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Vacationers see mobile as indispensable throughout their trip: Expedia

A new study by Expedia underscores how consumers? attachment to smartphones continues into their vacations, with many using mobile devices throughout their trips, providing an opportunity for travel brands to enhance experiences. 

Tourists regard smartphones above any other item while traveling for a variety of uses ranging from entertainment to function, with 84 percent claiming to be lost without their device on vacation. With about 60 percent of respondents refusing to travel while lacking a mobile device, marketers need to take this opportunity to create a more meaningful and inclusive vacation experience. 

?It is apparent from this study that travelers rely on their mobile devices at almost every point during of their vacation, not just for work but to enhance the quality of their trip,? said Tarran Street, senior tech PR manager at Expedia. ?Brands should be conscientious of the fact that technology and connectivity is a necessity for customers while traveling. 

?At Expedia, mobile is big area of development and excitement for the company, it really provides us the opportunity to create unique and worthwhile experiences for customers,? she said. ?Expedia and travel brands are making huge investments and strides in mobile to better meet the needs and wants of mobile-savvy travelers around the world by providing a full range of travel products and features across device types.?

Mobile vacation
While on vacation about 63 percent of vacationers will sleep with their mobile devices beside their bed while traveling, showing that consumers are always connected. Also, 35 percent claimed to be on their cellphones more than while at home and 28 percent will keep a rechargeable pack or spare battery to continue mobile use. 
Those traveling from China and Taiwan are most likely to bring along mobile devices, with 93 percent of respondents from both countries feeling that their smartphone to be an irreplaceable item. Thailand follows closely behind with 91 percent.    

Expedia?s Mobile Index Study of Global Travelers is bringing forward the serious fixation users have on their mobile device, maintained throughout travels. With the advancement of technology allowing consumers the ability to complete so many tasks in one small device, it is the ultimate travel companion. 

As smartphones can assist with a variety of travel necessities, more than one half of vacationers who are employed claimed to check on work at least once or twice during trips. 

Expediting mobile pushes
Expedia?s dedication to connecting with consumers weekly via social media channels and growing focus on smartphone and tablet applications have contributed to its status as the juggernaut to beat in the mobile travel sector, suggesting that the brand will continue to move from strength to strength in 2015 (see more). 

Also, Uber filed for a new patented feature, called Uber Travel, and it could have serious implications for the future of booking applications as well as ride-sharing services, underscoring consumer demand for consolidated travel offerings on mobile (see more).

?Mobile is an ever-growing and fast-moving environment, especially with wearables becoming more mainstream,? Ms. Street said ?When traveling for leisure, smartphones top the list of must-haves. 

?Travelers globally consider their smartphone their most essential travel item, more essential than a toothbrush, deodorant, even a driver?s license,? she said. ?That said, we do see some differences in certain regions around the world, generally speaking, travelers from Germany, Norway and Sweden tend to be less reliant on their devices, while those from Thailand, China and Taiwan tend to be most tied to their devices.

?Even though some travelers get away to relax and unwind, more than half of travelers globally say they would be unwilling to go without a mobile device while on vacation, and actually sleep with their device. Since they are using their devices constantly to research points of interest, make reservations, share updates with their social network, etc. most travelers agree they never truly unplug on leisure trips.?