Bad Form at the Beach: TripAdvisor Beach and Pool Etiquette Survey Reveals 82 Percent Claim Waterside Wrongdoings
Thumbs Down for Speedos and Skimpy Bikinis, but Topless Tanning Raises Fewer Eyebrows
NEWTON, Mass., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the results of its annual beach and pool etiquette survey of more than 2,000 U.S. travelers. For the second year running, Americans take the swim cap of shame as the worst beach and pool offenders according to the survey, with New Yorkers named the worst culprits, followed by travelers from Florida and New Jersey. Eighty-two percent of respondents think that people often violate some form of beach or pool etiquette, while 30 percent have gone so far to ask a stranger to stop behaving rudely at the beach or pool.
Smoking ranked as the second-biggest pet peeve in 2009, but dropped off this year's list of top annoyances. Still, 83 percent believe smoking should be banned around the pool, while 64 percent maintain that it should be disallowed at the beach.
Regardless of how sizzling the sun is, many travelers are left cold at the thought of speedos and skimpy bikinis. Speedos are seen as more of a violation than bikinis, and surprisingly, topless sunbathing causes less of a stir:
35 percent think it's a violation of beach and pool etiquette for men to wear speedos, while 29 percent think the same of women clad in skimpy bikinis.
34 percent say speedos should not be worn at any age, while nine percent maintain they're a no-go only for men over the age of 40.
13 percent believe bikinis should not be worn by women over the age of 40, while 10 percent think they're inappropriate at any age.
75 percent think it's acceptable for women to go topless at the beach or pool, in countries where it's culturally the norm.
18 percent think it's unacceptable for women to go topless at the beach or pool in any destination.
Piddling at the Pool
While 15 percent of travelers maintain that urinating in the water is the most annoying violation of beach and pool etiquette, many beachgoers don't practice what they preach.
53 percent think it's acceptable to urinate in the ocean if no other swimmers are near.
4 percent maintain that it's acceptable to "let go" in the pool.
2 percent believe it's acceptable to do so in the hot tub.
Booze at the Beach
The majority of travelers are comfortable with coastline cocktails, as 71 percent of respondents said that alcohol should be permitted on the sand. However, 11 percent say public intoxication is the most annoying waterside violation.
28 percent think it's acceptable to enter the pool when under the influence of alcohol.
24 percent maintain that it's acceptable to take a dip in the ocean after drinking.
27 percent think it's fine to hop in to the hot tub when under the influence.
65 percent consider it to be unacceptable to enter any of the above under the influence.
Zoning Out Kids and Pets
Many travelers would like to see restricted-access zones on beaches to keep out kids, canines and even members of the opposite sex.
63 percent think there should be designated child-free areas.
82 percent maintain there should be pet-free areas.
8 percent are all for having women-only areas.
7 percent would like there to be men-only areas.
52 percent of travelers think it violates etiquette for parents to change their child's diapers in public at the pool or beach.
85 percent think it's unacceptable for a young child to go in the pool without a diaper on.
61 percent think it's unacceptable for a young child to go in the ocean au naturel.
Beach and Pool Etiquette: Essential Do's and Don'ts:
Don't ask a stranger to help apply suntan lotion: 77 percent of travelers think this is unacceptable.
Don't be a chair hog: 85 percent think it's unacceptable to get up early and leave stuff unaccompanied on beachside or poolside chairs for hours on end.
Do have a shower before entering the pool: 32 percent think it violates etiquette not to rinse off (39 percent confess to rarely doing so).
Do keep your distance: 26 percent maintain that at a crowded beach, travelers should sit at least six feet away from other strangers – while on an uncrowded stretch of sand, 38 percent think it's in order to sit at least 20 feet away.
"Al fresco fun is the order of the day, with almost 60 percent of Americans planning to hit the beach this summer," said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. "But as the mercury rises, fuses can fray, so it's crucial for travelers to be mindful of breaching unwritten beach and pool etiquette."
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*Source: comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide, May 2010