One in four people use their mobiles to book (28%) or pay (24%) for their daily commute, a figure double that of 2013.

This is according to new research from BuzzCity revealing the habits of today’s connected traveller. Not yesterday’s though, that traveller just read a book or did a crossword.

Holiday booking habits

Holiday booking habits have also changed noticeably. There has been an increase of 50% in mobile use across business and leisure travellers, with 30% relying purely on their mobiles to make last minute bookings.

This makes mobile the most preferred device for ticket purchases or room bookings.

It’s already common knowledge that when researching their next holiday or business trip consumers are just as likely to turn to their mobile device as they are to use a laptop.

Although laptops are still by far the most popular device when it comes to actually booking a holiday itself.

How do mobile habits change when we’re on holiday?

According to the research, while on holiday 21% of travellers choose to remain unconnected during their holidays, while over a third (40%) stated that their phone is the ‘most used recreational device for passing the time’ using it to stay in touch with friends and family (29%) and keeping up with work (22%). 

This is probably an improvement on yesterday’s holidaymaker whose ‘most used recreational device for passing the time’ was a packet of cigarettes.

Mobile is also an important tool for research and getting around, with 24% using their phones to find out about local tourist information, restaurants and attractions, just like they would at home.

Making mobile better for holidaymakers

So how can travel and holiday companies makes sure they’re providing the best possible experience for their mobile customers? 

We’ve written quite a lot about this on the blog, so I’ll give you a brief summary here with links to more in-depth articles.

Simple and easy-to-use interface

In our review of Ryanair's new mobile app some its greatest strengths were in its excellent use of space, bold CTAs and an intuitive design which made it abundantly clear how certain interactions led to either choosing options or navigating further.

Also major bonus points for remaining completely clear about the total cost of your ticket throughout the journey.

In our piece about essential features for mobile travel sites, we highlighted various must-have tools and functions. Namely...

Geolocation based services

TripAdvisor presents the nearest results based on your location as a priority. It also remembers where you were when you last used TripAdvisor. 

Ryanair also uses geolocation to automatically find your nearest airport when searching for flights.

Mobile websites that are fast and easy to load

Travel sites intended for use on mobile should really be built specifically as a .mobile site or at least as an adaptive one rather than responsive.

This will result in better site-speeds and page load times. Essential when you can’t be sure of how good your connectivity will be while travelling.

Mobile variations of desktops sites need to offer the quickest possible loading times by focusing on the most important features for mobile users – search, location-based services, simple forms – and junk anything possibly considered unnecessary – vast collections of images, lengthy descriptions, complicated animation.

Fast payment methods

There is nothing more annoying for any mobile commerce user than getting to the checkout and finding overly complicated and fiddily forms to fill in asking for a wealth of unnecessary personal detail.

The best checkouts are single-screen, contain large text entry boxes with autofill enabled and offer faster payment methods.

For more on the travel industry from the blog, check out these 10 essential features for travel websites and this post asking why people abandon online travel bookings?

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 15 January, 2015 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (2)

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Sue Cole, Director at Best of Wales

Really interesting to see the change and one of the reasons why we track our visitors to understand behaviour and make our site as user friendly as possibly. Multi device and booking on laptop then checking details on the phone, accessing the local information out and about, are just a few examples of the connected traveller. www.bestofwales.co.uk

over 2 years ago

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Andy Eastham, Communications Manager at Infinity Call Tracking

Agree completely with Sue Cole on this topic. Consumers are using multiple devices on their path to purchase and so it's vital that marketers track the entire visitor journey across all touch points to understand what activity is driving leads and more importantly which activity is driving phone calls. Call tracking can really help with this www.infinity-tracking.com

over 2 years ago

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