Whoever said vacations are to relax and chill, did not see the smartphone age coming. Not only are we more tied to our smartphones now, we’re overly-dependent on them for almost everything these days. Smartphones seem like assets to us, but are liabilities considering the amount of care we have to take of this notably worthy gadget.
Opera, Norwegian software company, and WudStay, an Indian lifespan accommodation company, have released a travel survey that gives insights into a traveler’s mind on the go. The report reveals that lack of mobile connectivity is the biggest fear of Indian travelers, while a vacation is actually a time to be unoccupied.
“As one can see from the findings, internet connectivity is an important prerequisite for travellers. People prefer being connected to the internet in order to share updates when on the move,” said Sunil Kamath, Vice President, South Asia & Southeast Asia at Opera.
Key facts from the survey
The report has explicitly stated the fears in mind of the travelers on vacations or expeditions. About 34.5% people fear losing mobile connectivity while traveling, while 7.8% are concerned about losing their mobile phone and 6.9% are concerned about high roaming bills.
All these fears point out to the negatives of owning a smartphone, or anything inexpensive – losing it, over-using it and not being able to use it. 9.5% of the surveyed people also feared taking bad photos on their phone, because in this day of technology, you can take multiple photos and still be unsatisfied.
Around 30% of the people fear overspending while staying in exorbitant hotels, eating at over-priced restaurants and taking taxis. More than 10% of people fear theft while traveling as it is easier to target tourists and scam them.
Internet connectivity is indispensable for a traveler
The survey revealed that 32.8% of the travelers use mobile data for social media. With Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Quora, travelers have multiple media to share their vacations and holidays.
About 28.4% use their mobile data to look up information about the places they are visiting. Around 16.4% of people use their mobile data to stay connected with their family and friends, whereas 17.2% of people spend their data using GPS while traveling.
Shockingly, 33.6% of people reported they are willing to sacrifice drinking for an evening to have a good internet connection. Another 28.4% will not use a restroom for 6 hours to have a good internet connection. Then, there are another 13.8% who will go without eating for an entire day for a lag-free internet connection.
Interestingly, 14.7% will give up on showering during their entire vacation to enjoy a great internet connection. If this is not addiction, then I don’t know what is. Leaving important daily chores for internet connection sounds ridiculous and not worth wasting a vacation for.
Indians and their typical habits
This survey reveals why Indians are stereotypes when they go for vacations abroad. 50% of the men travel with their guy best friends instead of family while only 37% travel with their family. As a guy, it seems correct in the sense that we’re mostly vacationing to party and loosen up. 76% of the women, however, like to travel with their families.
The most hated habits of Indians traveling abroad are littering at 37%, staring at women in short clothes at 23% and getting drunk in the flight to avail free drinks at 14%. Other habits like jumping queues and ill-treating the tour guy also figure in the top five. I can vouch for the fact that I have witnessed all these by travelers in India itself.
Why did technology take over our time?
Vacations are not supposed to be spent on smartphones, they’re meant to enjoy the new location and blend in with the locals. However, the meaning of connectivity has changed over the past few years.
A beautiful beach view or a tasty dessert are no longer limited to one self, Instagram and Snapchat define the beauty of the objects. Facebook check-ins and tweeting photos from your holiday are a way to validate your vacation now.
I can imagine smartphone de-addiction centres sprouting up in large cities in India in the coming years. Hopefully the next time you go on a vacation, you do not worry much about your smartphone and enjoy the thrill of traveling!
You can check out the Survey PDF here."Indian Traveler’s Greatest Nightmare – Lack of Mobile Connectivity [Survey]",