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Big name hotels group, InterContinental (IHG), recently conducted some research into the habits and behaviours of more than 10,000 travellers from 13 countries. In particular, it wanted to look at what holidaymakers considered as their number one must-have item to take away with them.
In days gone by, the top suggestions might have included things such as a camera, sun cream or a good book, but the research indicates that times do seemed to have changed somewhat.

These days, the top item that we simply can not do without on holiday is our smartphone, according to IHG. Almost 40% of the respondents surveyed name this as their number one holiday essential. More than half of the respondents admitted to using their smartphone at least once while on holiday. Some 10% of those surveyed even confessed to spending around 70 hours online during their vacation, which accounts for about a fifth of the actual time spent on a two-week holiday!

How is a smartphone used by holidaymakers? According to the research, most use it to check work emails. This highlights the fact that for many holidaymakers they still have work etched into the back of their minds, even while thousands of miles away from the office.

Interestingly, two thirds of respondents stated that they use their smartphone on holiday for directions or looking at maps of the local area, which means that the traditional guidebook may slowly become defunct.

In a similar fashion, it also appears that the smartphone is fast making the postcard extinct. Nearly seven out of 10 respondents use their smartphone to text family and friends back home about what they are up to on their holiday. Almost a third even use it to Skype. One in three respondents also updates their social media accounts while on holiday.

Half of the travellers surveyed agreed that they use their smartphone for taking holiday snaps, which also suggests that the phone is starting to replace the function of the traditional camera.

As well as being used on holiday, it appears that many travellers use their smartphone prior to their trip for aspects such as planning and organising their holiday. Around a third of the respondents stated they spent more than a day researching their vacation.

What this current research suggests is that technology is constantly shaping how we plan our holidays, as well as how it plays an active role in fulfilling many functions and activities for when we are actually away. The humble smartphone is a key component of every player in the travel industry, including those involved with buying and selling timeshare.

Certainly, if you are wondering how to sell a timeshare, then using modern technological devices such as the smartphone can help to play their part in managing the processes involved. This could include aspects such as researching opportunities for selling or keeping in contact with organisations managing the selling process, for example.