Sex on vacation? Everything you ever wanted to know

Yes, you can talk about vacations as good occasions to restore your soul, expand your worldly horizons, gain new perspective on the human experience... yadda, yadda, yadda. But many of us travel for the sole reason of getting lucky. Whether it’s to have carefree vacation sex with your spouse/significant other or to have a hot fling with an out-of-town stranger you’ll likely never see again, romantic encounters are a big part of the fun of vacationing.

Expedia has released its Heat Index study. Expedia, along with market research company GfK, surveyed 1,000 American adults about their mating and dating habits when they travel. The findings are obvious (apparently, people like to get busy on vacation) and not so obvious (there are a lot more people getting busy on balconies than you might think).

1. You can’t spell “vacation” without “action”


According to the study, 12 percent of Americans have engaged in a holiday fling with someone they met on vacation, with 22 percent saying they’d consider extending that vacation fling into an ongoing relationship. But more people, 32 percent, said they’d rather keep their fling a vacation memory, while 43 percent said the future of their new romance would depend on how far away the other person lived.

2. Sexy hospitality


Their jobs are to help make sure vacationers have a good time, but a lot of vacationers like to return the favor. Two percent of Americans have been intimate with “a hotel employee, flight attendant, or tour guide” they met on vacation. Four percent say they've “considered it.”

3. Are we friskier with our partners on vacation?

Young romantic couple kissing near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Young romantic couple kissing near the Eiffel Tower in Paris (iStock)

Some of us are. Twenty-eight percent of Americans said, yes, they were “more intimate” with a partner while on vacation. Thirty-nine percent said it “depends on the location.” We can only assume the remaining 33 percent like to limit their romantic activities to their own zip codes.

4. Get a room!


Many of you are doing just that. Sixty-five percent of Americans say “the hotel” is the most likely venue for their intimate vacation encounters. “The bathtub” was in second place at 23 percent (it edged out “hot tub”). Other favorite romantic settings: the beach (20 percent), a tent (17 percent), a balcony (10 percent), and a rental car (4 percent).

5. How soon is too soon for an overnight slumber party?


Maybe it’s not a good idea to ask someone to Aruba on a first date. 29 percent of Americans consider one to three months the appropriate time in a new relationship before taking an overnight trip. 27 percent believe four to eight months is more appropriate. Only 10 percent say it’s cool to vacation with someone new within a month of getting together. On the flip side, 16 percent wouldn’t consider traveling with someone until they’ve been together a year or longer.

6. Beaches are more romantic than cities

A young couple share a romantic dinner on the beach in the Maldives

A young couple share a romantic dinner on the beach in the Maldives (iStock)

With golden sand and the gentle sound of the waves, beaches are people’s top setting for romance. Twenty-nine percent of Americans said beach vacations were the most romantic (only 5 percent said city vacations were most romantic). Twenty-two percent preferred “international travel to exotic locations,” while another 22 percent travel to the “countryside.”

7. The most romantic cities

honeymoon in Paris

honeymoon in Paris (iStock)

Paris is tops among lovers. It was named both “sexiest destination” (56 percent) and “most romantic” destination (61 percent). The second most romantic destination was the Bahamas, while the second sexiest destination was Las Vegas.

8. How do you say "mood killer" in Chinese?

Hong Kong night view in panorama

Hong Kong night view in panorama (iStock)

It’s kind of ironic that the world’s most populous nation is home of the two cities considered the least sexy. Beijing and Kowloon, Hong Kong, both showed up in the top three “least sexy” and “least romantic” lists.

9. Romance is clothing-optional

nude woman walking away from her bikini and flip-flops going toward the water

nude woman walking away from her bikini and flip-flops going toward the water (iStock)

Along with their romantic inhibitions, some Americans like to shed their clothes. Five percent say they’ve gone topless at the beach while on vacation. And three percent have sunbathed fully nude. But nude beach-going is still an idea that has yet to catch on in the U.S. Sixty-four percent of Americans have neither gone topless nor sunbathed nude.

10. Breaking up on vacation


Vacations aren't just about getting together; they're sometimes about splitting up. In the study, 7 percent of Americans said they've ended, or considered ending, a relationship with someone they were traveling with. Among those, 45 percent stayed on the vacation anyway. 27 percent left, and 12 percent made the partner leave (now that's cold). And of the people who stayed on the trip, 16 percent ended up staying in separate rooms.

11. Put a ring on it


Fifty-two percent of Americans say they would be “somewhat or very likely” to propose while on vacation. But 43 percent would be “not very likely/not at all likely” to do so.

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