NEW YORK — It’s hard to imagine in the context of 2019, but just a couple of decades ago people used to travel without the use of the internet. Nowadays the idea of traveling or going on vacation without the ability to jump online at any moment is enough to keep many Americans at home, according to a new survey of 2,000 U.S. adults.
Nearly half of those surveyed (49%) said they consider having no access to the internet a vacation “disaster.” The only other potential travel issue that more respondents listed as a vacation killer was loss of luggage (54%). Besides that, other vacation disasters included were food poisoning (47%), bad weather all trip long (47%), and a lost credit card (44%).
The survey, commissioned by streaming company Roku, found that three in four (75%) Americans consider wi-fi access at a vacation rental an absolute must have. To put that in perspective, only 61% said they need air conditioning and only 53% listed laundry as an essential.
Even caffeine, a staple among so many Americans’ mornings, appears to have fallen by the way side compared to a strong wi-fi connection for many people. When given a choice between having Netflix or caffeine while on vacation, two in five respondents said they would choose the streaming service.
According to the survey, access to a television while on a trip is also very important, especially for children. On average, respondents said their kids ask to watch TV within 31 minutes of arriving to a new place. Amazingly, four in 10 respondents with children even admitted that their kids probably wouldn’t last 15 minutes without flipping the TV on.
It certainly isn’t just kids, however, who rush to the nearest screen. Adults, on average, will ask for a resort or hotel’s wi-fi password 27 minutes after arriving. An additional 42% were even more needy, admitting they typically ask for wi-fi access within 15 minutes.
Many travelers (48%) even forget to log out of their online accounts or streaming platforms before heading back home. Which makes sense, considering that most respondents said they make it a priority to keep up with their favorite TV shows even while on vacation.
Researchers listed the top 13 things that respondents felt were the biggest vacation disasters:
1. Lost luggage (54%)
2. No internet access (49%)
3. Food poisoning (47%)
4. Consistent bad weather (47%)
5. Lost credit card (44%)
6. Bad/unsafe location (43%)
7. Lost passport/ID (40%)
8. Got sick (sore throat, etc.) (40%)
9. Air conditioner breakage (38%)
10. Plumbing breakage (38%)
11. Lost reservations (33%)
12. Missed/delayed flight (33%)
13. Terrible traffic (33%)
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.