Third of travellers cannot survive on a trip without their mobile
Just how attached are people to their mobile devices, even when they are supposed to be taking time away from the rat race and lying on a beach somewhere?
Quite a lot, would be the simple answer.
A study of over 5,000 travellers in Europe by TripAdvisor (the latest in its now annual study of mobile use) found that 34% “can’t live without” their mobile when a holiday.
Country-by-country, Italian travellers are the most obsessed, with 41% declaring their love of the mobile, while Germany (31%), France (30%), UK (29%) and Spain (26%) are less smitten.
Elsewhere in the study, Germany is leading the way with using a mobile for various travel services. The majority of Germans (54%) are now planning a trip via mobile, compared to 50% in Spain, 37% in Italy, 34% in the UK and 33% in France.
Goodbye traditional cameras, it appears, as three quarters of Spanish travellers are now using their mobile to take and then share photos during a trip.
The other main countries in the study also saw a majority of travellers using their phones for snapping holiday pictures.
But any joy over the opportunities presented by the heady marriage of mobile and travel is often tempered with the harsh reality of using devices in a foreign country.
Indeed, issues around data roaming charges are worrying travellers across Europe and it is now their primary concern when using a mobile device overseas, according to the study.
Around 60% of European travellers turn their data roaming off when they leave their home country, effectively putting an end to any application that requires a live connection and ruling out any web browsing entirely, unless there are wifi hotspots available.
Roughly a third of European travellers admit to being hit by a “unexpectedly large” phone bill when they return home as a result of roaming charges.
Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.