Backpackers are neglecting their smartphones when it comes to seeing the world, new research has revealed.
In a survey for the TNT Travel Show, 85% of BlackBerry users and 68% of iPhone owners said they’d prefer to leave their mobile at home when they go on their travels.
The pollsters, aged 18 to 35, also said a camera was the must-have gadget for their trip and voted email as the most popular method of staying in touch with friends and family.
The research had us scratching our heads at Three UK. With high-end cameras being standard on many smartphones, plus easy ways to dodge expensive roaming costs, we think that backpackers might be missing a trick in choosing not to pack their mobile.
Use your phone as a camera and save suitcase space.
On a recent trip to India, one of Discover’s contributors found space in her suitcase for the HTC Sensation XL, Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S, Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman, Nokia Lumia 800 and Samsung Galaxy Ace – phones with cameras ranging in size from 5 to 8.1 megapixels and boasting an impressive range of features, including panorama mode and continuous shooting.
Our contributor found that all five phones took up a fraction of the space she normally reserves for her expensive digital SLR kit (which she worries about damaging on her travels), plus she was astounded by the stunning shots the phones delivered.
With 90% of backpackers naming a camera as their top travelling gadget, maybe they should consider the photography potential of their phone?
Keep the cost of staying in touch down with Wi-Fi.
Many of us have been stung by super-high bills after inadvertently using the mobile internet or receiving email when overseas. But there is a way of using email (the backpackers’ preferred method of contact) on your smartphone without racking up hefty charges.
The simplest solution is to turn off data roaming on your phone and to connect to free Wi-Fi hotspots at local bars, hostels and cafes when you want to use the mobile internet for emailing and other tasks.
When you turn off data roaming, you’ll still be able to make calls and send texts abroad. You just won’t be able to use the internet – unless you choose to connect to a Wi-Fi network. Of course, you can always switch roaming back on if you need to contact someone urgently. Don’t forget, in the European Union, Three has a data roaming limit of £43 a month, so you can’t go over that amount.
Three offers a step-by-step guide that shows you how to turn off data roaming using your My3 account. You can also keep track of what you’re spending abroad there too.
What about roaming outside the EU?
There isn’t a roaming limit outside of the EU, so be careful – especially when crossing the border to Turkey, for example, and connect to free Wi-Fi hotspots wherever possible.
More than 1,000 18 to 35-year-olds were quizzed in the survey for the TNT Travel Show. The free event, at London’s Earls Court on March 3, attracted more than 10,000 travel fans. Free entry can be secured by registering at http://www.tnttravelshow.com.