Imagine that you are going on vacation. The flight was quite expensive, as the destination is also one of those exotic ones. Halfway to the airport, you realize you have forgotten your phone. Do you take a risk and return to get the device? After all, that’s where your boarding pass is, your wallet, and how would you stay in touch with your friends and family? Well… At Passport Photo Online, we decided to explore the topic of using your phone while on vacation. The results? Read on!
Planning – with or without the phones?
Initially, we wanted to know about the planning process, so the respondents were asked whether they would be researching, booking, and planning a vacation using just a smartphone.
The results were more than we could think of – 84% of Americans are comfortable or very comfortable with doing it in such a way. It is a 36% increase compared to 2018!
So, the trend of mobile travel has definitely taken off. Almost everyone who travels uses their smartphones, which means they’re using their phones to research, plan and book their trip before they hit the road. It turned out that the percentage of Americans using smartphones during their most recent vacation has increased from 82% in 2018 to 97%. A complete 87% of Gen Xers (39–54), 93% of Baby Boomers (55 or older), and 100% of Millennials (26–38) said that they used their smartphones during the last trip, a 7-point increase from last year.
Chasing the notifications
Today, many Americans cannot imagine their vacations without cell phones. More than three-quarters of American travelers say that smartphones are their number one travel accessory because they make communication much more convenient and even more casual in some cases. Also, phone screens offer so much more than just calls and messages—like access to maps, music players, and social media platforms.
Interestingly, when we asked how often American vacationers pull out cell phones, we found that most (71%) do it between 2–5 times per hour. And if we assume we’re awake an average of 16 hours; it’s safe to say most travelers check their smartphones ~32–80 times per day.
Digging deeper into the results, we discovered what’s the longest they can go without checking mobile phones while on vacation:
1–2 hours: 27%
30–60 minutes: 21%
2–3 hours: 19%
3–4 hours: 11%
Less than 30 minutes: 9%
6 hours or more: 9%
4–5 hours: 5%
Your smartphone is an integral part of your life and can be an invaluable travel companion, too, as long as you learn to use it mindfully.
The average Millennial doesn’t just plan trips based on where they want to go. They also base their decisions on how many Instagrammable moments they’ll have at each destination. That’s according to Schofields, who discovered nearly half of U.S. vacationers spend 30 or more minutes daily checking social media posts and thinking about their upcoming holiday adventure.
Social media is a key part of modern life, but some people feel like it dictates how they should travel. Of the travelers, we asked about how much time they spend on social media during the holidays. The outcome may shock you:
- 1–2 hours: 31%
- 30–60 minutes: 24%
- 2–3 hours: 20%
- Less than 30 minutes: 14%
- 3–4 hours: 6%
- 4–5 hours: 3%
- 6 hours or more: 2%
For half of those travelers, posting photos of their luxurious trip was the impetus for checking their feeds so often. Some admitted they wanted to make followers jealous. In addition, nearly 58% said frequent social media use negatively affected their most recent trip.
Do phones ruin our time-off?
Unfortunately, working on vacation is more common than many people think. Numerous Americans use their mobile devices for work while they’re out of the office. According to our survey, nearly seven out of 10 employees reported using their smartphones for work-related purposes while taking time off from their regular jobs. Especially Gen Zers and Millennials find it hard to switch off – leading a hustling lifestyle often comes at a price. 62% of US travelers agree or strongly agree that using a cell phone for work makes them unable to relax and recharge their batteries.
To sum up
Smartphones have become an extremely important element in travel and vacations. However, it is important to learn how to use them properly so that you don’t waste your holiday and regret later the decision to return and get your phone!
Short bio: Magdalena Sadowska, the Community Manager of PhotoAiD. With a background in psychology, she is fascinated by how people interact and create their reality.
Given a choice of sea or mountains, she chooses both.