Nearly three-quarters of Brits (70%) have confessed they disagree with gadget-free holidays, citing that having internet access abroad makes them more adventurous tourists, according to statistics from Vodafone UK.
Despite the popular belief that tech-free holidays help us unwind, holiday makers said that by using 4G abroad, they would be more likely to visit off-the-beaten-track spots (86%). Almost three-quarters said they would interact with locals more (73%) and try new things such as local delicacies and traditions (78%).
The findings come as Vodafone UK puts an end to European roaming charges for all new and upgrading pay monthly customers – freeing them from worrying about the cost of using their phone while on holiday.
In any of Vodafone’s 50 Roam-free destinations, people will be able to stay connected, without having to search for Wi-Fi spots or the fear of unexpected charges on their return. This makes it easy to share holiday snaps on social media and stay in touch with friends and family.
Nearly half of British travellers (48%) admit that Wi-Fi availability is a major factor when making holiday decisions, such as hotel or resort booking or choosing a restaurant or bar. Nearly a quarter (24%) admit to asking for the Wi-Fi details before ordering their food when dining out, while 42% will avoid a local bar or restaurant if there is no Wi-Fi available.
Sun seekers admit they would make better and more spontaneous travellers if they could use their phones to search for unusual destination activities (87%), use online translation tools to communicate with locals (73%) or look up local bus or rail times for excursions (84%).
Over half (58%) say they mainly connect to Wi-Fi on holiday to be able to use maps and travel apps to explore their destination. The second most popular use for Wi-Fi abroad is sharing holiday selfies or ‘checking-in’ on social media (38%).
Holidaymakers have confessed that a lack of internet connection abroad has meant they missed out on mingling with locals or fellow tourists. Over half (58%) admit they are more likely to ask a local for the Wi-Fi login over making conversation (47%). Another 58% even admitted they would learn how to ask for Wi- Fi in another language before learning to ask directions.
Almost a third (31%) would rather forget to take their toothbrush on holiday than leave their mobile at home. The same number of people rated their device more important to take on holiday than sun cream or clothes for different types of weather.
On average, British tourists admitted they check their social media twice a day when abroad, but 38% wish they could use their mobile as they do at home. Over half (52%) admit to feeling frustrated or annoyed if they don’t have access to Wi-Fi.
Glafkos Persianis, Commercial Director at Vodafone UK said: “Being able to use the internet when abroad has never been more important to people, as this can enrich our holidays by allowing us to discover new places and new experiences and communicate them to our loved ones.
“Vodafone UK is putting an end to European roaming charges, so that our customers will be free to explore holiday destinations like never before and without having to worry about the nearest WI-FI network or about exceeding their data limit. Getting online abroad has never been easier or more worry-free.”
Vodafone is freeing its customers from the unwanted hassle and stress of using their phones on holiday, by putting an end to European roaming charges for all new and upgrading pay monthly customers. All new and upgrading pay monthly customers can now use their UK minutes, texts and data across 50 Roam-Free destinations at no extra charge as well as 60 Roam-Further destinations for £5 per day. To find out more, visit: www.vodafone.co.uk/roaming .