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81% of travellers claim their smartphone takes priority on holiday

According to a new report by Hotels.com, 81% of respondents said smartphones are their number one travel accessory.

64% also admitted to looking at friends’ social media so they don’t lose touch, while 50% admitted to uploading photos on social media just to show off. Men are also three times more likely than women to be competitive Facebookers and compare their travel posts to others

This global study of 9,200 travellers across 31 countries, revealed that people like to gloat on social media, use mobile data to search for their next meal and engage in Facebook competitions with travel friends.

Smartphones vs. beach chairs

respondents revealed they spend on average almost two and a half hours a day topping up their tan, compared to three hours a day glaring at mobile devices. In fact, just over 6% of travellers will spend more than seven hours a day with their smartphone in their hands.

Post a pic or it didn’t happen: social show offs

50% of travellers admit to uploading photos to social media just to show off and 28% do it to check into places on social media to make friends jealous. Over a quarter (28%) say they comment on friends’ posts just so they don’t miss out on anything out while they’re away.

Americans channel their inner competition through facebook travel face-offs

This is when you check your travel buddy’s social posts to make sure your content is better than theirs! Interestingly, three times more men compete with their friends than women. Additionally, 20% spend their time seeing how many likes and comments their posts have.
The most used social channels while travelling include:
1. Facebook (77%)
2. Instagram (32%)
3. YouTube (25%)
4. Twitter (24%)
5. Pinterest (14%)

Wifi: amenity or necessity?

31% of people only select a hotel if it offers free Wifi, and 17% of men are willing to pay for Wifi access in a hotel but only 12% of women are willing to do the same. Women (12%) also care less about having access to Wifi in general while traveling compared to men (9%).

It seems that tech may just be a necessity, as 64% admit to looking at friends’ social media updates and 28% say they comment on posts so they don’t lose touch. FOMO is real, and it’s evident.

When it comes to our app behaviour, travellers are either posting on Instagram, getting lost in a destination or messaging people to say we’re having the time of our lives. The top five app categories used while traveling are:
1. Social media (66%)
2. Messaging (50%)
3. Mapping (43%)
4. Travel (39%)
5. Music (32%)

Maps and translators: mobile does it all

More than half of American travellers (51%) use the map features on their smartphones to get around. Globally, 30-39 year-olds use language translation apps the most, with 13% of Americans in this age group utilising apps that offer these services.

Further Local Survey Data:

• On average, people take 3 trips a year and spend 11 nights in a hotel
• 43% of people have booked a hotel on mobile
• Over half (53%) have made a same day hotel booking

“For travellers the mobile effect begins with booking, as 43% of people in our study have booked a hotel on mobile,” said Dan Craig, senior director of mobile of the Hotels.com brand. “It’s therefore no surprise that today’s modern tourist is so reliant on their smartphone, and as technology is advancing it’s becoming a more indispensable travel companion.”

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Rosie Clarke

Rosie Clarke is managing editor at Multimedia Publishing.

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