Older generations are most likely to use the internet when researching their holidays than younger, digitally-native travellers, according to research from Kayak.
Four in five (80%) baby boomers (aged 54-72) say they turn to the internet for holiday inspiration and 70% of pre-baby boomers (aged 73+) say they do, compared to 69% of millennials.
In fact, millennials are the least likely to use the internet of any generation, according to the travel search engine’s research.
Despite the assumption than millennials are ever-connected to their mobiles, those aged 22-38 were found to the biggest fans of the guidebook. More than a quarter (26%) of millennial respondents said they wouldn’t be without a hard-copy of a guidebook when they go on holiday, more than any other generation.
And millennials were most likely to make use of local knowledge, being more likely to ask advice from their hotel reception (26%) or ask locals for suggestions (18%) than any other generation.
Using data from its Mobile Travel Report 2018, Kayak asked Brits whether their mobile gives them the confidence to be more spontaneous while travelling. It found that 57% of young travellers say their smartphones have had an effect on their travel habits – 30% say they feel more confident to be spontaneous when they travel thanks to their mobile, while 24% feel more connected to the destination they’re in.
But holidays are still seen as a chance to switch off completely, says Kayak. One in four respondents (25%) said they turn off their devices completely and never look at them while on holiday, and 43% say they only use them from time-to-time. Around 20% use their mobile every day.
Neil Cartwright, travel expert at KAYAK, said: “It’s always great to uncover unexpected insights and we were surprised to see how millennials research their holidays – who would have thought they would be using guidebooks more than any other generation, whilst older Brits use the internet more than younger ones? Perhaps due to being so used to the internet, younger Brits are seeking more authentic experiences and instead preferring to trust real, local knowledge.
The research found younger people are more likely to plan ahead for network connectivity issues. The most popular safeguard is to take screenshots of important documents like boarding passes and hotel confirmations (31%), to download information directly to their phone (30%), or to save notes in their phones (30%).
Most respondents agreed that internet access is not a commodity worth paying for when on holiday. When travelling outside the EU, 40% wait and connect to a free Wi-Fi network where they can, whether at their hotel, restaurant or other location, rather than buying a local SIM card (5%), purchasing a mobile travel plan (5%), paying for internet at a hotel (3%), or taking the risk of racking up expensive roaming charges (9%).
In terms of payment via mobile, women and young travellers are more comfortable paying for accommodation using their devices.
Overall, 56% of Brits would be happy to pay for accommodation on their mobile while 44% would feel more comfortable making the payment in person on-site. But two-thirds (67%) of the younger generation would rather pay on their device. Females prefer to pay by mobile rather than in person (60-40%), while males are split 50/50.
Cartwright added: “We know that people are increasingly turning to their mobile for many aspects of travel, but what we’re most inspired by is the way that mobiles can increase travellers confidence and unlock the door for them to explore more and be spontaneous on holiday.”
Kayak’s Mobile Travel Report also found that the most searched-for destination via iOS and desktop users is New York, while Bangkok is the favourite destination for those who use Android.
It found that iOS users were more likely to seek out high-end hotels – 28% of all searches made on iOS devices were for 5-star hotels, compared to 26% on Android and just 17% on desktop. Desktop users were also most likely to search for one or two-star hotels (12%) compared to 8% for iOS and 11% for Android users.