Could the dog-eared guide book become a thing of the past?
More Australians are now travelling with laptops than guide books, according to research by the insurance company AAMI. A third of Aussies leaving the country are packing a laptop for holiday research along the way, while only 25 per cent take a guide book with them.
And laptops are far from the only technology going into travel bags, with 82 per cent of travellers taking a digital camera, 74 per cent taking a mobile phone, 35 per cent taking an iPod or MP3 player and nine per cent taking an iPhone. Seven per cent of overseas travellers are also packing a GPS navigation device, indicating maps and atlases could one day follow guide books to extinction.
AAMI says travellers packing laptops are largely using them for emails and holiday research, so we could one day see the end of travellers rifling through guide books. “Instead, they’ll be reaching for their iPhones and laptops to find a restaurant, learn a local phrase and book accommodation,” says AAMI spokesman Mike Sopinski.
There is no shortage of information available to travellers with internet access, with publishers such as Lonely Planet constantly increasing the amount of information available online.
This article is an excerpt from Jane E. Fraser’s weekly travel column in The Sun Herald, Sydney