• UK holidaymakers will go to extreme lengths to get the perfect holiday selfie – including standing on a cliff edge and posing with wild animals
  • Average adult takes 14 selfies a day while on holiday
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) have encountered an issue posting holiday pictures online – including no Wi-Fi connection while away
  • Fear of being charged for roaming also causes concern for a quarter (25%) of snap happy travellers
  • Virgin Mobile and O2 customers set to save up to £100 per two-week trip as they can roam freely when travelling in the EU* 

With summer holiday planning on the horizon, new research reveals the lengths British holidaymakers will go to for the perfect holiday selfie – including standing on a cliff edge (one in 10) and posing with wild animals (one in 10).

It also emerged more than half (51%) can’t imagine not taking pictures on holiday, with 21 per cent considering holiday selfies to be ‘mandatory’. Indeed, the typical adult will take 14 selfies a day while on holiday – uploading seven images a week onto social media.

The research, conducted by Virgin Media O2, shows that taking pictures is now seen as an essential holiday pastime, coming out as the top way people use phones on holiday (47%), followed by looking for directions (33%), checking personal emails (28%) and planning day trips (22%).

Nearly a third (32%) admitted to doing something they wouldn’t usually consider doing, just to get the ideal shot, while three in 10 pack certain outfits just to wear for a photo. Others have paid for extra luggage allowance to allow them to take more ‘props’ (8%) or multiple outfits (8%), have eaten food they didn’t really like (7%) or missed a train or bus (6%) – all in aid of getting the perfect holiday pic.

Ahead of the holiday season, Brits should brace themselves now for an onslaught of sunset (50%) and local landmark (49%) pictures as these are the most popular things people are snapping whilst away, with holiday-goers expecting to post on average one photo every day during a week-long trip, solely for the purpose of showing-off for a quarter of those surveyed (25%).

In terms of the destinations likely to be filling up our feeds, Virgin Media O2 ranked the most-Instagrammable European hotspots based on the most popular holiday destinations in Europe for 2022**: 

  • France – #France 96,036,771 posts
  • Spain – #spain – 70,477,797 posts
  • Norway – #norway – 26,212,441 posts
  • Netherlands – #netherlands – 17,367,916 posts
  • Finland – #finland – 16,139,357 posts
  • Denmark – #denmark – 13,390,146 posts
  • Czech Republic – #CzachRepublic 9,460,740 posts
  • Lithuania – #lithuania – 5,370,639 posts
  • Slovenia – #slovenia – 4,941,075 posts
  • Bosnia – #bosnia – 2,426,160 posts

However, holidaymakers’ envy inducing efforts may be hampered by one crucial thing: access to internet. Almost two-thirds (64%) have encountered an issue accessing the internet on holiday with no Wi-Fi being the top issue experienced. Almost a fifth (19%) have also run out of mobile data whilst they’ve been away, hampering their ability to access maps, search engines or social media whilst out exploring.

This is something that O2 and Virgin Mobile customers won’t need to worry about while on their travels, following the news that both mobile provides won’t be bringing back EU roaming fees this year, with O2 customers able to enjoy inclusive roaming up to 25GB. This could help customers save up to £100 over a two-week holiday*** by not having to fork out for data roaming, enabling them to snap happy and share their holiday photos with those at home for no extra cost.

This new research comes as O2 has today been crowned Most Popular Mobile Network and Best Network For Roaming by Uswitch.

Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer, Mobile, at Virgin Media O2 said: “After nearly two years of travel being disrupted by covid, things are looking brighter for holidaymakers this year. Whether booking a city break in Spring or hitting the beach this Summer, we know our customers want to be able to use their phones without worry while they’re away. That’s why we’re continuing to give them the freedom to snap, chat and share from across the EU without the hassle or concern of extra roaming charges.”

Worry around roaming fees is still something holidaymakers are conscious of as the research also found that a quarter (25%) have been fearful that they were going to be charged by their mobile operator to access their data abroad. In fact, 29% of people have previously brought a data bolt-on so they could have access to data whilst out and about on holiday.


  1. Ask strangers to take pictures of them
  2. Go on a boat trip
  3. Wake up ridiculously early
  4. Get sunburnt
  5. Stay up ridiculously late
  6. Climb a mountain
  7. Pose with a wild animal
  8. Stand on the edge of a cliff
  9. Go on a donkey/horse ride
  10. Ride a banana boat
  11. Pay for extra baggage to take things away with them
  12. Pack multiple outfits to be able to show them off in pictures
  13. Buy something they couldn’t afford
  14. Scuba diving
  15. Buy something they don’t really want to eat
  16. Ruin clothes from the experience
  17. Swim with dolphins
  18. Climb a tree
  19. Ride in a hot air balloon
  20. End up ill from not dressing appropriately

For more information about O2 roaming fees, head to: https://www.o2.co.uk/help/pay-monthly/roaming-in-europe and Data Roaming Abroad | Great value when travelling | Virgin Media for information on Virgin Mobile’s roaming fees.

*O2 customers can enjoy roaming in Europe Zone at no additional charge, up to 25GB. For more information head to O2’s website.

**according to Time Out

***Up to £100 saving based on a family of four paying £2 per day for data roaming while abroad for 12 days in Europe Zone.

Research was conducted by OnePoll from 03.02.2022 – 08.02.2022 surveying 2,000 people in the UK.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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