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New study: How smartphones change travel


Everyone knows that smartphones have changed everything, including many aspects of how we travel. Nevertheless, it appears that until recently no one has really fully studied the real impact. A recently-published research paper makes a start.

Dr. Dan Wang and his co-authors at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic say that having a constant connection to the internet has become an expectation, and that it has changed the traditional three-stage process of pre-trip planning, the trip itself, and then sharing experiences.

The initial study is based mostly on in-depth interviews with a group of U.S. travelers, who were asked about recent trips, and specifics about how they used their phones. Japan Today has a lengthy discussion and description of the study HERE


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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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We have come to rely on the internet more and more.  Before (1990s) when I left on a several week journey, it was rare that any postcards I'd sent (remember postcards?) would arrive before I returned.  Phone calls were ridiculously expensive and travelers would make due.

I recently traveled to India which I would have thought would have reasonable internet access.  Such as not the case.  With rare exception, the internet was expensive ($5 and more a day -- a lot of money for India) and was extremely slow -- to the point where it might take 10 minutes to upload one photo (if at all).  It actually turned out that having my smart phone was useful because it was more efficient at downloading my email than my chromebook.

I count on the internet when traveling to share the trip with our audience and to stay in touch with friends and family (via email and Skype calls).  When you can't do that, while liberating in one respect, it can also be frustrating.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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