Holiday Priorities

Jules Verne looks at Brit’s holiday priorities to see how essential our phones are abroad.

April 2019 • Jules Verne

Holiday Priorities

What do you prioritise when you go on holiday? For most of us, it’s rest and recuperation. A way of escaping from the usual daily grind. Some seek lazy days on the beach, relaxing on a lounger as they soak in the sunshine. Others crave active adventure, choosing to cycle through vineyards in Italy or hike through the Himalayas.

Whilst exploring beautiful landscapes, sampling traditional cuisine and embracing new cultures are vital for some, others state their holiday essential is keeping up to date with everything at home. New research suggests that British holidaymakers are finding it increasingly difficult to switch off from their smartphones to enjoy a well-deserved break.

Here at Jules Verne, we wanted to find out how important it is for us to stay connected on holiday. Here’s what we found out…

Your phone or your family and friends?

If you could only take one with you on holiday, which would it be? Your friends and family, or your phone? Surprisingly (or not for some!) our results revealed British holidaymakers would choose their phone over their friends and family, if they could only take one on holiday. 37% of respondents chose their phone as their essential item, while only 20% picked their friends and family.

With over 69% of travellers using their smartphone to capture special moments and memories, it’s no wonder so many of us see them as a holiday staple.

Overall, we found that men are more likely to choose their phones over their friends and family, with nearly half (44%) admitting this compared to 31% of women. Those in the 35 to 44 age bracket are the most inclined to ditch their loved ones in favour of their tech, with 40% choosing their phone as their one essential holiday item.

We also discovered that holidaymakers from Cambridge are the most reliant on their smartphones, with 53% stating that they would choose to take their phone away with them over anything else. They were closely followed by travellers from Aberdeen (48%), Liverpool (46%) and Belfast (45%).

The Importance of Check In… On Social Media

With many British holidaymakers stating they would rather jet off with their phone than their family and friends, it may not be surprising that staying connected via social media is equally as important.

38% of travellers said they will check in on social platforms as soon as they arrive at their destination, with women feeling the need to log on more than men. Over a third of people think that this is more important than having food (38%) or taking pictures (31%). Even more shockingly, 36% think that this is more of a priority than letting their family know they’ve arrived safely.

When you jet off, do you prioritise contacting home to let people know you’ve arrived, safe and sound? Well, our research found that men are more likely to call home on arrival. 41% confirmed that they would contact their loved ones to put their minds at rest. Only 33% of women said they would be likely to do the same.

We also discovered that of all the holidaymakers in the country, the most conscientious are from Glasgow. Nearly half of Glaswegians (48%) prioritise calling home when they land safely in their holiday destination. Travellers from Coventry came in close second (45%) followed by considerate Cambridge tourists (43%).

So, why are we staying connected on holiday?

As our survey reveals, a huge amount of the British public think staying connected to their smartphone is vital while on holiday. But why? Our research suggests that it is to make their friends and family back home jealous of their travels. It turns out that divorcees are the most likely to do this, with 21% uploading pictures to show off.

Also, we found that those from Worcester are the most calculating when it comes to using their phones abroad. 43% admit to uploading pictures and checking in to tourist hotspots to make their friends and family envious. On the other hand, only 15% of those from Oxford, Birmingham or Liverpool admit to using their phones abroad for this purpose.

Is it time to switch off?

As a nation, we are becoming increasingly addicted to our smartphones. At home, Brits check them at least once every two hours, with 5% admitting to doing so every five minutes. Women crave this connection the most, reaching for their phone every 94 minutes. Men go nearly twice as long as women, only checking in every 154 minutes. So, is it any wonder that we can’t disconnect when we’re abroad?  

Although we don’t completely switch off during our holidays, the time we spend on our phones does dramatically reduce. Our research has found that the amount of time we go without checking our phones more than doubles while abroad, with Brits logging on once every 4.8 hours. Here, women and men grab for their phones after roughly the same amount of time.

So, what do you prioritise when you go on holiday? Social media check ins, or checking in with your family at home? Would you rather jet off with your phone, or your friends and family? Whether you’re a self-confessed social media addict or not, it seems that it is increasingly difficult for us to switch off and enjoy some well-deserved fun in the sun. So, as you set off to explore new sights, will you stay connected or ditch your phone to enjoy the moment?

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