58.9% of people don’t try to learn the local language when travelling abroad


A new survey by the mobile network, giffgaff, has uncovered that 58.9% of British people do not choose to learn the local language when they go abroad.

The survey was launched to find out more about mobile users’ habits after the new “Roam Like At Home” service has been introduced across all mobile phone networks. This feature gives customers the option of using their phone at no extra cost when abroad in the EU, meaning this is likely to have an impact on how we browse abroad.

More than 2,500 participants responded to the survey, which provided fascinating results on current mobile user habits. In fact, 38% of the whole survey revealed they use their mobiles primarily for taking photographs and videos when abroad, rather than browsing the web. However, now Roam Like At Home is readily available to travellers abroad, mobile users priorities are set to change.

giffgaff’s research revealed interesting information on how people spend their time abroad, as well as how much of their time they use to browse the web. Surprisingly, the survey results showed vastly-differing user habits between the two genders. Whereas 57% of women contact their friends and family every day when abroad, the exact same percentage of men stated they did not contact their loved ones, at all.

The survey revealed that men’s data usage levels were higher than women abroad. An example of why this may be the case is that, while the majority of men prefer to browse online to find good places to eat abroad, 59% of women would rather rely on local recommendations.

Results also differed widely between the age groups. All participants aged between 18 and 54 all named WhatsApp as their most common method of keeping in touch with people when abroad. However, 30% of 55-64-year-olds, as well as 34% of over 65s, prefer to text.

Victoria Tagg, Head of Search at giffgaff, commented: “With the new Roam Like At Home feature, we are expecting to see a substantial increase in the amount of mobile data our members will use outside of the UK. While data usage is definitely on the increase, people are often limited in how much they can access the internet on their mobiles when abroad.

“This is a revolutionary time for mobile browsing. Holidaymakers can now enjoy the choice of browsing the web if they wish, which will hopefully benefit businesses abroad, who can now be searched for more easily by tourists, as well as the mobile users themselves.”

Full statistics and graphics can be found here.

Download the press release, here.