LAST year was a bit of a landmark year for me travel-wise.

On my honeymoon to Japan and Korea in October I decided not to take a camera and rely on my iPhone to take pictures.

It seems I'm not alone in making this switch in favouring a phone over a camera.

Research by Mintel showed that eight per cent of UK adults – around three million consumers – now claim that they are likely to use a smartphone instead of replacing their current camera when it breaks.

I was a little nervous about doing this. A camera would normally be alongside your toothbrush and passport on your must-pack list.

The quality of smartphone cameras have improved dramatically over the last few years, with the iPhone 4 making phone pictures at least as good, if not better than anything you could take on a compact digital camera.

Although my iPhone doesn't have an optical zoom, I decided I'd take a chance and travel as light as possible.

There is a bigger reason for doing this. When taking pictures on a digital camera, no matter how good the quality, they need to be downloaded to a computer. To share them or print them, you'd have to cart a laptop with you as well.

I want to take my pics and post them - on Facebook, Twitter or to have somewhere where I can look back when I've returned home.

And having got back I no longer have to subject friends and family to that other holiday ritual, the post-vacation trawl through the snaps to show people where you've been and what you've seen. Although the days of slideshows are long gone, many a relative will have been plonked in front of a laptop and given an trawl through all the pics you've snapped.

With a smartphone, you take a picture, caption it and share it with your friends and family. They can see and enjoy what you've seen and relish the moment as you have through a handful of pictures rather than a folder on your desktop with 186 shots of varying quality.

Although I regretted not taking a camera occasionally – when I wanted to take a long-distance shot perhaps - it was these other things a smartphone does which made it the indispensable travel tool for me.