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Austrians are the most likely to sunbathe nude (and other fun beach behavior facts)

The scene at Coney Island in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 29. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

If you’re headed to the beach this holiday weekend, there’s something you should know before you go. Your fellow beachgoers will be judging you and your annoying habits, so watch it.

According to Expedia’s annual Flip Flop report, an international study of beachgoer behavior that was released last week, The Slob has the most annoying beach habit, with 48 percent of respondents saying they can’t stand people who don’t clean up after themselves and leave their trash behind. The other least-popular beach personas, in order, are The Inattentive Parent, The Loud Mouth, The Encroacher, The Boozer, The DJ, The Sand Flinger, The Paparazzi, The Ogler, and The Canoodlers.


Other highlights from the report:

• Austrians are the most likely to sunbathe fully nude, knocking Germans out of the top spot for the first time in years. This year, 28 percent of Austrians reported having disrobed fully at a public beach, but only 25 percent of Germans and 18 percent of Americans reported doing the same. The most modest beachgoers are in Asia, with only 2 percent of Malaysians and South Koreans saying they’ve stripped down.

• A majority of Americans — 62 percent — say they are “somewhat uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable” with toplessness or nudity at public beaches, up from 44 percent in 2014. Of the American women who were surveyed, 77 percent said they would never go topless at a public beach.

• Fewer than half of American respondents feel that Speedo-style swimwear is appropriate beach attire for men (48 percent), and only 6 percent of American respondents said they wear the tiny, clingy swimwear. Worldwide, 63 percent of respondents said Speedo-style suits are perfectly acceptable.

• The favorite international beach destination among Americans is Mexico. Florida’s beaches are most popular when it comes to choosing US destinations.


• Worldwide, 24 percent of respondents cited European beachgoers as most attractive, with Caribbean (17 percent) and American (14 percent) beachgoers rounding out the top three. Americans who took part in the survey were a bit more patriotic, with 46 percent saying the most attractive beachgoers are in Florida and Hawaii.

The study also found that 23 percent of Americans would use beach Wi-Fi to share what they were doing on social media, and that beer is the world’s favorite alcoholic beach drink.

“Year in and year out, travelers tell us that there’s no vacation they prefer more than one at the beach,” said 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.”

In fact, relaxing/doing nothing is the world’s favorite beach indulgence, cited by 74 percent of respondents. Reading and napping are next, at 44 percent. Sadly, about 17 percent of Americans work while sunbathing, second only to beachgoers from India.

The Flip Flop Report also found that the biggest beach fear is having possessions stolen (34 percent). Americans also fear sunburns (18 percent), bad weather (15 percent), and shark encounters (13 percent). A whopping 22 percent of American respondents said they avoid swimming in the ocean entirely rather than risk a shark bite.


The 2016 Expedia Flip Flop Report was conducted online with 11,155 adults across 24 countries on five continents.

Chris Morris can be reached at christine.morris@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @morrisglobe.