Whether its for planning your next vacation, booking a weekend getaway or simply looking for information on the best hotels and resorts, travel websites all have one thing in common, visually stunning photos that take your breath away and make you wish that if you just close your eyes and click your heals twice, a tornado will whisk you up and take you there.
From a design perspective, visually stunning photos should be complemented with equally stunning crafted design.
Stunning design is what WordPress developers are aiming for when they create travel themes, and of course, they also try to include useful options and features like sortable portfolios, large images, full page sliders, booking engines and reservation forms to add a more personalized touch.
In order to compete in today’s competitive design market, exceptional travel themes must have multilingual support, be highly responsive, interactive and compatible with the most updated versions of WordPress, specifically 3.7 or 3.6 at a minimum.
Taking into consideration all of the above criteria, here are the top twenty best wordpress travel themes available today.
1. SOHO ~ As luxurious as its name
The WordPress SOHO Hotel Booking theme created by QuietNiceStuff (QNS) is one of the most refined hotel booking themes. A specially designed booking plugin, the Working Booking System is included in the theme, adding impressive functionality such as the ability to take hotel room deposits via paypal. To avoid booking conflicts, the room availability checker notes when a room is booked and it is then recorded in the booking plugin which blackouts the date for the room’s availability.
There is not a huge amount of customizations that can be done, however you can choose between 4 different colours and five different homepage layouts. The design and blog page post is so luxurious, there really is no need to make a huge amount of modifications and for this reason, it gets my vote as the top “out of the box” booking travel theme.
2. Royal Gold ~ The midas touch
A panoramic slider view of a hotel room or holiday cruise is what greets you at the door of the fabulous Royal Gold WordPress Theme that is designed for single purpose travel websites such as hotels, cruise lines, resorts and spas. From the moment you arrive at this theme’s destination, the views just keep on getting better.
All the pages are created with a full screen slider format that is reminiscent of an old fashioned online postcard with a vertical navigation menu to the left and a small content area on the right, all neatly organized so that they flow quite nicely together. As a writer and blogger myself, I do not normally like small content areas, but in this theme, it seems to be the midas touch, adding a unique elegance to the theme.
Fully responsive, with retina display the theme has the contact forms 7, easyReservations and responsive lightbox plugins integrated, giving it two thumbs up.
3. Viva Hotel ~ Southern Inspiration
The Viva Hotel WordPress theme reminds me of a summer vacation spent in a southern villa complete with lush colors and simple elegant design. Perhaps not as luxurious as most travel themes, it has a quaint style all its own. Viva is a little bit playful, crisp and straight to the point. The theme is loaded with great features that you can use to customize the theme right from the comfort of the dashboard. Top that off with retina ready responsive design, a fully integrated reservations form and the revolution slider, and you got yourself one heck of a good thing going on.
Not seen in many themes, the Viva Hotel allows you to promote your pages with an amazing landing pages builder, a great option to have for tour and group travel promotions. Rounding out the top three, Viva has just enough to offer at a great price.
4. Tour Package ~ Take the road less Travelled
The road less travelled is often filled with a huge amount of discoveries and the Tour Package WordPress travel theme definitely has a few great options for you to encounter along the way. Over twelve different blog variations in 3 formats, ten package post types, a live colour changer, drag and drop slider manager and 6 different custom pages, the tour package is the top theme for building travelling websites that contain a huge amount of destinations and packages. A convenient package filtering system and easy to use features provides even more robust functionality.
The overall theme is a somewhat flat design that is optimal for viewing on mobile devices and come with some really nifty short codes for adding a more personalized touch. Definitely not the road less taken, it comes with everything you would expect to see in a travel theme and a whole lot more.
5. The Place ~ A home away from home
The Place Hotel theme has a classic familiar look that makes you feel right at home. Loaded with a number of customizable features such as full width and full screen sliders, revolution sliders, unlimited colors, backgrounds and sidebars alongside an internationalized front end, powerful admin panel and integrated booking system, the theme is highly responsive and extremely well organized. It is everything you would expect a hotel theme to be and so much more.
Palace comes with a working booking system created with the Contact Form 7 Plugin, that is fully customizable and quite impressive.
It is best suited to build websites for hotels, bed & breakfasts, guest house and inns, however it’s so versatile, you can use it for just about everything you want.
6. Subway Multi Purpose ~ An adventurous ride
Although it was not designed specifically as a travel theme, the Subway multi purpose WordPress theme just screams adventure and with the addition of a booking and reservation form plugin, this theme could easily transform itself into an incredibly powerful travel theme because of what’s already inside: a large image layered slider, responsive design, mega menu, portfolio galleries, featured posts, parallax pages and masonry style boxed layout.
Highly interactive and animated, this theme is perfect for adventure travel websites that want to show a bit more of a wilder side. Subway is one the quickest ways to capture travel memories and share them with the world because of its advanced social media integration. For a truly adventurous ride that your clients can share with the entire world, subway is one of the best multi purpose themes for use in travel designs.
7. Nice Hotel ~ Like a old friend
Initially released in July of 2012, the Nice Hotel WordPress theme is like having an old friend around that you know you can count on. Aptly named, the nice hotel has a clean magazine look that comes complete with booking wizard, accommodations management, event page and the choice of 4 very nice skins, but you can always make your own in the easy to use options panel with a few clicks.
The theme’s pages can be replicated easily with a few clicks and for less advanced users, this is a good choice option when your trying to get a theme to look like the one in the cover. Ease of use, nice clean design and reliability is the best part of the design.
8. Arctica ~ Refreshingly cool
The multiLayer Revolution slider that is included in this theme helps to create responsive animated header slideshows that make you feel as though you’re right inside the picture, without having to use a whole lot of heavy flash techniques. The animated effects are created by slider layers (clusters) that fade in, pop out and ease into the main slider to create a variety of effects. The mini scrolling featured posts area on the homepage is a really trendy feature and the post pages and blog page are clean and well laid out.
Overall this theme is refreshingly cool and is a great option for adventure travel enthusiasts who want to add a little pizzazz without a whole lot of work.
Adventurous design is worthwhile in itself.
9, Anchor Inn ~ Affordable luxury
Perhaps the most luxurious design of all, the Anchor Inn is awarded the ninth spot solely because while it is stunningly beautiful, easy to use and it does come with a reservation form, it lacks in many of the customizable features that one might expect to find in such a modern travel theme. That being said, the design is well worth adding a few plugins to make it function the way you want. Released early in September, the developer still has plenty of time to create updates and add cool features to the design and in doing so, this theme will most likely be one of the top three travel themes in no time.
For now, it sits well at number nine simply because of its overall luxurious design.
10. Book Your Travel ~ Relax and enjoy
Extensive theme options, powerful booking and reservations features, along with a full screen header image slider, the Book Your Travel WordPress theme is the clear winner when it comes to white, clean and soft design. The pastel color scheme alongside the white content areas provides a nice soft touch that is relaxing and truly inviting. It has been said that relaxed individuals will book more vacations and perhaps there is a great amount of truth to it, because this image is making me want to book a resort vacation.
Its full set of features include, a package filtering system that allows your customers to easily choose packages based on filters such as price, stars, rating, date, destination and accommodation type, a working booking system and room availability checker making this theme not only clean and relaxing, but sexy and smart too.
11. Midway ~ Traveling with the family
Stated in an earlier review of Midway Travel theme, the image frames and overall layout resembles a scrapbook of polaroids taken from vacations gone by and while perhaps not the most luxurious travel design, the theme is extremely high tech, easy to use and deserving of a top spot. Managing tours is child’s play with this theme and a custom tour page that was designed specifically for adding packages provides something special and unique to the design.
The motion slider is a real nice feature that designers can use to create animated views of cruise ships and travel destinations, if you add the correct sequences of images when setting it up. The zoom effect creates a somewhat panoramic view and when used properly can add a nice effect to the home page.
This theme is perfect for budget type travel agencies and sites that do now wish to appear overly luxurious but want to take advantage of modern features.
12. Enfold ~ Originality is the key to success
Enfold Multi Purpose WordPress theme is the most popular download (12000) to date because it is the easiest and most flexible responsive portfolio theme available. I could not help but add it to this list, because if you’re looking to build your own truly unique travel theme, than this is the best way to accomplish that. Parallax full screen slideshows, masonry boxed layouts, 2 and 3 dimensional layer sliders, Ajax portfolio, Retina ready, highly responsive with an easy to use admin panel that does not require knowledge of shortcodes, this theme is the best thing since skydiving off the cliff of kilimanjaro.
With a few added tweaks and plugins, Enfold Multipurpose theme can be turned into the most unique and powerful travel websites available today.
Want to read more about it? Check out our most recent reviews on the Enfold Review page.
13. Guest House ~ Come on in
Perhaps one of the most welcoming and versatile travel themes, Guesthouse is a specialized wordpress theme for use mainly in the hospitality or recreation industry. It can also be used for any other website that requires reservations as well. In fact, you can use it for any hotel, motel, hostel, campsite or resort offering golf, tennis and any other activities such as hanging out at the day spa. There are two separate modules included in the theme, one is designed for travel and the other for sport, but both can be renamed directly in the admin panel to suit your specific design needs.
Easy to use, the theme automatically generates pages for each room or sport and they are added to the room slider.
This design is one of my personal favorites and I think it has a great amount of features, however, I was a bit disappointed in the fact that it does not come pre-installed with adequate booking. You can easily install a plugin yourself, but I just feel that when most themes already include it, the developers should have added it directly, instead of offering it through updates that you can only access when you purchase the theme. Updates often create issues and is an unnecessary risk on the part of the developers.
14. Dignitas ~ In a Class by itself
One of the only travel themes to include weather forecasting, the Dignitas theme is in a class by itself. Dignitas is a responsive and modern theme, that uses extremely light colors and provides ample space for customisation. The overall design is flat, contains large header and title areas and is rather quite feng shui. This approach to design makes perfect sense when you consider that the travelling industry caters to an older clientele. The slider is a layer slider used for creating moveable images, banners and tickers that attract attention.
There is a reservation form and verifier included with the theme and a sortable portfolio deals page finishes the design off quite nicely.
15. Imperial Hotel ~ You are in the right place
The Imperial Hotel theme is a very minimalistic classic theme that can be used to create luxurious travel websites in a matter of minutes. Perhaps not as powerful or well equipped as other travel themes, it is responsive and has a very regal looking design. Perfect for spas and smaller type travel accommodations such as bed and breakfast style websites, the circled featured area is a popular and trendy fad that adds a unique personal touch to the home page design.
For a pre made ready design, the Imperial Hotel design is really quite exquisite. It has everything a small travel website could need and nothing more, such as gallery displays, featured posts and a very nice blog for keeping visitors up to date on current events.
16. Travelo ~ Where do you want to go today?
Travelo is a great choice option if you own a Travel Company, but you don’t have an online payment services available. It has one of the most reliable and easy to use tour and booking management systems with payments available today, along with a handy tour search that allows clients to sort tour packages based on a number of criteria and filters such as destination, cost and vacation dates. The main feature of Travelo is the search filter which categorizes your packages and deals for improved search results.
3 different types of sliders and a host of other customizations including 6 different skins provides a user friendly responsive theme that makes booking travel as simple as knowing where you want to go today.
The design is a bit rudimentary and closely resembles the large travel deal websites like Expedia, but nevertheless the sliders allow for a bit more elegant design depending on the images that you use.
The design is not really a huge factor in this theme, because what it does offer, is a huge amount of really valuable features and the ability to add huge amounts of tour packages.
17. Travel Full Screen ~ A vacation in the palm or your hands
The fully responsive fullscreen Travel theme from WordPress is one of the first theme designed for full page viewing of travel photos, journals and blogs right on the same page. The overall design is not really practical for booking purposes, however it is a great theme for presenting destination packages and information regarding different venues around the world. All content is presented on the main page in a handy scroller type fashion that allows for quick and easy access to information. The information is readily available for travellers who need on the spot information about the places that they are travelling in, such as maps and amenities.
Perfect for a concierge type website, or secondary mobile website, the travel theme brings the vacation to you in the palm of your hand and larger than life with full screen graphic displays and sliders.
18. Lamoon ~ Every picture tells a story
Clearly, the most popular feature of the Lamoon theme is the individual header images for rooms, facilities and posts pages that create a different look for each page. Modern design has moved away from header images, however in the Lamoon Travel theme, it is part of its overall charm because each image tells a different story. The interchangeable headers is a great idea for highlighting hotel amenities, package features and current events.
While we move towards modern design, we sometimes forget the things that used to matter and why they mattered so much.
Perfect for travel agencies that host a huge amount of events or hotels that have a number of conference rooms, the Lamoon theme is a great way to display individual feature pages in a clean and elegant way.
19. The Vacation Rental ~ Ready, set, vacate
As its name suggests, The Vacation Rental theme is specifically designed to sell vacation rentals, holiday condos or villas and apartments in frequently visited areas. This one of a kind theme is very clean and nicely presented making selling vacation properties quite effortless. The listings page has a special booking form with integrated booking calendar, full list of rental details and an agent contact form.
The image frames have a really nice effect that makes them appear similar to rolodex business cards and this adds a really nice personal touch to the overall design.
With a multitude of handy features and customizations such as paypal integration, listing and search functionality, this theme is perfect for any type of travel booking business.
20. World ~ Its a kid’s world afterall
Rounding out the bottom twenty, the World Responsive WooCommerce travel theme just may be a bit too funky for more refined tastes, but it makes a fun travel theme if you are creating kid and family oriented websites or for using as a quick and easy travel blog. The design relies heavily on a cartoon jungle theme that while extremely cute, will not be suitable for travel agencies that rely heavily on pristine postcard type images and displays for selling vacation and hotel packages.
However, it is cute and worthy of a mention for more light minded purposes such as disney resorts websites, travel blogs or family cruises.
When it comes the World Theme, it’s a kid’s world, but after all, if the child wants to go, the parents will too!
The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton.
It is my belief that a designer makes you see where you want to go with larger than life images and sliders that simply wow the imagination. The themes in this list are so incredibly beautiful and stunning, it is really hard to determine which one is truly worthy of top spot and sometimes its just a matter of personal choice, however, every theme in this list is compatible with WordPress 3.6 at a minimum and sells for less than 60.00 making them really quite valuable.
A good percentage of the themes come with some booking or registration form and a number of them include a layer slider for providing cool banner slider effects.
It is interesting to note, that almost all of these theme can be used for travel blogs and can be easily modified to fit any profession that uses booking forms such as fitness centers or beauty salons. Whatever choice you make or for whatever purpose you use them for, these top twenty WordPress travel themes are worth every penny just based on design alone.