Travel

Beach survey says: everyone loves toplessness and fears sharks

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Germans and Austrians will likely sunbathe nude, Brazilians won't go swimming, and Americans surprisingly don't diss the Speedo -- these are just a few interesting factoids gleaned from Expedia's 2014 Flip Flop Report (yes, that's what it's actually called), which grilled 11,165 international beachgoers from 24 countries about their habits by the shore.

“The beach is the world’s most popular travel destination by a considerable margin", said John Morrey, Vice President and General Manager of Expedia.  “So every year we ask travelers all over the world to tell us their likes and dislikes as they relate to beach behavior". 

We dove into the report and came up with the topics we know you care about -- mostly sex and nudity. It's OK, we won't tell your boss if you read this at work.

Nudity

Though men are -- unfortunately -- more likely than women to drop trou at the beach, with 18% of men worldwide comfortable in the buff compared to just 6% of women, half the world is statistically comfortable with nudity. Spain, Japan, and France are the biggest voyeurs, saying they're OK with other people being nude, while Germany and Austria are the biggest exhibitionists, with 28% of respondents in those nations saying they've spent a day at the beach naked. 

Nacktheit (nudity)!

Toplessness

Although all-the-way naked proved too much of a commitment for most Spaniards, 42% are willing to go topless. Meanwhile, 49% of Austrians and 39% of Germans are, unsurprisingly, laissez-faire about wearing bikini tops, once again proving that Germans are efficient, even when it comes to getting a tan.

Speedos

Shocker: 74% of people worldwide embrace the Speedo. Consider us in the other 26%.

Not so shocking: Most of Europe's to blame, with 94% of Austrians, and 91% of both Germans and Spaniards advocating for banana hammocks. Of course, 95% of Brazilians say they're comfortable with the Speedo, which makes sense, given that they practically perfected wearing the bikini.

Strangely, just 40% of Norwegians approve of spandex swimwear -- probably has something to do with shrinkage in that cold water.

Sharks

A whopping 84% of Brazilians admitted to fearing sharks, making them the nationality most likely to run away from sharks in their Speedos. Respondents from Hong Kong and Malaysia (70% apiece) also run scared from sharks. Or, perhaps it's swimming. Either way, they're afraid.

Sex on the beach

It isn't just a cocktail. And when it comes to public displays of affection and getting sand in their nether-regions, Brazilians and Italians are the main culprits. More than half of each nationality in the survey said they'd get it on down by the sea. Here's hoping they kept it safe and used water wings.

Favorite beach activity

It might seem like a cliche oft-reserved for eHarmony profiles, but according to this study, it's true: Long walks on the beach are the most popular beach pastime, with 70% of respondents choosing it as the winner. More than half of respondents said they preferred reading and sunbathing, but just a quarter of respondents said they were into partying. Which, whatever.

To see more of the report, head here, and then hit up these beaches.


Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. She is very anti-Speedo, except for that time Terry Crews wore one in White Chicks. Follow her on a long walk to Twitter at @ChloePantazi.