When we go on vacation, it’s almost like we’re being given carte blanche to behave like Neanderthals. After all, it’s not our house, it’s not our car, the public places aren’t our property. Heck, most of the time we aren’t even within the borders of our own country!
Travel deal website Travelzoo conducted a global survey to reveal the dirty little secrets of travellers across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, and it turns out that Canadians and Americans are some of the worst offenders. But which of the two North American countries wins the title of most inconsiderate traveller? Let’s find out.
Taking Hotel Toiletries
OK, we’ve all done it, but it’s one thing to swipe a tiny shampoo bottle and quite another to stuff both bathrobes, the bedsheets and a table lamp into your luggage. Moderation and reasonableness are key here, people.
Grabbing extra hotel toiletries ranks as the most common travel secret. Americans led the charge with 69 per cent admitting they took stuff, followed closely by Canadians at 63 per cent.
Tinkling in the Pool or Ocean
Ever since that movie where it shows the hotel pool turning a dark blue when Kevin James urinates in it, we’ve been cautious about peeing in the pool. Days of embarrassment are hardly worth it.
So who can’t hold it and/or make it to the poolside washrooms? Almost two-thirds of Americans (64 per cent) confessed to tinkling in the pool or ocean, while 58 per cent of Canadians were guilty of the deed.
Cheating on Your Partner
This says a lot about your moral compass, not so much about how well you travel. Still, if you have the opportunity to cheat while you’re away from your spouse/significant other — in a completely different country — and you take it, you’re still not being a good tourist. Something about being a good guest in a foreign land, right?
For all the people married to frequent travellers, rest assured! Turns out this behaviour was far less frequent than the other misdeeds in the survey. A meagre three per cent of Americans and a paltry 2 per cent of Canadians admitted to adultery on vacation.
Sneaking Goods Through Customs
Not only is this dishonest, but it’s incredibly stupid. Is it really worth it to sneak $800 worth of outlet-store clothing over the border only to be apprehended and fined thousands of dollars? Think it through. Leave this kind of 007 crap to the professional criminals.
Believe it or not, Canadians score higher than Americans on this one. (Makes sense if you think about it for a second — we’re always trying to get bargains down south and get them up here. Oh, Canadian dollar, why you gotta be so low all the time?) Twenty-three per cent of Canadians have smuggled goods while travelling, whereas 22 per cent of Americans have.
Skipping Out on a Bill
The old classic. Turns out you don’t need to be in your local town to pull off this cheap move. The anonymity you experience at your vacation destination probably helps fuel the confidence, making it easier to skip out on the bill. But no matter where you are, it’s really low.
Approximately 13 per cent of Americans have bailed on the cheque while travelling, while less than 10 per cent of Canadians (9 per cent, to be exact) have ever attempted the awful deed. We just think of the poor server’s paycheque when our little devil whispers in our ear. Does he/she really deserve to be stiffed like that? Most likely not.
Reserving a Lounge Chair With Your Towel
This is probably one of the most annoying things when you’re at the pool. The primo seats are gone super-quick, mainly because some jackass got up at 5 a.m., left his/her towel on the lounge chair while he/she went to get breakfast, and then never returned. So the hottest poolside real estate remains empty for the majority of the day. Majorly irritating.
While it’s not a serious offense (like most of the ones above), it still rubs people the wrong way. Guess who the biggest offender was? Canadians, with almost 65 per cent admitting to chair hoarding. Americans weren’t far behind, with 59 per cent pleading guilty.
Most Inconsiderate Traveller Overall: Americans
So there you have it, folks. Americans are the big winners, which in this case means they’re the big losers. Continue wearing that maple leaf proudly on your backpacks, wherever your travels may take you!