Can you live without your smartphone on holiday?

Is fear of missing out getting in the way of your holiday, so you end up checking your phone or laptop more than actually enjoying your destination?

If so, you're far from alone, as a new survey has revealed just how hooked on our devices we are during a trip away.

According to research by McAfee, 52 per cent of people spend at least one hour a day using gadgets such as laptops and smartphones when they're on holiday, so they can check emails, send texts and post on social media.

But it seems there's a heavy leaning towards smartphones among holidaymakers who want to stay connected.

Some 72 per cent of those polled said they'd be willing to leave their laptop behind when they go on vacation.

By contrast, just 27 per cent said they could manage without their smartphone – a measure of how much we rely on them these days.

Perhaps worryingly for those who need a better work-life balance, 38 per cent of respondents admitted they couldn't last a full day of their holiday without checking their work or personal email account.

Meanwhile, 27 per cent revealed they check their inbox consistently throughout each day of their trip.

Social media is also proving tempting to holidaymakers, with 37 per cent posting on the likes of Twitter and Instagram while on vacation.

Why can't people switch off?

Nearly two-thirds of those polled said they stay connected so they can be reached by friends and family when they are away.

Meanwhile, almost one in five said they want to be reachable by work. But interestingly, 57 per cent revealed they'd rather stay unplugged if work was not a factor.

Another curious finding was that people in their 20s were the most willing to switch off when they went on holiday.

Yet at the same time, more than half of those in this age group experienced anxiety if they did take the plunge and not check their devices.

Mums and dads trying to lead by example

?The McAfee study found that mums and dads are particularly keen on not letting connected devices get in the way when they're on precious family holidays with the kids.

In fact, 52 per cent of parents plan to unplug during their trip, compared with just 35 per cent of holidaymakers without children.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be able to stick to their pledge. 82 per cent of parents said they successfully abstained from technology during their holiday, as did 78 per cent of those without kids.

Meanwhile, 77 per cent of mums and dads revealed they do actually let their children use connected devices on holiday.

However, most of these monitor their child's usage – perhaps to make sure they aren't spending their entire holiday glued to a screen.

While there's nothing wrong with having your devices with you and posting the odd pic on social media, it's worth setting some ground rules – for you and the kids – before heading off and sticking to them.

You can't really relax and enjoy yourself if you're constantly checking work emails or obsessing over what your Facebook friends are up to. 

Strike the right balance between staying connected and actually enjoying your holiday and you'll have a much better time!

Written by Mazuma

Mazuma Mobile is Australia's most trusted mobile phone recycling service.

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