customer support department. For example one user writes “Excellent customer service, fast and effective. Very happy with the experience of using Travala”.To view all of the positive reviews the site has received overall, just make your way to the homepage of the platform and scroll down.
Pros and Cons
- Users are guaranteed the best prices for accommodations.
- Offers both cryptocurrency and traditional payment options.
- Simple and intuitive user interface.
- Extremely responsive and helpful customer service department.
- Mobile application available on both IOS and Android.
- Not everyone will be interested in buying the Travala coin.
- Not particularly appealing to non-crypto users.
Frequently Asked Questions
Users who want to hold Travala.com coin can trade in one of their cryptocurrencies (preferably Bitcoin or Ethereum) for AVA. AVA can be used to access loyalty rewards, smart programs and for making payments.
Travala’s native token AVA acts as a store of value or a stock against which you can earn APY, depending on how long you hold it and the quantity you’re holding.
Travala claims to be 40% cheaper than most mainstream travel booking applications, which includes Booking.com. To back this claim, they promise to refund the difference to customers who can find cheaper accommodations or flights at another website.
To summarize, I personally believe Travala.com to be the leading travel booking application in the world. It easily beats out competitors like Booking.com and TripAdvisor. There’s two features in particular that set it apart from the rest.
The first is its ability to accept both cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies as payment methods. The second is the platform’s best price guarantee in which it guarantees to refund the difference for customers who can find a cheaper price for the same accommodation on another website.
Because of this, I’ll wholeheartedly recommend Travala.com to all travelers looking to find cheap flights, accommodations and activities on their trip. As always though, I’d advise every traveler to gauge all their options and not rely solely on this review.