Lonely Planet Writer

Millennials are more likely to ‘unplug’ from tech while on vacation than Gen Xers, says new survey

Vacationers are often trying to ‘get away from it all’, but disconnecting from the digital world can be difficult. However, while they may have a reputation for smartphones addiction, it turns out American millennials are more likely to ‘unplug’ when they are on vacation than Gen Xers – or so they say in a new survey.

Couple reading map in remote desert.
Couple reading map in remote desert. Image by Dave and Les Jacobs/Getty Images

A study by Intel Security on digital detox found that 49% of millennials in the US said they were willing to unplug while on vacation, while only 37% of respondents between 40 and 50 years old said the same.

The company noted that while preparing for the summer travel season, they conducted the survey to understand the way people stay digitally connected while travelling. In the survey, 65% of people defined being ‘unplugged’ as having no internet usage at all, while half said it means they did not make phone calls while on vacation.

Most people on vacation will stay connected, as about 55% of respondents who planned to disconnect weren’t able to do it. That inability to unplug may be reducing how much people enjoy their holidays, as 65% said their vacation was better after they disconnected, as “they felt less stress and were able to better absorb their surroundings”.

A vast majority – 88% – said it doesn’t stress them out to be unplugged for their work and life at home, and 51% said that by unplugging they connected better with their travel partners. But some habits can be very hard to break – as 68% said they checked their personal and work email at least once a day while on vacation.

When it comes to why travellers struggle to disconnect, the top five reasons were needing to be reachable by family, using their device for trip planning, using their device for music, wanting to post on social media or just finding it impossible to disconnect.