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ATT Survey Examines Communications Habits of Travelers
Vacation Travelers Stay Tethered to Work Home
 
NEW YORK - April 29, 1998 - As millions of Americans embark on their annual getaways, the majority of them will take extra steps to stay connected to the place they just left behind.

In a new survey of 604 U.S. adults, ATT found that travelers these days are toting more than sunglasses, maps, and paperbacks when they hit the road. Many will pack cell phones, pagers, beepers, laptops, calling cards and prepaid cards.

While Americans are using vacations to escape from the day-to-day grind, they don't always cut the cord that connects them to work and home. According to the survey, two out of three people call home at least once a week and half check their voice mail, make work-related calls and check their e-mail at work. Fifty-five percent leave behind a written itinerary for those who keep the home fires burning.

"People are torn between their need to 'get away from it all' and their desire to stay in touch," says Elroy Cartwright, Director - ATT Travel Market. "Our research shows that vacationers fall into three distinct categories when it comes to communications. We describe them as those who stay in touch frequently, the `In-Commands;' those who want to stay in touch but plan to control the calling process, the `In-Betweens;' and those who really want to get away from it all, the `Incommunicados.'

In - Commands

Thirty percent of those surveyed are in the "In-Commands" group. These people use every means available to stay in touch and be reached while on vacation.
 

Check in for their work messages (49 percent) and call home (66 percent) twice a week or more.
Are the most likely to return business calls while on vacation (34 percent).
Said they put pressure on themselves (37 percent) rather than feel pressure from others to stay in touch and are the most likely to leave a written itinerary with someone at home (68 percent).
Are more likely to carry cell phones on vacation (48 percent), leave a fax number (30 percent), or even carry a laptop (13 percent).

Travel Tips For In-Commands

For this high-communicating group, using a "follow-me" calling service maximizes their ability to be reached no matter where they travel. With ATT Easy Reach(SM) 500 Service, travelers can have their calls routed according to their itinerary or can choose to divert calls to a voice mailbox for convenient pickup. Easy Reach 500 numbers can also be used to place calls while traveling.

Cell phone users can place and receive phone calls outside the U.S. using the ATT CellCard. Offered by ATT Wireless, customers can use the ATT CellCard to expand their wireless coverage to 80 countries throughout Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East - while still using their domestic wireless number. Travelers with Easy Reach 500 can route their calls to their wireless phone.

In - Betweens

People in this group want one-way communication. They will stay in touch, but they're the ones who will do the calling. "In-Betweens" represent 40 percent of vacationers who prefer to check-in for messages rather than be called by those back home. It's clear that they want to keep control of the communications process. Some characteristics of this group are as follows:
 

Thirty-seven percent of this group checks their work messages twice a week or more and half (52 percent) say they check in at home with the same frequency.
Women are more likely to identify themselves as being in this group than in the others (43 percent).
Younger travelers, those 18 to 34 years old, are particularly likely to embrace this communications style (47 percent).
 

Travel Tip For In-Betweens

Checking voice mail and placing phone calls can be easier when using a CALL ATT Calling Card or ATT PrePaid Card. By using calling cards and prepaid cards, travelers can avoid paying costly long distance rates when placing calls from payphones or hotel rooms. The cards are also helpful when placing phone calls while visiting relatives or friends at a private residence. When traveling outside of the U.S., ATT Direct(R) Service offers quick and easy access to ATT English-speaking operators, quality service and reliability.

In - Communicados

The "Incommunicados," nearly one-third of those surveyed (29 percent), really want to get away from it all. They do not want to stay in touch with those back home, nor do they want to be reached. These people take the term "vacation" literally. Some more insight into this group:
 
 

True to their word, only one percent of "Incommunicados" call into work and seven percent call home to check for messages every other day or more.
Are the least likely to complain about frustrations they may encounter while traveling, such as overpriced meals (72 percent), running out of time to do everything they'd like (76 percent), or missing the conveniences of home (38 percent).
Men are more likely than women to describe themselves as part of the group not wishing to stay in touch (33 percent versus 25 percent).
Seventy-nine percent of the Incommunicados say they don't worry about things at home or work while they are traveling and 60 percent feel no pressure from anyone, including themselves to keep in touch.

Travel Tip For Incommunicados

Those who truly want to limit communication, even when planning a trip, can take advantage of numerous ways to research and book travel arrangements. These travelers can use online resources, such as the ATT Worldwide Traveler website to obtain free information about hotels, flights, car rentals, and ATT Direct country access codes. Reservations can be booked instantaneously. The website is located at www.att.com/traveler.

Interviews for this survey were conducted March 16 to March 18, 1998, by Hart-Riehle-Hartwig Research for ATT. The survey included a national random sample of 604 adults, of which 96 percent took a vacation within the last three years.

Consumers with questions about ATT services should call 1-800-222-0300, or visit the ATT Worldwide Traveler website at www.att.com/traveler.
 

Contact:
Karyn Vaughn-Fritz 908/221-7974
kvaughn@att.com
or
Janis Burenga, 
908/221-6436
jburenga@att.com
 
 

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