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Travellers reveal the smartphone to be their “most indispensable” travel companion

Expedia/Egencia Mobile Index examines how mobile devices impact travel and work-life balance.

The top finding of a survey on mobile-device-related behavior and preferences showed travellers now consider smartphones to be the single most indispensable item they carry with them when they travel, ahead of their toothbrush, deodorant and driver’s license.

The relevance of mobile devices is tied to how the device improves the quality of travel itself. Business travellers use mobile devices to remain tightly connected to their home office whilst mobile devices are frequently used by leisure travellers for navigation, for photo-taking and for staying connected to loved ones through social media. The three countries that place the highest premium on mobile devices as a travel companion are China (where 96% of respondents consider their smartphone an important travel companion), Thailand (88%) and Taiwan (86%).

“Mobile devices may be a requirement for business trips, however, business travel and connectivity is changing. Various devices allow for a seamless experience with apps that enable users to be more productive and efficient, which travelers are utilizing in order to prioritize work-life balance and disconnect when possible.” said Rob Greyber, president of Egencia.

Travellers’ Reliance on Mobile Makes Many Feel They Never Truly “Unplug”
Global travellers admit to being addicted to their mobile devices, even while on vacation. Eighty-four percent of travelers worldwide want to be able to access information from anywhere while they travel, with more than half of respondents saying they would be “lost” without a mobile device on vacation. In fact, a full 60% say they agree they never truly ‘’unplug’’ on leisure trips. In fact, 35% claim to use their mobile device more on vacation than they do at home.

Even When Traveling for Pleasure Travelers Can’t Leave the Office Behind
More than one half of travellers who are employed check in on work at least once a day while on vacation. Most (60%) who check in with work during a vacation say their travel partner or spouse does not mind. Almost one-quarter (23%) have purchased inflight Wi-Fi on a leisure trip in order to connect to work, highest among those in Hong Kong (53%), China (42%) and Taiwan (40%).