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In France, Vacations Are No Break from Mobile Devices

Nearly all smartphone owners and most tablet owners take their devices with them when they go away

August 5, 2016 | Mobile | Automotive

When smartphone owners in France go mobile, they keep their devices in hand, according to July 2016 research from Ipsos and VINCI Autoroutes.

Devices that Internet Users in France Own vs. Take on Vacation, July 2016 (% of respondents)

The survey of internet users ages 16 to 75 found that 84% had a smartphone. And virtually all of that group (98%) brings their smartphone on vacation when it’s time for holiday-making.

Tablets were less commonly owned, at 63% of the total respondent base, but more than seven in 10 tablet owners kept their devices with them when they went away from home.

PCs, meanwhile, did not lend themselves to travel—even laptops. Only around a third of respondents (nearly all of whom owned a PC) brought them on vacation.

And the research indicates these mobile devices are being used, too. More than 60% of internet users who said they went on vacation or weekend trips via automobile and owned a smartphone or tablet said they used their mobile device to get information about their trip at least “often” while they were away. About half said the same about researching the weather on their vacations, and nearly two in five reserved accommodations that way.

Internet Users in France Who Would Conduct Leisure Activities* While Traveling via Self-Driving Car, by Activity, May 2016 (% of respondents)

GPS apps and route providers were the services most often used by vacationers on mobile devices, followed by weather apps and social networks—suggesting that while many mobile functions are directly vacation-related, respondents are also not letting go of their typical digital activities just because they’re away from home.

Self-driving cars could give vacationers and daytrippers even more opportunity to indulge in digital leisure activities on their time off. TNS Infratest found in May that 18% of internet users in France said they would conduct leisure activities rather than paying attention to the road if they were to someday upgrade to a self-driving vehicle. Among the group who would relax, more than half planned to make phone calls, and nearly as many would watch TV. Still, the No. 1 choice was far from digital: taking a nap.

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