Design Ideas For a Travel Site to Inspire Your Next Project

published on 21 July 2023

As a designer, you know the impact an esthetically pleasing and intuitive user interface can have. For a travel website, the design is especially important, as it must capture the spirit of adventure and evoke a sense of wanderlust in visitors. When conceptualizing a new travel website design, keep your audience top of mind. Cater to their desire for visually stunning photography, an easy booking experience, and useful resources to help plan their next getaway.

With the right blend of creativity and functionality, you can craft a travel website that will inspire users and keep them coming back for more. In this article on the best travel website development company, we'll explore some innovative design ideas to spark your imagination for a travel site that achieves both beauty and purpose. By the end, you'll have plenty of inspiration and actionable tips to build a travel website that takes users on a journey before they even pack their bags.

How To Crate a Creative Travel Website Design

To create an inspiring travel website design, consider the following tips:

Focus on visuals. As a travel site, visuals are key to conveying the experience of a destination. Include high-quality photos of locations, activities, food, and culture. For extra impact, use full-width images, parallax scrolling, and video.

Choose a mobile-friendly layout. Since many travelers research and book on mobile, a responsive design is essential. Opt for a single-page layout or make sure any multi-page site has easy navigation between pages. Large buttons, minimal text, and vertical spacing will make it mobile-optimized.

Use enticing typography. For headings and titles, select a stylish font that reflects the location or overall site theme. San-serif fonts typically work well for travel sites. Size, color, and spacing can also draw attention to key sections or calls-to-action.

Share authentic details. Provide specifics that give a true sense of place like historical facts, local cuisine, natural landscapes, and activities. Blog posts, city guides, and recommendations from locals are all great ways to share authentic details.

Include a clear call-to-action. Whether booking hotels, tours or flights, make it easy for visitors to make a purchase or reservation. Place buttons and links prominently on pages, using action-oriented text like ‘book now’ or ‘learn more.’

A creative, visual design with authentic details and a mobile-friendly layout can inspire your audience to embark on an amazing journey. By focusing on stunning visuals, enticing typography, and clear calls-to-action, you'll capture the essence of travel and encourage visitors to dive in and explore all your site has to offer.

Select Visual Content That Evokes Wanderlust

To create an inspiring travel website, visually stunning images are a must. Select photos that evoke a sense of wanderlust in your visitors and make them want to explore the destinations you feature.

Focus on images highlighting the location’s natural beauty or cultural aspects. For example, pictures of historic architecture, bustling city scenes, rugged coastlines or panoramic landscapes. Macro shots of local cuisine or close-ups of artisanal crafts are also effective in conveying the essence of a place.

When choosing images, opt for high-quality, high-resolution photos without watermarks. Royalty-free stock photos or your own photography are good options. For the best results, include a balanced mix of portrait and landscape orientation images.

In addition to still images, video content such as cinematic drone footage or time-lapses of sunrise and sunset can bring extra visual drama. Even short clips help to create an immersive experience for visitors.

With impactful visuals in place, you’ll want to optimize them for the web. Compress image sizes, add alt text descriptions and ensure fast load times. Display photos prominently on your landing page and include a gallery page to showcase a curated collection.

Finally, provide context for the images through thoughtful captions or short blog posts. Help visitors understand what they’re viewing by highlighting locations, cultural aspects or activities depicted. With stunning visuals and engaging context, you’ll have a travel website that inspires wanderlust in all who discover it.

Use Large Impressive Images

Use Large Impressive Images

For a travel website, visuals are key to capturing viewers’ attention and conveying the spirit of adventure. High-quality images are essential for inspiring your audience and helping them visualize experiencing the destinations you feature.

Focus on featuring large, high-resolution photos that showcase scenic natural landscapes, city skylines, local culture, food, and activities. Images of people enjoying various travel experiences help visitors picture themselves in that setting. Some suggestions for impressive images include:

  • Stunning panoramic shots of mountain vistas, beaches, or deserts.
  • Close-up photos of regional wildlife in their natural habitat.
  • Images of historic landmarks, places of worship, museums or World Heritage Sites.
  • Photos of locals participating in cultural events, rituals or daily life.
  • Macro images of regional cuisine, crafts or other artifacts.

For the best quality and most compelling images:

  1. Use a high-end camera, or hire a professional photographer. Stock photos can work in a pinch but lack authenticity.
  2. Shoot during the golden hours just after sunrise and just before sunset when lighting is most flattering.
  3. Capture details and textures in close-up shots. Get wide establishing shots to set the scene.
  4. Photograph people with their permission and in a respectful manner. Explain how the images will be used.
  5. Edit your photos to optimize lighting, color and clarity. But avoid overly manipulated images that lose a sense of realism.

A gallery of large, high-quality images is a simple way to make a memorable first impression on visitors. When photos capture the essence of a place and spark wanderlust in viewers, you’ll have achieved an effective travel website design. Utilizing images of scenic natural beauty and cultural heritage in this way can inspire your audience to embark on meaningful travel experiences of their own.

Include Custom Illustrations or Icons
Include Custom Illustrations or Icons

Include Custom Illustrations or Icons

Custom illustrations and icons are an effective way to enhance your travel website design and create a memorable brand identity. Carefully chosen graphics can help bring your content to life in an authentic way that resonates with your audience.

Commission Custom Graphics

Work with a professional graphic designer or illustrator to create original graphics for your site. Describe your brand vision and target audience to help guide their creative process. Custom illustrations and icons tailored to your brand can help set you apart from competitors using stock imagery. Be sure to obtain the proper licensing to use the graphics on your website and for marketing purposes.

Use a Consistent Visual Style

Maintain a cohesive visual style across your site by using custom graphics that share a similar esthetic. For example, use illustrations with the same color palette, level of detail, and subject matter. Icons should have the same line thickness and style. A consistent visual style strengthens your brand identity and makes your site appear more professional and polished.

Include Captions and Alt Text

Add a caption describing each custom graphic and include alt text for optimal accessibility. The alt text should describe the illustration or icon for visually impaired users and help with search engine optimization. For example, if you have an illustration of a suitcase, the alt text might say “Custom illustration of an open suitcase with travel essentials inside.”

Feature Graphics Prominently

Place custom graphics in locations where they will capture the reader's attention, such as at the top of content sections, in sidebars, or as content dividers. For example, feature a large hero illustration at the top of your homepage to make a bold visual statement about your brand. Use icons as bullet points to draw the reader's eye to important information or as links to different sections of your site.

With compelling custom graphics and a consistent visual style, you can craft a travel website design that is original, impactful and tailored to your unique brand vision. Strategic use of custom illustrations and icons will help inspire your next web design project and keep visitors engaged with your content.

Add Interactive Maps

Adding interactive maps to your travel website design will allow visitors to visually explore destinations and points of interest. Maps engage users by appealing to their sense of adventure and curiosity about places they have not yet experienced firsthand.

Use Custom Map Pins

Create custom map pins to highlight recommended locations, attractions, and points of interest on your interactive maps. For example, use a camera icon to denote scenic photo spots, a fork and knife icon to show great places to dine, or a star to indicate must-see attractions. Custom map pins make it easy for users to find what interests them at a glance.

Add Pop-Up Information Windows

When a user clicks on one of your custom map pins, display a pop-up information window with photos, descriptions, reviews, and other details about that location. Pop-up windows bring your maps to life and give visitors a quick preview of what to expect at each spot. They encourage interaction and make users more inclined to explore the map.

Offer Directions and Estimated Travel Times

Provide directions and estimated travel times between map pins to help users plan their itinerary efficiently. Calculate routes that minimize unnecessary detours and backtracking. Estimated travel times, especially for locations that are far apart, help to set proper expectations for how long it may take to visit multiple spots in one day. Offer walking, driving, and public transit directions for the ultimate in convenience and flexibility.

Highlight Different Map Layers

Allow users to toggle between different map layers like terrain, satellite imagery, and street maps. Layers cater to varying needs and preferences. For example, satellite imagery works well for natural attractions like national parks while street maps suit urban city guides. Give visitors the option to choose the map style that appeals to them.

Interactive maps transform a standard travel website into an engaging online resource for planning adventures and exploring new places virtually. By implementing custom map pins, pop-up information windows, directions and estimated travel times, and multiple map layers, you can craft an interactive experience that inspires wanderlust in your users. Your maps will become useful tools that visitors reference again and again whenever they are looking to embark on their next journey.

Share Travel Stories and Experiences

To inspire travelers and build community, incorporate ways for visitors to share their experiences on your travel site. Include features where they can post stories, photos, and videos from their trips.

Create a Travel Stories Section

A dedicated section for travel stories allows visitors to share their adventures in their own words. They can submit written stories, photo essays, or video journals. Some ideas:

  • Written stories: Have visitors share stories of meaningful interactions with locals, descriptions of breathtaking landscapes, or accounts of spontaneous discoveries. Keep stories around 500 to 1,000 words.
  • Photo essays: Visitors can share a series of photos with captions that tell the story of their trip or a memorable day. Require at least 5 to 10 high-quality photos with descriptive captions.
  • Video journals: For visitors who want to share video footage from their travels, provide an option to submit short video journals or vlogs of their experiences. Keep videos between 1 to 3 minutes in length.

Build Community Through Comments and Reactions

Allow visitors to connect through commenting on and reacting to stories, photos, and videos. They can:

  • Leave comments with questions, compliments, or their own experiences. Monitor comments to ensure they remain positive and constructive.
  • React to posts by liking, hearting or awarding badges to their favorites. Seeing lots of likes and reactions on a post signifies to readers that the content and experiences resonated with others in the community.
  • Tag posts with location hashtags so readers can discover stories from places that interest them. Hashtags also make the content more discoverable on social media.

Share Your Best Content on Social Media

To increase visibility and drive more traffic to your site, share some of the best travel stories, photos, and videos on your social media channels. When visitors see the types of experiences being shared, it may inspire them to submit their own stories or at least browse what others have contributed. Engage with readers by replying to their comments and messages on social media as well.

Building a community focused on sharing travel experiences will keep visitors engaged with your site and coming back to either share more of their own adventures or discover new stories from explorers around the world. Their contributions become an invaluable resource for other travelers seeking inspiration for their next journey.

Include Practical Information on Locations

When designing a travel website, including practical information about locations is key. Visitors will appreciate specifics to help them plan their trips.

Details on Getting Around

Provide details on transportation options for getting to and navigating within destinations. For example:

  • The nearest airport or train station and ground transportation available from there.
  • Public transit systems like bus, metro, or bike shares and how to access them.
  • Average cost of taxis, rideshares, or car rentals.
  • If driving is the best option, note parking challenges or costs to be aware of.

Accommodation Options

Give an overview of the types of lodging available, from hostels and budget hotels to luxury resorts. For each location, include:

  1. Price range and amenities for different options.
  2. Recommendations for the best areas or neighborhoods to stay in based on interests like nightlife, culture, nature, or cuisine.
  3. Peak seasons to be aware of when prices may increase.
  4. Any alternative lodging like campsites, motels, or vacation rentals.

Must-See Attractions

Create a list of the top things to see and do in each place. These could include:

  • Cultural attractions like museums, historical sites, places of worship or landmarks.
  • Natural attractions such as national parks, beaches, gardens or viewpoints.
  • Entertainment options such as shopping districts, nightlife areas, theaters or amusement parks.
  • Yearly events like festivals, carnivals or sporting events worth scheduling a trip around.

Additional Resources

Link to any additional resources with more details on locations like tourism board websites, travel blogs, booking sites, maps, and mobile apps. Visitors will appreciate extra help in planning their adventures.

Providing practical details and resources on the locations featured in your travel website design will inspire visitors and give them confidence in planning a memorable trip. With enough information to get started, they can then customize their itineraries based on personal interests for an unforgettable experience.

Unicorn Platform: No Code Builder for Travel Website
Unicorn Platform: No Code Builder for Travel Website

Unicorn Platform: No Code Builder for Travel Website

Customize Your Design

Unicorn Platform provides a simple yet powerful page builder to help you create a stunning travel website design without coding. You have full control over the layout, styling, and content of your pages.

Flexible Layouts

Select from multiple column layouts like 1, 2 or 3 columns to arrange your content. You can also create custom layouts by dragging widgets into any position. Each section on your page can have its own unique layout.

Professional Themes

Choose from beautifully designed themes for travel companies, tour operators, travel agencies and more. All themes are mobile responsive, SEO friendly and easy to customize. You can change colors, fonts, spacing and add your own branding elements like logos.

Drag and Drop Widgets

Unicorn Platform comes with a wide selection of widgets to add to your pages like:

  • Image galleries
  • Maps
  • Social media feeds
  • Contact forms
  • Testimonials
  • Call to action buttons
  • And many more

Simply drag the widgets onto your page and drop them into place. No coding required. You can customize the styling and settings of each widget to match your brand.

Built-in Blog

Share travel stories, destination guides, tips and news on your website. The Unicorn Platform blog builder lets you create blog posts with images, videos, styled text, and social sharing buttons. Your blog is fully integrated into your website theme for a seamless user experience.

Mobile Friendly

Your entire website will be optimized for all mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The responsive themes and page builder ensure your content looks great on any screen size. No more need for a separate mobile site.

Unicorn Platform provides an intuitive way to build a professional travel website without needing any technical web design skills. The simple yet flexible features give you control to create a unique website that matches your brand. Your site will be ready to inspire wanderlust in visitors and convert them into customers.

Design Ideas for a Travel Site FAQs: Getting Started With Unicorn Platform

Keep Your Design Clean and Minimal

A clean, minimal design is ideal for a travel website. Too many elements on the page can seem cluttered and distracting. Focus on high-quality images, a simple navigation, and concise blocks of text. Use plenty of white space to give the content room to breathe. A minimal design helps your key messages and stunning visuals take center stage.

Choose a Mobile-Friendly Layout

With more people accessing the web on their mobile devices, a responsive design is essential. Opt for a mobile-first approach, designing your site to display well on smaller screens before adapting the layout for desktop. Keep buttons and links large enough to tap, avoid overly complex navigation menus, and ensure all images and text remain clear and legible. A mobile-friendly site provides the best user experience for all your visitors.

Include Engaging Visuals

Compelling images are vital for an inspirational travel website. Include high-quality photographs of locations you feature, with pops of color and interest. Infographics, maps, and data visualizations also make useful and interactive visual elements. Video clips, virtual tours, and drone footage can bring destinations to life. Engaging visuals capture attention, set the right mood, and give visitors a taste of the experiences on offer.

Share Stories and Personal Experiences

Help visitors connect on an emotional level by sharing stories and personal experiences. Blog posts, testimonials, and behind-the-scenes insights from your team allow your audience to get to know the people behind the brand. Discuss what inspired your business, favorite trips you’ve taken, lessons you’ve learned, or interactions with people you’ve met along the way. An authentic, human touch fosters loyalty and trust.

Offer Practical Information and Advice

While visuals and stories should inspire, also provide practical details and useful advice for your audience. Share recommendations on the best places to eat, sleep, and sightsee. Offer packing lists and planning tips for different locations. Provide information on transportation options, recommended travel insurance, important local customs to respect, or anything else to help visitors prepare for a fantastic trip. Combine the practical with the aspirational for a well-rounded experience.


As you've seen, creative and compelling travel website designs employ vibrant imagery, minimalist layouts, engaging typography, and intuitive navigation to inspire users and keep them exploring. By focusing on what matters most to your target audience - the experience of discovering new destinations - you can craft a travel site that achieves your business goals and delights visitors. Keep these effective design techniques in mind for your next travel website project and build an online experience that transports users, stirs their wanderlust, and has them booking their next getaway in no time. With the right strategy and tools, you have the power to design a travel site that achieves liftoff.

Read more

Built on Unicorn Platform