London City Airport reveals passengers would rather take smartphone than suncream on holiday


London City Airport (LCY) has asked its passengers which items they would never travel without, producing some surprising results.

The list, compiled from a survey of 500 passengers setting off from the UK, reveals interesting holidaymaker habits including the fact that in an age when it seems everyone has a phone, only 39% wouldn’t travel without a smartphone.

That’s still a higher percentage than those intending to take sun cream though as only 32% said it was a must-have. It seems passengers are quite happy making a few calls, sending a few texts, checking social media, and getting sunburnt in the process.

Staying on the theme of technology there was another surprise as headphones, an item you might think is a modern-day essential, failed to even break into the top ten.

By comparison LCY also asked passengers from Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Ireland about their travel essentials and almost half (48%) of international travellers chose smartphones as their number one must-have item, with headphones in 10th (23%).

The top ten chosen by UK passengers were:

  1. Local currency (53%)
  2. Perfume/deodorant (47%)
  3. Painkillers (42%)
  4. Sunglasses (39 %)
  5. Smartphone (39%)
  6. Travel plug (32%)
  7. Sun cream (32%)
  8. Books (32%)
  9. Sandals (28%)
  10. International debit card (22%)

Another interesting result was that 53% of passengers preferred to get their hands on local cash before jetting off, perhaps because of the healthy exchange rate between the pound and the euro at the moment.

Only 22% would take their international debit card with them however, which could be down to passengers worrying about being charged fees for withdrawing money abroad or when paying by card. There are also those who fear the wrath of their bank blocking their card for suspicious-looking transactions.

It’s a surprise as research has shown the use of contactless payment cards growing at a rapid rate – in the UK there are 58 million in use in this year, up nearly 52% on 2014.

With sun cream low down on the list, in stereotypical fashion 28% of us in the UK won’t leave our shores without sandals, whilst our European cousins couldn’t care less about them. Look out for some sunburnt fashion victims in an arrivals hall near you over the next few months.

A London City Airport spokesperson said: “Our survey provides quite a telling picture about our passengers’ packing habits but is also very informative about their mind-sets when it comes to going on holiday.

“Interesting results come up when comparing the stats – not only do we prefer phones to sun cream, nearly half of the passengers we asked wouldn’t leave home without perfume, so apparently smelling nice is more important than looking after our skin!

“There’s nothing worse than getting to your destination and realising you’ve left an essential item behind so we’d like to remind our passengers to take extra care when packing, especially if they’re going on holiday somewhere with warm weather.”



  1. Oh dear…… didn’t the researchers know that it is possisble to buy suncream everywhere that you go now…. and probably cheaper than in the UK !


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.