Technology today is an integral part of everyday life. Whether it is the digital assistants that accompany us from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, navigation apps that show the fastest way to the next appointment, organization apps to help us think, or dating apps - technical helpers are everywhere and many people can hardly imagine their lives without them. What is the impact of technology when people travel? The online travel platform Urlaubspiraten asked more than 1,000 travelers in Germany how digital their summer vacation was in 2022. Overall, more than 90 percent of respondents relied on smartphone support during their holidays.
Vacation Planning - Nothing Works without a Smartphone
Not without the Internet - almost half of the respondents (47 percent) searched online for their vacation destination for the summer. 32 percent decided on the vacation destination based on the available budget. Many travelers also returned to tried-and-true destinations this year: nearly 23 percent of respondents spent their vacation at a place they had visited before.
One-fifth relied on the advice of family and friends. Generation Z travelers (people up to 25 years of age) on average decided more often on the basis of price (43 percent), but less often chose vacation destinations they had already been to (15 percent). Generation X (people aged between 42 and 57) was less adventurous last summer. A full 28 percent of respondents traveled to a familiar destination and only 21 percent decided on a vacation spot based on cost.
Leisure fun is a must. When planning activities, 62 percent of survey participants rely on reviews on the Internet, almost a third (31 percent) on travel apps and 28 percent on tips from friends and family who already know the vacation destination. In comparison, Generation Z places more value on the advice of people close to them (39 percent).
More than a quarter of all respondents (26 percent) do not plan their free time in advance but decide spontaneously on excursions and activities. Social media or old school travel guides? The younger Generation Z clearly relies on TikTok and Instagram for information (38 percent), whereas only 12 percent of the middle-aged respondents look for inspiration on these platforms.
It is striking that significantly more women than men (29 percent vs. 16 percent) rely on social media for vacation planning. According to the survey, travel guides are still in vogue among 18 percent of the under-26s and 23 percent of the older Generation X.
The procedure for booking activities was different in 2022: Around 42 percent booked before the start of the vacation, mostly on the website of the respective provider (55 percent), while 58 percent did not make a final decision on an activity until they were on site.
On the Road - Apps and Co. for Support and Leisure Activities
For many, time spent at the destination is also unimaginable without a smartphone. The impact of technology is again considerable. According to the results of the summer survey, more than 90 percent of travelers use their digital companion for an on-site organization. The most popular apps during the vacations are used for orientation (83 percent), followed by social media and communication (77 percent) and payment.
Leisure applications such as music and video streaming or e-books (54 percent) are also very popular with vacationers. For Generation Z, social media play the biggest role: 88 percent use apps to communicate on vacation.
In addition to the smartphone, travelers also like to use other technical aids. They find the powerbank (55 percent) for longer battery life on the road, the smartwatch (30 percent) and external speakers (27 percent) most useful. Here too, however, opinions differ depending on the age of the respondents: for Generation Z, action cameras and laptops (22 percent each) are also important, while Generation X likes to use an e-book reader on vacation (23 percent) in addition to their laptop (26 percent).
38 percent of respondents have the option of working remotely. That means from anywhere in the world - even when traveling. And more flexibility in terms of travel time often allows for a bargain or two: 50 percent of respondents have already had the opportunity to choose cheaper flights or accommodations through mobile working. Travel has become much easier in 2022 thanks to technological developments.
For some, paying with cash is almost a thing of the past. In everyday life, the majority of respondents (91 percent) use online payment methods, and 64 percent also follow this habit on vacation. There are many reasons for this, ranging from simplicity (84 percent) and clever, automated currency exchange (41 percent) to a better overview of the travel budget (40 percent) and security abroad (30 percent). The few cash advocates, on the other hand, value the fact that paper bills work in every situation and without technical problems (56 percent), that payment is quicker and easier (47 percent) or that it is more certain that their means of payment will actually be accepted (43 percent).
Digital Detox on Vacation - Consciously Give up the Internet
Only 26 percent have taken time off from electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and the like on vacation in summer 2022. However, the survey shows that more and more young travelers are attaching importance to switching off their devices. 34 percent of Generation Z respondents opted for a digital detox on their last vacation. This age group focused primarily on staying away from social media (83 percent), work emails (62 percent) and video streaming apps (60 percent). This prioritization is also reflected in the overall respondents.