Think travel agents are outdated? Think again. App-enabled travel has resurfaced the travel agent, making them more affordable—and accessible—than ever before. What’s more? These modern-day travel agents have artificial intelligence (AI), boosting their brains and brawn. Even better: personalized, efficient help doesn’t have to be costly.
Not sure which service is right for your trip? In this installment of our Travel App Showdown series, we did a side-by-side comparison of two popular travel booking apps—Lola and Journy. Find out which app will score you the best deal!
What Do You Need the Most Help With?
If you’re a vacationer who needs help with the “fun stuff”—booking restaurants, tours, and hotels—then Journy will be your attentive local guide in over 60 cities worldwide.
Lola, on the other hand, has re-focused its app to cater to business travelers. Lola is more like a personal assistant, one who’s happy to make dinner reservations but its main focus is to handle all the logistics of your trip. You can expect Lola to scour the web to find you the cheapest deals as well as make updates to your itinerary in real-time, because well, life happens.
How Often Do You Want To Talk to Your Travel Agent?
Both Journy and Lola will keep you in the loop with your reservations, alerting you when your trip is approaching or if anything changes. Both services are chatable within the app, making it easy to update your hotel reservations or ask questions about dinner on the fly.
Booking is a breeze with both services, but in the event that something goes wrong—such as a missed connection or flight cancellation—Lola will save the day. Lola’s subscription-model offers a travel agent available 24/7 who is able to call airlines, hotels and more to develop a backup plan.
Point for Lola!
Lola knows you better than you know yourself.
As Lola is geared towards business travelers, personalization is king. If you’re a frequent traveler, the AI quickly learns your preferences, as does Lola’s team of expert agents. Lola also has your best personal interests in mind—by ranking various options for hotels and restaurants by your preferences, not by business incentives.
Journy knows you as well as you know yourself.
Journy prompts you to fill out a short survey before adventuring. This is where you will insert dates, personal info, and trip details. It also asks for deets about your party size, budget, dietary restrictions and restaurant preferences (meal with a view, hole-in-the-wall, booze-free-friendly, and more). From there, Journy acts as a concierge, presenting curated options and will book anything upon request—all you need to do is tap yes!
How Much Do These Travel Agent Apps Cost?
Lola’s founder (who also co-founded Kayak) believes the more often you travel, the more value you’ll score from Lola’s services—therefore Lola’s pricing is based on a subscription model. To celebrate the app’s revamp, it’s free through the end of 2017! Which gives you plenty of time to test out the app and see if it is a good fit for you. Prices for 2018 are TBA.
If you travel to play rather than for work, Journy’s pricing model is made for you. A subscription model is available for those with generous vacation time. The app charges by the day (approximately $15-20 per day), which is a steal. But FYI, Journy is only available on iPhones at this time.
Traveling is a full-time commitment—having a little assistance will help eliminate the stress of planning and ensure a successful trip.
Our advice? If you’re a frequent business traveler, subscribe to Lola. Vacationers, bring Journy on your next trip.
Annie’s based in Los Angeles but hails from Portland, Oregon. Sort of. She moved to six states by the time she reached middle school, and continues to move around the US and abroad – call her a nomad, but she prefers “Location ADHD.” After studying abroad in New Zealand, Annie circled the globe, graduated from USC, and circled the world once again. For one year she lived out of a backpack everywhere from The Philippines to Nepal to Slovenia to Norway. She’s a curry connoisseur and passionate explorer, taking the road less traveled, the “trail” covered in vines and swarmed in exotic bugs. Foreign lands feel like home, and Annie loves encouraging more and more people to utilize their passports and experience a new culture.