3 minute read

In this series which takes a peek into how we have taken digital to our hearts, we’ve teamed up with research agency BDRC International to speak to 2,000 people in the UK to find out how we check in with the online world in our everyday lives.

For this feature we investigated how exactly we used tech whilst taking a break from it all.

5 things we do with tech while on holiday

1 – Half us us intend to digitally detox on holiday but almost nine in ten still end up online

That’s right, just over half of holiday makers (53%) look forward to taking a digital detox whilst on holiday and just under seven out of ten of us (69%) said they were planning to take less ‘tech’ items next time. This jumps to three quarters (75%) of 18 to 24 year olds and nearly nine out of ten (86%) in the over 75 age bracket as we might expect.

However, in reality, the urge to see what our ex is up to on Facebook, or even send work related emails appears to be an unbreakable habit.  Just under nine in ten people (86%) went online whilst on holiday, spending an average of 15 hours online during a break of five days or more. It’s the 18 to 24 year olds who are the most guilty, spending an average of 17 and a half hours connected to the internet.

2 – It’s emails rather than social media that’s the most popular activity

Perhaps surprisingly, in this modern world of social media apps, the most common activity spent online was reading or replying to emails with three quarters of us (75%) doing so.  This was a big leap in the older generation of the over 75s to 93%, who maybe haven’t embraced the Facebook age. Now it could be that we’re guilty of being ‘always on’ for work, even on holiday, as people on average spent three hours online for work or business whilst away, and for 25 to 34 year olds, this jumped to eight hours on average.

3 – Although we still can’t go half a day without checking social media

The above being said, the average time without checking any social media account was just under 12 hours.  Just under one in three (30%) of 18 to 24 year olds thought it was important to receive ‘likes’ on their social media activity (another toes by the pool photo anyone?) and Facebook was the most widely used app with over half of us using it (55%).

4 – The smartphone is the most common item to be packed

Unsurprisingly, the smartphone was the most common tech item to be packed with over three quarters (86%) taking one on holiday, and almost all (97%) 18 to 34 year olds.  It’s our map, restaurant locator and alarm clock all rolled in one after all! Of the bigger tech items, over half of us (51%) took a tablet on holiday with just under a quarter taking a laptop (23%) away.


Halifax mobile app5 – Just under a third of us managed our finances while on holiday

We do love the duty free deals and holiday souvenirs, and holidays can also be an excuse to spend more on exotic food and luxury items.  Just under one in three of us (30%) checked online banking whilst away to keep an eye on finances. Transferring funds from a savings account (44%) was the most common activity,  followed by paying a contact or bill (42%) – perhaps the new way of splitting the bill without getting the calculator out!

Nick WilliamsNick’s view

Our Managing Director for Consumer Digital, Nick Williams says: “While people are rightly taking the chance to take a break from their busy lives and have a digital detox on holiday, it’s important to stay in control of your finances, particularly at times when you might be spending more on things like trips, excursions and meals out. Convenient banking is exactly what people need when they’re away, so they can focus on enjoying their holiday.”


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