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Hotels.com™ Mobile Travel Tracker

Appy Holidays: We spend 50% more of our holiday on mobile than we do sunbathing

Social Gloaters: 40% of travelers admit to uploading photos to social media to show off
Tasty Food Over Tourist Attractions: Restaurants most searched for content on mobile when we’re on holiday
Facebook Face-Off: 1 in 10 competitive Facebookers check travel buddy’s posts to make sure theirs are better
Live like a local: Almost 50% of travelers use mobile maps to get around and a fifth rely on it to learn local lingo

On your summer holiday this year you’ll spend 50% more time glued to your smartphone than to your sunbed, according to the Hotels.com™ Mobile Travel Tracker*. This global study of 9,200 travelers across 31 countries, reveals that while away we turn into social media show offs, use mobile to search for our next meal and have Facebook Face-Offs with our travel companions.

Smartphones over sunbeds
With summer season just around the corner, you conjure up the image of spending hours relaxing around the pool, or exploring the sights and attractions of a new city. The reality however is that you will spend 50% more time glued to your smartphone than your sunbed.

We spend on average two hours a day topping up our tan, compared to three hours a day glaring at our mobile devices. Shockingly, almost 10% of travelers will spend more than seven hours a day with their smartphone in their hands.

Social show offs
We’re a bunch of social media show offs, as 40% of travelers admit to uploading photos to social media just to show off and 27% admit to checking into places on social media just to make friends jealous.

Travelers typically spend two and half hours a day on social media channels and more than 1 in 10 spends over five hours a day on their social feeds. Even when we should be relaxing and enjoying ourselves on vacation, we still have a real case of FOMO (fear of missing out) – a third (32%) say they comment on friends’ posts just so they don’t miss out on anything out while they’re away.

And even if you thought you weren’t the competitive type, you may be one of the 11% of travelers who engages in ‘Facebook-Face-Off’ with their travel companions. This is when you check your travel buddy’s social posts to make sure your content is better than theirs!

The social channels we use most while away are:
1. Facebook (78%)
2. You Tube (43%)
3. Instagram (39%)
4. Twitter (33%)
5. Skype (28%)

Searching for our next meal
47% of people admitted that their mobile device was their primary source of information while away. When it comes to the content we’re searching for, it’s a case of tasty food before top attractions, as restaurants and food markets are the most popular searches (63%). We’re a generation of foodie travelers, with twice as many people searching to find the best restaurant than the best beach.

The most popular content we search for while away:
1. Restaurants and food markets – 63%
2. Tourist Attractions – 59%
3. Maps and Directions – 53%
4. Public Transport – 33%
5. Local Beaches – 32%

Appy Holidays
28% of people only select a hotel if it offers free Wi-Fi, so being connected is important to today’s modern traveler. It seems when it comes to our app behavior, we’re either posting on Instagram, getting lost in a destination or messaging people to say we’re having the time of our life.

The top five app categories we use while traveling are:
1. Social Media (60%)
2. Mapping (45%)
3. Messaging (44%)
4. Travel (44%)
5. Music (34%)

For a cheeky few, being away doesn’t take them away from the dating game, as more than 1 in 10 people have admitted to using dating apps whilst travelling.

Maps, keys and concierge – mobile does it all
The smartphone is the ultimate travel companion. It acts as your map, your room key, your concierge and even your translator. Travelers can practically live like locals thanks to mobile, as almost half of people (46%) use the map features on their smartphones to get around and 20% have used it to translate local words or phrases.

Travelers also seem to be embracing the latest in mobile technology developments, with 14% having checked into their hotel through their mobile device and 5% even used their smartphone as a room key. Rather than popping down to the lobby, a tech-savvy 14% of travelers have even used mobile to contact their hotel while in resort and 6% have tried out a mobile concierge service.

Snap-Happy Holidaymakers
You can’t visit the Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building these days without seeing a wave of selfie sticks, so it’s no surprise that 40% of travelers now take pictures of their destination on their smartphone, with a third (33%) also using it to take photos of their hotel room.

Dan Craig, Senior Director of Mobile at Hotels.com brand said: “For travelers the mobile effect begins with booking, as 42% of people in our study have booked a hotel on mobile. 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.

“Our study shows that some travelers, especially millennials, spend more time looking at their screens than enjoying the sun or the sights. However, most travelers are actually using their device to search for local restaurants, to help them get around and importantly stay connected with the rest of the world. Only 40% of people might have admitted to uploading photos to social media to make friends jealous but we all know you’ve definitely Instagrammed a holiday selfie to show off!”

Sunbathing vs Smartphones: Across the World