By Sarah Waffle Gavin, on June 29, 2017

Expedia 2017 Flip Flop Report

Independence Day weekend is all about fireworks, barbecues, and the beach. So what better to get you dreaming about the long weekend than Expedia’s annual Flip Flop Report—a global exposé on beach attitudes, behaviors, and bucket lists.

So, without further ado, we present you with some of our favorite findings from this year’s report. And, if you really want to engage your senses, pair this read with a big whiff of coconut-scented SPF and a solo cup filled with your favorite domestic brew. Pure fireworks, I tell you.

Star-spangled board shorts, anyone?

As we gear up to celebrate Fourth of July, it seems fitting that U.S. destinations dominate the list of the most popular places Americans like to get their beach on. Amongst the biggest factors for U.S. respondents are clean, safe beaches, great weather, and minimal travel time, with Florida, California, and Hawaii boasting the most popular beaches in the country. According to the report, the top 10 beach holiday destinations for Americans are:

  1. United States (other) – 43 percent
  2. Florida – 35 percent
  3. California – 29 percent
  4. Hawaii – 22 percent
  5. Mexico – 18 percent
  6. Aruba – 13 percent
  7. Puerto Rico – 10 percent
  8. Brazil – 9 percent
  9. Jamaica – 7 percent
  10. Australia – 7 percent

Beach etiquette

For two years running, the best way to anger your fellow beachgoers is to leave a trail of garbage in your wake, with “The Slob” growing in unpopularity by 17 percent this year. “The Sand-flinger” also saw a boost in 2017, moving up four slots to overtake “The Loud Mouth” for a position in the top three. According to this year’s report, the most annoying beach behaviors for Americans are:

  1. The Slob – 65 percent
  2. The Inattentive Parent – 52 percent
  3. The Sand-flinger – 49 percent
  4. The Boozer – 49 percent
  5. The DJ – 45 percent
  6. The Encroacher – 45 percent
  7. The Loud Mouth – 39 percent
  8. The Paparazzi – 38 percent
  9. The Fisherman – 36 percent
  10. The Ogler – 34 percent

Beach fear factors

Even though most of us enter a state of complete zen when we think of the beach—waves crashing, salty air mixing with coconut-scented sunblock, the perfect playlist coming through our headphones—there are some not-so-idyllic realities of the public beach. The top fear? Leaving your towel and beach bag to frolic in the waves, returning only to find out your cell phone and favorite sunhat have disappeared. Theft was the top concern globally, worrying more than 70 percent of respondents, leading us to wonder whether there’s an untapped market for portable beach security systems…

Keeping it PG

Ahhh, summer love. The beach is a natural place for romance and turns out most Americans go on beach holidays with a partner (73 percent). But if you happen to be soaking up the sun with family, don’t worry, the only sex on the beach you’re likely to encounter comes in a cocktail glass, since only a fifth of global beachgoers (20 percent) have engaged in this racy behavior. According to worldwide respondents, the most common romantic activity of all is a beach walk at sunset (59 percent), which is an instant classic.

Other findings

  • America is the most expensive place in the world to buy a beer on the beach. It’s No. 2 for wine and No. 3 for ice cream—in other words, BYOC (bring your own cooler).
  • On average, Americans spend just six days away on a beach holiday, placing the U.S. in the bottom five countries in terms of vacation length.
  • Almost 30 percent of Americans spend longer packing than on vacation.
  • Australia (39 percent) is considered the locale with the most attractive beachgoers, followed by Brazil (31 percent) and Hawaii (29 percent).
  • The most inappropriate vacation attire at the beach according to Americans is going entirely nude (67 percent), followed by a thong-style swimsuit (61 percent), or mankini (58 percent) for men.

There are many more fun and enlightening findings from our report, which you can find detailed in the full infographic and in our formal news announcement. And if this has sparked your desire to escape on a beach holiday of your own, don’t forget that booking as a package on can score you savings of up to $600.

What beaches are on your bucket list this summer?