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Travelers learn there's an app for that

Out of 1,000 people polled, 60 percent of travelers with mobile devices have downloaded one or more travel apps, and 38 percent have used an app to plan a trip, according to results from a TripAdvisor survey.

Before leaving home, survey respondents said they used their smartphones mostly for researching restaurants (52 percent), reading about destinations (46 percent) and reading other travelers’ reviews (45 percent). Booking and researching accommodations and flights also scored high on the list. 

Once on the road, nearly half of the respondents said making phone calls is the main purpose of their mobile devices. However, 19 percent said being able to communicate via chat and e-mail was the most important reason for taking their mobile phone along for the ride.

What else do people use their smartphones for when traveling?

For directions, mostly.

While three out of four respondents said they use GPS devices when traveling, 59 percent said they use the GPS capabilities on their mobile phones.

And when they’re not using their phones for calling home or getting somewhere, most plugged-in travelers use their devices for taking and sharing photos (65 percent), browsing the Web (54 percent) and reading the news (48 percent).

TripAdvisor, which offers its own free app, offered no statistics on how many travelers just put their phones away and look around.

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