Americans Are Happier Than Many Travelers to Unplug on Vacation

Skift Take

If you think Americans are obsessed with their mobile devices, then just travel to Thailand, Korea and Japan, where they are really serious about using their smartphones and tablets during vacation.

— Dan Peltier

Smartphones are the first and last things many people use each day, but apparently many Americans are willing to abandon that habit while on vacation.

Only 35% of Americans say they’d be unwilling to ditch their technology while on vacation, showing they would be more willing to unplug than travelers from other countries.

The Disconnect to Reconnect survey found travelers from Thailand are the most unwilling to leave their devices behind, at 85%. Korea, Japan, China, Singapore and Taiwan are all in the top six most-unwilling to unplug countries.

While it may be surprising that U.S. travelers surveyed were more willing than travelers in Asia to disconnect, Taylor Cole, a spokeswoman for, says this isn’t shocking.

“The U.S. actually has a better work/life balance than some of these countries,” she said. “Many workers in places like Korea and China work while on holiday. And because mobile and social media penetration is so extensive in these countries, many people rely on their devices as their natural form of communication.”

Cole says it’s also no coincidence that some of the Asian countries most unwilling to unplug, Korea and China, are also at the top of the list for countries most likely to exaggerate vacation experiences.

“With the rising middle class, especially in China, people from this part of the world are traveling more,” she said. “The exaggeration could just be a case of people trying to one up each other and the overall popularity of social media sites.”

Unsurprisingly, the survey also found smartphones are one of the most popular travel items for Americans, surpassed only by passports.

Top 10 Countries Most Unwilling To Ditch Technology on Vacation

Rank Country % Votes
1 Thailand 85%
2 Korea 78%
3 Japan 69%
4 China 67%
5 Singapore 60%
6 Taiwan 53%
6 Norway 53%
8 Brazil 52%
9 Ireland 51%
10 Finland 50%

Top 10 Countries That Exaggerate Their Vacations The Most

Rank Country % Votes
1 China 67%
2 Germany 64%
3 Korea 48%
4 Spain 47%
5 Thailand 46%
6 Taiwan 44%
7 India 40%
8 Russia 37%
9 Netherlands 36%
9 Japan 36%


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