Never mind the old ways of rolling up clothes to maximise space, splurging on travel size toiletries, then flipping out and throwing the contents of your case all over the gate when it doesn’t meet the hand luggage requirements. Holidaying is now all about what goes in your digital suitcase.
According to a survey commissioned by audiobook retailer Audible, travellers spend more time doing their “digital packing” for a week-long break – four hours and 16 minutes to be precise – than they do packing their physical case, on which they spend a comparatively measly two hours and 30 minutes. A third of under-35s pack their digi-case – which contains music, audiobooks, ebooks, films and TV shows – before they think about the actual stuff they will take on holiday.
Now that holidays are about switching on rather than off, here are five key digital packing rules:
1 When choosing ebooks, size matters. This is not the time for the latest collection of Geoff Dyer essays. The point of taking your e-reader on holiday is to stock up on doorstoppers that would otherwise be used to swat mosquitoes. Go for the classics, the Man Booker longlist, or something wildly impractical like Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series – the kind of books that would never make it into your physical suitcase.
2 The average UK consumer downloads 13 songs before a holiday. Make sure all playlists are destination-appropriate. No one wants to be listening to Hopelessness by Anohni on a Greek island – this is a holiday, not a post-Brexit bootcamp. A certain amount of cheesiness will only enhance your digi-case: listening to Christine and the Queens in France is not obvious; it’s classic.
3 The top three audiobooks this summer are Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and A Short History Of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. But how about going leftfield and downloading some podcasts? Not newsy ones – we’re assuming your reason for going on holiday is to escape the awfulness of our times – but funny ones, such as John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman’s satirical monthly missive The Bugle. For the more traditional digital packers among you, there’s always Desert Island Discs.
4 Some relaxing time out requires the right holiday apps. XE Currency converts every world currency, which – in our current climate – might depress as much as assist you. Google Translate is essential for the British traveller feeling like a pitiful monoglot in Europe this summer. And if you’re looking for a digital companion to document every moment of your holiday – and frankly, what digital packer isn’t? – check out Esplorio, which records your GPS position, orders your photos and creates “a digital travel journal”. If you’re bored of this by day two, just play Pokémon Go. And then the most important rule of all …
5 DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL ADAPTOR!
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010