Winston Aldworth 's Opinion

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: How smartphones have changed our holidays

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Where once a traveller would reach for their guidebook and camera, now the smartphone reigns supreme.

Smartphones have changed the way we travel. Photo / Thinkstock
Smartphones have changed the way we travel. Photo / Thinkstock

New survey numbers, released tomorrow in Expedia's Future of Travel study, show just how much travellers are switching on to handheld technology. From planning the trip, to taking and sending photos, mobiles rule.

Younger travellers - those aged below 35, or "millennial travellers" - are leading the charge.

The survey (8534 adults in 24 countries were polled) found 43 per cent of those 34 and under used a smartphone to plan their leisure trips. In the over-35s, it was 31 per cent.

While on the road, 34 per cent of millennials used a phone to share highlights of their trip (29 per cent for over-35s). Smile, say cheese and whack it on to a social media site.

Those are tough numbers for anyone in the guidebook industry or the one-hour photo trade.

Other key stats:

• Sharing trip highlights after travelling - 29 per cent for those 34 and under; 19 per cent for those over 35.

• Updating trip plans while travelling - 17 per cent for millennials; 18 per cent for over 35s.

Sixteen per cent of New Zealanders under 34 say they have booked via a smartphone in the past year, it's only six per cent for Kiwis over 35.

Beware the fake review

Be it on your smartphone or a good old-fashioned desktop computer, there are tricks to be wary of online. Australian consumer watchdog Choice is warning consumers to watch out for fake hotel reviews this holiday season.

"The boom in hotel review sites has given rise to the practise of 'astroturfing' or the writing of fake reviews by companies to promote their own accommodation," Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said.

"Second to friends, people place their trust in reviews before editorial content, ads, marketing, and government-sponsored tourism websites."

Personally, I'm sceptical of anything online that is written anonymously.

- NZ Herald

Winston Aldworth

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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