Which Beach Behaviors Bug Travelers the Most?

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Expedia’s new Flip Flop Report is like a good beach read—full of intriguing facts and gossipy details mixed with a few somewhat salacious items. The just-released report studies the behavior of beach lovers in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

Find out which nationalities are most likely to go nude on the sands, who are voted the best-looking at the shore, and what breeches of etiquette could make your fellow beachgoers fantasize about burying you in the sand.“

Year in and year out, travelers tell us that there’s no vacation they prefer more than one at the beach,” says John Morrey, vice president and general manager of Expedia.com. “When they leave the beach, they immediately begin dreaming of their next visit. So we use the Flip Flop Report to get more insights on what people prefer to do when they’re there, and the answer is, basically, a whole lot of nothing.”

Northstar, a strategic insights consulting firm, conducted the study for Expedia, interviewing 11,115 adults in 24 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

Here are some findings:

Nudity, Bulges, Beauty, and Brews at the Beach

  • Austrians beat Germans in the nudity category, with 28% of Austrians reporting going bare at the beach compared with 25% of Germans. This is the first time in the Flip Flop Report’s four years that Austrians took the “gold.”
  • Ten percent of beachgoers worldwide claim to have gone nude.
  • Americans have grown more demure at least at the beach. Sixty-two percent describe themselves as “somewhat or very uncomfortable” with toplessness or nudity at the shore, up from 44% in 2014.
  • Seventy-seven percent of American women say they would never go topless at the beach.
  • The most modest beach-lovers live in Asia. Just 2% of Malaysians or South Koreans, and just 3% of Thai and Japanese sun-seekers, have lounged nude.
  • The bathing beauties are in Europe with 24% of respondents citing Europeans as having the best beach bods. Seventeen percent citied Caribbeans, and 14% voted for Americans.
  • Sixty-three percent of respondents worldwide and 48% of Americas approve of Speedo-style bathing suits—the tight, skimpy, bulge-revealing beach attire for men, but only 6% of American men wear them.
  • Beer is the world’s favorite beach brew, cited by 24% of respondents.

The Five Most Annoying Beach Behaviors

  • The Slob, 48%
  • The Inattentive Parent, 44%
  • The Loud Mouth, 37%
  • The Encroacher, 35%
  • The Boozer, 34%