Pack your digital suitcase

The right reading material can help enhance a holiday on the beach.
The right reading material can help enhance a holiday on the beach. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

E-books, music playlists, holiday apps and podcasts are now essential for a holiday

Never mind the old ways of rolling up clothes to maximise space or splurging on travel-size toiletries. Holidaying is now all about what goes in your digital suitcase.

According to a survey commissioned by audiobook retailer Audible, travellers spend more time doing their "digital packing" for a week-long break - four hours and 16 minutes to be precise - than they do packing their physical case, on which they spend a comparatively measly two hours and 30 minutes.

A third of under-35s pack their digi-case - which contains music, audiobooks, e-books, films and TV shows - before they think about the actual stuff they will take on holiday.

Now that holidays are about switching on rather than off, here are five key digital packing rules: 1. When choosing e-books, size matters. This is not the time for the latest collection of Geoff Dyer essays. The point of taking your e-reader on holiday is to stock up on doorstoppers that would otherwise be used to swat mosquitoes.

Go for the classics, the Man Booker longlist or something wildly impractical such as Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle series - the kind of books that would never make it into your physical suitcase. 2. Make sure all playlists are destination-appropriate. The average British consumer downloads 13 songs before a holiday. No one wants to be listening to Hopelessness by Anohni on a Greek island - this is a holiday, not a post-Brexit bootcamp.

According to a survey, travellers spend more time doing their "digital packing" for a week-long break - four hours and 16 minutes - than they do packing their physical case, on which they spend a comparatively measly two hours and 30 minutes.

A certain amount of cheesiness will only enhance your digi-case: listening to Christine and the Queens in France is not obvious - it is classic. 3. Get podcasts. The top three audiobooks this summer are Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling, The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins and A Short History Of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. But how about going left-field and downloading some podcasts?

Not newsy ones, but funny ones such as John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman's satirical monthly missive The Bugle. For the more traditional digital packers, there is always Desert Island Discs. 4. Load up holiday apps. Some relaxing time-out requires the right holiday apps.

XE Currency converts every world currency. Google Translate is essential for travellers feeling like a monoglot. And if you want a digital companion to document every moment of your holiday, check out Esplorio, which records your GPS position, orders your photos and creates "a digital travel journal".

If you are bored with this by Day 2, just play Pokemon Go. And then the most important rule of all... 5. Pack your travel adaptor.

GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 14, 2016, with the headline 'Pack your digital suitcase'. Print Edition | Subscribe