The summer travel season may be here, but that doesn’t mean consumers will be taking a vacation from their technology, even in the air, and even if they don’t know how much it will be costing them.
According to a Groupon survey, the average family will spend an average of 35 days — about a third of the entire summer — using electronic devices. According to the survey of 1,000 parents, the average U.S. child will watch an estimated 60 movies and play 150 hours of video games over the summer.
It’s not just kids who are using their devices. Parents also said they feel like they personally waste one out of every four weekends a month using their technology and spend the equivalent of nine non-working days over the summer doing their own inactivity.
“We love technology, but we also think it should be in the service of something we love even more,” said Greg Rudin, head of Fun Things To Do at Groupon, in a statement. “As parents, we’re often just as guilty as our kids when it comes to screen time.”
Naturally, the company, which has focused on selling experiences, had some suggestions for summer activities that would encourage people to drop their electronics. Among the top five suggestions from families were: going to the beach, attending a barbecue, taking a road trip and going to a water park.
Meanwhile, Millennials, the first digital generation, have high expectations for their connected experiences when traveling. According to Gogo, which provides in-flight wifi services, half of Millennial travelers expect their connected experiences in the air to be the same as those on the ground. Indeed, connectivity is important enough to rank into the decisions. Though 90% of Millennial travelers have a preferred airline, nearly half (48%) said they would use a different carrier if WiFi was not available.
"Passengers simply expect more from in-flight connectivity today — no longer is there a distinction between enjoying movies at home, sending emails from a café or binge watching at 35,000 feet," said Alyssa Hayes, director of insights at Gogo, in a statement.
Once on the ground, consumers expect to remain connected, no matter where they are. Recent surveys from T-Mobile and GfK found that more than two-thirds (69%) of travelers who had been abroad in the past year took their smartphone with them, and 55% said they’d rather lose their luggage than their phones.
At the same time, nearly 60% of respondents said they had no idea what the costs were for using a smartphone outside of the country. Even among those who said they were aware of the costs, nearly 80% admitted they had underestimated the actual bill for the international charges.
“Mobile's changing everything—especially travel. And, when you're exploring new places, you shouldn't be stressing about going home to bill shock," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere, in a statement.