Speedos, Nudity and Sharks: What's Normal at the Beach?
Tis’ the season for bikinis, bonfires, and beach balls. Whether you find yourself beaching nearly every weekend or planning one big getaway by the water, you’re in good company.
Beaches are the summer’s most popular vacation destination according to a recent survey from Expedia.
The study also reveals some delightful statistics about the correlation between beach vacations and happiness, attitudes toward beach attire (to Speedo, or Speedon’t), and the priorities of dedicated beach-goers.
Is your beach behavior normal? (Photo: Thinkstock)
More than half of survey respondents took a beach vacation in the past year. Of those who have taken a beach holiday, 62% said they traveled beyond their home country, and 59% went as far as a different continent. According to the study, residents of Thailand (82%), South Korea (79%), Spain (78%) and Italy (77%) were the most likely to take a beach vacation last year while those least likely to head for the water were residents of Japan (22%), Denmark (36%) and the Netherlands (38%).
HAPPINESS AND THE BEACH
For many, the beach isn’t an occasional indulgence—it’s a necessity. Beach travelers link their overall happiness to regular beach vacations.Worldwide, almost three-quarters (73%) of people who have taken or plan on taking a beach trip within the year say they closely associate regular beach vacations with their overall level of happiness. In fact, some people are willing to go to great lengths to maximize their beach time. 29% of survey respondents said that they would “work weekends for a month” in order to free up time for one extra beach vacation per year. 25% would give up one week’s salary, and the 11% that are truly dedicated would be willing to experience influenza for a full 48 hours if it means getting a beach vacation in return!
WHAT TO DO ON A BEACH VACATION
An overwhelming amount of respondents prioritize relaxation on their beach vacations. 88% of beach travelers say that they will select a calmer destination. Not surprisingly, taking walks, going for a swim, sunbathing, and reading are the most popular activities. Partying ranks lowest in the list of beach vacation activities. The vacation mentality can cause people to do things that are beyond their norm—sometimes even uncharacteristic. Some just want to indulge. According to Expedia’s survey, the top beach vacation indulgences are sleeping in and spending more on food (and eating more) than one normally would. Fun fact: at 69%, Austrians were the world’s likeliest to prioritize a nap, and the Irish (53%) were the world’s likeliest to over-indulge with food. Brazilians (56%) and Italians (54%) were the most likely to indulge in physical intimacy with their significant others.