Hotels.com, an online booking site, has produced a very interesting survey about mobile phones and travel habits. Compiled by 9,200 travelers across 31 countries, the Hotels.com Travel Tracker survey reveals that smartphones have changed the behavior of many travelers, and not always for the better. One particularly damning statistic is that people would much rather travel with their phone than a friend or relative, with 76% of US travelers saying that their phone is their number one travel accessory, more than twice the amount that picked a human (although, in fairness to the human race, this is probably because people don’t usually consider their friends and family ‘travel accessories’).
Other findings are broadly in line with our increased interest and use of smartphones generally. Holidaymakers spent an average of three hours per day on their phones while they were on vacation (though 10% said they used their phone for a staggering 10 hours per day!) and these were mostly used to connect on social media. Checking the news and looking up travel information came in close behind. Fast and reliable WIFI remains the number one thing people look for when booking a hotel, but there are couple of surprises here. For example, offering reliable customer reviews and the right range of payment methods are now more important to people than the price of the room. Many respondents said that their smartphone had made them more spontaneous, with far more people booking their hotels on the same day they intend to check-in, and 14% of people now leave it until they are in the departure lounge before their flight to pick a hotel.
Because of the increasing importance of our phones, you need to make sure that you have the best rates when roaming abroad so it’s important to research the places you are visiting before you travel. Our new trip planner clearly lays out your options and what everything will cost – and because (thanks to surveys such as this) we know that people plan their trips either in bed (27%) or in some cases, in the bathroom (10%), you can do all this on your smartphone!