Only 35 percent of American travelers are unwilling to ditch their devices while on vacation according to a new global survey from Hotels.com. Travelers from Thailand were found to be the least prepared to give up their mobile technology, with a staggering 85 percent of Thai travelers saying they’d be unwilling to do so.
The Disconnect to Reconnect survey examined digital vacationing habits across 28 countries worldwide, identifying the countries that find it most difficult to achieve work-life balance and switch off when on vacation.
Asian countries led the way in terms of countries most attached to their devices, with Korea taking second place (78 percent), followed by Japan (69 percent), China (67 percent) and Singapore (60 percent).
“Going away on vacation should be a time to unwind, whether you’re lying on a beach in Cancun or snowboarding down a mountain in Vail,” says Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel expert at Hotels.com. “While smartphones are useful for checking the weather or viewing maps, travelers would benefit from switching off their e-mails to disconnect and restore a little more of the all-important work-life balance.”
On the other end of the spectrum is India with a mere 20 percent of participants saying they would be unable to abandon their mobile devices or laptops, preceded by Argentina at 22 percent. Elsewhere in North America, only 27 percent of Canadians and 28 percent of Mexican travelers said they’d be unwilling to do so.
When it comes to American travel habits, two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) say they spend at least some time using social media while on vacation, with 28 percent saying they spend an hour or more each day.
A majority of Americans also admit to spending some time checking or responding to work email while on vacation (56 percent), but most say they spend less than an hour a day (36 percent), while 44 percent say they spend no time at all.
Overall, most U.S. travelers (72 percent) return home with no regrets about spending time on their mobile devices.
Countries least willing to ditch their devices while on vacation
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The Hotels.com study also revealed the top 10 most important travel items for Americans. Smartphones were the most important travel item after passports, while travel insurance was the least important of all.
Top ten most important travel items for Americans: