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More People Stay 'Connected' on Vacation Via Web: Study

SATURDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Easy online access and the popularity of personal electronic devices mean that an increasing number of people are staying connected while on vacation, researchers report.

"Not that long ago, travelers would need to find a payphone or send postcards to brag about their vacations. Now they just log on and send photos and text," study co-author Christine Vogt, a professor of community agriculture, recreation and resource studies at Michigan State University, said in a university news release.

"Our results show clearly how the changing nature of [information technology] behavior in everyday life is spilling over into our vacations," she added.

The new study found that the number of people using smartphones has recently tripled. In addition, wireless use is now greater when people are on vacation (40 percent) than at home (25 percent), and folks are more likely to use the Internet to plan vacations (80 percent) than for work (70 percent).

"Travelers are using their laptops and phones more often, and not just to plan vacations," Vogt explained. "Since Wi-Fi is available at most destinations, tourists are checking local weather forecasts, transportation schedules, restaurant recommendations, fishing reports, safe bicycling routes and much more."

The study will be published in the July edition of the journal Annals of Tourism Research.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health offers tips for having a healthy vacation.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Michigan State University, news release, June 2012

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