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Smartphone most important item during gap year

Those taking a year out to go travelling consider a smartphone to be the most crucial item they need to pack – more important even than a debit or credit card, a new survey has revealed.

The survey, by Post Office Travel Insurance, found that among 2,000 adults questioned, over 50 per cent said that a smartphone was the most vital item they felt they needed when travelling abroad during a gap year.

In contrast, a laptop or tablet computer was deemed the most crucial travelling accessory by only 7 per cent of respondents – with an identical percentage citing a money-loaded debit or credit card as their most important travelling item.

The survey revealed even lower figures for other items frequently associated with gap year travellers.

iPods and other digital music accessories counted as the most crucial items required for travelling by only 6 per cent of respondents. Meanwhile, just 3 per cent selected digital cameras as their most important travelling accessory.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that while expenditure on a smartphone was considered crucial by such a significant proportion of travellers, the priority given to expenditure on travel insurance among the 18 to 34 year old respondents was relatively low – with nearly one third saying they did not feel taking out travel insurance was necessary.

A high value placed on smartphones in another recent survey by Virgin Media.

According to the Post Office Travel Insurance survey, 70 per cent of people do not have insurance to cover their mobile phones against loss or damage.

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