There’s lots to think about when you are packing for a trip abroad. Are you prepared for different weather conditions? Have you remembered all your essential toiletries? Do you have all your vital documents handy?
But if there’s anything that people can’t manage without when they go away, it seems, it’s their smartphone.
We know only too well how much we rely on our mobile devices day after day, so it’s fair to say that being separated from them for too long can be a wrench.
This was made very clear in a new survey by travel specialist Travel Counsellors, which asked consumers in Ireland what they can’t do without on holiday.
A total of 34 per cent of men said they couldn’t manage without their smartphone during a trip away.
Interestingly, this was well ahead of sun lotion in the list of holiday essentials, as just 27 per cent considered this a priority.
Meanwhile, 13 per cent of men said they can’t cope without tea on holiday, and 12 per cent admitted they’d struggle unless they had a book.
It’s a measure of how all-consuming our smartphones have become. We use them to stay in touch with loved ones, idle away our free time and carry out vital tasks pretty much all the time.
So perhaps it’s no wonder that men in particular struggle to be parted from technology during a break.
The survey found that women have slightly different priorities, with 35 per cent rating sun lotion as their main holiday essential.
Smartphones came second in the list, with 28 per cent of female travellers say they can’t cope without them when they’re away.
This was followed by a good book, which was cited by 18 per cent of respondents, while 12 per cent said they’d not be able to manage without a cup of tea.
While the actual proportions of men and women who consider a smartphone a holiday essential aren’t actually that different, it’s interesting to note that for men it’s the biggest priority of all, whereas it’s only second in the list for women.
What does this say about the difference between the two genders?
Well, Cathy Burke of Travel Counsellors pointed out that while a large number of women picked smartphones, the fact that sun lotion topped the list shows “a great attitude towards sun safety”.
“It’s evident that this focus on being sun smart is something that women under 25 are definitely embracing, with 42 per cent of this age bracket choosing sun cream,” she observed.
She went on to note that while holidays have long been regarded as a time to switch off, people’s love of smartphones has redefined what they want from a trip away.
“Times have changed and it’s no surprise that our smartphones, used for a plethora of things like keeping in touch, taking photographs, booking holidays, hiring cars, and getting directions, have become such a necessary object on holidays,” Ms Burke commented.