More people staying connected on vacation

June 8, 2012, Michigan State University

Scanning smartphones, tablets and laptops is as much a part of vacations as slathering on sunscreen, according to a Michigan State University study.

The results, which will appear in the forthcoming issue of Annals of Tourism Research, show that easy online access and ubiquitous personal devices have made the digital divide disappear, even for folks on holiday.

"Not that long ago, travelers would need to find a payphone or send postcards to brag about their vacations. Now they just log on and send photos and text," said Christine Vogt, MSU professor of community agriculture, recreation and resource studies, who co-authored the study with Kelly MacKay of Ryerson University (Canada). "Our results show clearly how the changing nature of IT behavior in everyday life is spilling over into our vacations."

The study showed that people using smart phones have tripled. The study also revealed that wireless use was higher on vacation (40 percent) than at home (25 percent). Also telling, were figures that show that people used the Web more to plan vacations (80 percent) than for work (70 percent).

"Travelers are using their laptops and phones more often, and not just to plan vacations," Vogt said. "Since Wi-Fi is available at most destinations, tourists are checking local weather forecasts, transportation schedules, restaurant recommendations, fishing reports, safe bicycling routes and much more."

Pulling out computers, and smartphones at home and work is addictive. It looks like the habit doesn't take a vacation, either, she added. Future research will give the insight on the best ways to serve vacationers' online needs.

"We hope to conduct more research across the various stages of vacations," Vogt said. "This will help vacation service providers better understand what information travelers are looking for during trip planning and how it differs from the details they're searching for after arrival."

Explore further: Study: Vacations are good for women

Related Stories

Study: Vacations are good for women

November 10, 2005

Marshfield, Wis., scientists say women who take vacations frequently are more satisfied with their marriages and suffer fewer mental illnesses.

Happiness is ... looking forward to your vacation

February 18, 2010

It takes more than a vacation to make people happy. Indeed, vacationers tend to be happier than non-vacationers in the lead up to their break, but once they are back, there is very little difference between the two groups' ...

The benefits of taking time off

August 15, 2011

Rae and Bruce Hostetler not only work very hard, they also relax just as well. Numerous vacations help the suburban Indianapolis couple to maintain their health and emotional well-being -- and it's no surprise to health care ...

Recommended for you

Researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected

February 20, 2018

Studying data from Twitter, University of Illinois researchers found that less people tweet per capita from larger cities than in smaller ones, indicating an unexpected trend that has implications in understanding urban pace ...

Augmented reality takes 3-D printing to next level

February 20, 2018

Cornell researchers are taking 3-D printing and 3-D modeling to a new level by using augmented reality (AR) to allow designers to design in physical space while a robotic arm rapidly prints the work.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.