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Surfing the communication highway abroad

10th November 2014 Print

A recent poll of more than 10,000 over 50s shows that staying in touch with friends and family whilst on holiday is important to almost 75% of today’s travellers. This proportion is highest amongst younger respondents (74% of 50-59 year olds vs. 64% of 80-89 year olds).

To enable them to stay in touch with their nearest and dearest, 96% of people took one or more gadgets with them on their last holiday, the most popular ones being cameras (76%), smartphones (43%) and iPads/tablets (37%). Almost 60% of those aged between 50-59 are likely to take smartphones compared to 19% of 80-89 year olds. In all, nearly one fifth took a laptop.

Of those who communicate with their family whilst away, the most popular method of communication is by text message (73%), followed by email (46%) or telephone (41%).

For those who prefer to send a note by post, a fifth of respondents have sent a postcard and this percentage increases with age (20% of 50-59 year olds vs. 29% of 80-89 year olds).

Only 1% of the panel use Twitter to keep their followers up to date on their time abroad.

Saga Travel’s Louis Myers said: “As more and more people spend time abroad there is, naturally, a desire to stay in touch with friends and family back home and it is interesting to see how people continue to keep up to speed on home events, as well as sharing news of their own travels.

“But packing extra pieces of kit to allow you to stay in touch could mean you are at greater risk of more expensive losses when abroad if you do not ensure you have suitable levels of insurance cover in place.  Before taking any trip abroad, it is always wise to make sure your insurance policy will provide cover for more expensive items, such as smart-phones, tablets and laptops.

“It is also clear that staying in touch and sharing pictures and stories whilst on holiday is important to the majority of travellers.  The results of this survey should be a call to mobile phone operators to look at charges they make for mobile usage abroad and whether customers should be able to more freely share networks without penalty whilst travelling.”