Julia Scharnhorst of the Professional Association of German Psychologists says for many people, turning to the smartphone is a rush to something familiar.

Johannesburg - Forget the sun cream, magazines and guide books, new research released by InterContinental Hotels Group reveals that of more than 10 000 travellers across 13 countries worldwide, the must-have item for a summer holiday is your smartphone.

According to the research by IHG Rewards Club, nearly 40 percent of travellers agree that their smartphone is the most important item to take on holiday - and 67 percent agree that they will use it every single day.

As a result, one in 10 travellers clock an impressive average of 70 hours online while on holiday - almost 20 percent of the actual time spent on a two week holiday.

IHG Rewards Club surveyed more than 10 000 of its members worldwide in order to gain further insight into their relationships with their loyalty programme and to learn more about their travel needs.

The survey found that the smartphone is fast replacing the traditional postcard with 64 percent of respondents saying they use it to text friends and another 32 percent to Skype friends and family back home, while on holiday.

However, recounting holiday experiences with friends and family still remains one of the most enjoyable ways of sharing a holiday, with one in ten travellers saying this is as enjoyable as the holiday itself.

Planning a holiday is, nearly, half the fun - (45 percent) of all travellers say it is the best part of a holiday and more than a third (37 percent) spend over a day researching a holiday.

The survey also uncovered that 42 percent of travellers check social media every day while on holiday, with 25 percent of them even saying they always check Facebook before going to sleep.

Taking selfies is also increasingly becoming one of the most popular ways to share holiday experiences, with 25 percent of travellers surveyed saying they use their smartphones for holiday selfies.