Which Country Has Most Dirty Travel Secrets? Survey Gets Answers

·Associate Travel Editor

The survey asked travelers from five nations about their bad behavior. (Infographic: Travelzoo)

If there’s one takeaway from a new report about travel fouls people commit around the world, it’s this: America is No. 1 when it comes to going No. 1.

Travelzoo surveyed travelers from five countries, and according to the deal site’s anonymous answers, Americans lead the world at peeing in the ocean or public pools – 64 percent admitted to doing so. In second place was our neighbor to the north, Canada, where 58 percent confessed to tinkling. Rounding out the guilty pee parties were 46 percent of the British, 44 percent of Germans, and 41 percent of Chinese.

Considering all the grief Chinese tourists are getting these days, at least they can hold this one over our heads. Not literally of course.

Only those five nationalities were polled in the survey, so who knows, maybe we need to watch out for Italian or New Zealander tourists in the hotel pool even more.

“As a global company, we have a unique opportunity to tap the minds of travelers from around the world,” Travelzoo senior editor Gabe Saglie told Yahoo Travel. “We all have quirky travel habits and we thought it would be interesting to see the commonalities and differences across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.”

Throughout Travelzoo’s dirty-secret survey, which included 9,577 adults, German travelers appear to be the most ethical – except when it comes to cheating on their partners and spray tans. Here are some other results:


Americans topped the list in stealing bathrobes and other hotel stuff. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Stealing hotel goodies: Americans also led the way in checking out with hotel bathrobes, slippers, or toiletries (69 percent). Probably because we like to wash after all that public urination. The rest of the offenders: 63 percent of Canadians, 61 percent of Chinese, 45 percent of British, and just 20 percent of those do-gooder Germans.

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Calling in sick to extend a vacation: Americans may have a reputation as workaholics, but when they do vacation, they apparently do all they can to keep it going. Twenty-four percent of Americans said they’ve played hooky an extra day by calling in sick. They’re followed by Canada and China at 16 percent, the British at 15 percent, and the Germans once again last, at 10 percent.

Vacation planning during work hours: The survey found 70 percent of Chinese respondents have been so eager to vacation that they researched while at work. Americans weren’t far behind at 67 percent, followed by 64 percent of Canadians, 40 percent of the British, and surprise surprise, Germans showing the best work ethic at just 38 percent.

Sneaking stuff through customs: 32 percent of Chinese travelers copped to not declaring everything they should at customs. That’s followed by 23 percent of Canadians, 22 percent of Americans, and 19 percent of Britons. Germans weren’t asked this question for some reason – maybe because they’re so honest.

Related: Human Heads in Cargo: Craziest Things Smuggled Through Customs


Are Germans the most unfaithful on the road, or just the most honest about it? (Photo: Thinkstock)

Infidelity on the road: At last, we’ve found Germany’s weak spot, although we have a sneaking suspicion that there’s an undercount of confessions across the map here. Ten percent of Germans confessed to cheating on their partner while traveling; they were followed by 5 percent of Chinese, 4 percent of Britons, 3 percent of Americans, and 2 percent of those ultra-faithful Canadians.

Skipping on the bill: Again, most respondents claimed honesty on this one, with Americans skipping out at 13 percent. Canada was second at 10 percent, with China paying up the most at 6 percent.

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Faking a sun tan after vacation: Germans apparently are the most unfaithful and the most vain of the countries polled. Seven percent of them admitted to visiting a tanning salon after a vacation to impress with a tan – a small number, nevertheless.

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