“Our survey puts the old wives’ tale to bed that only 15 percent of Americans own passports,” said Dave Madden, general manager of LivingSocial Escapes, North America. “Americans turn out to be pretty active globetrotters, with the average person having visited at least four countries. Unfortunately, Americans have pretty low opinions of themselves as travelers, so it’s time to turn on that Yankee charm and improve our global image.”
Why are Americans giving themselves such a bad rap? Data shows that it’s sadly deserved. Four in ten U.S. travelers (39%) admit to having stolen something from a hotel during a visit. The most common items pilfered were towels (28%), bathrobes (8%), batteries (5%), pillows (4%), remote controls (3%), sheets (3%), bibles (3%) and umbrellas (3%). Thankfully, only 3% report having gotten arrested while on vacation, so it seems the “law breaking” in hotel rooms is pretty minor.
In addition to taking fewer days off from work to vacation – 16 days off in comparison to Australia (27 days), Canada (21), Ireland (28), and the UK (23) – two-thirds of respondents have trouble disconnecting, with 66% saying they check their e-mail or cell phone while on vacation.
That doesn’t keep them from dreaming, however. When given their choice of dozens of world wonders to visit, Americans named the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Paris‘ Eiffel Tower, and the Pyramids of Giza as top foreign destinations, while Disney World, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon make the list in the U.S.
[Flickr via Rui Perpeira]