What Happens in _____, Stays in _____!

Is a trip out-of-town, out-of-state, or out-of-country the perfect opportunity for a hookup?


I recently went on a group vacation in Mexico.  We had singles (of which I was one), couples, and families.  As I walked through the resort and observed the other guests, I could easily pick out couples and families, but singles were a little more difficult to spot.  As people meet and interact, their relationship status becomes less easily identifiable.  I witnessed various stages of flirting that, at least once, progressed into a public display of…well…more than just affection.

At one point in the trip, one of my friends said to me something to the effect of: “I’m just ready for ‘What happens on vacation, stays on vacation.’”  The details of to what she was referring are unimportant for this discussion, but the comment intrigued me.  How many people approach their vacations with the mindset of having casual sex?  I certainly never have.  Prior to this one, my vacations have always been with family or with a boyfriend.  If I had sex, it was with my committed significant other.  No need for that to stay in _____!  With curiosity galore, I journeyed to the Internet to find some answers.

According to Dr. Amy Muise, “Certain types of vacations, such as spring break, are thought to be more permissive environments for casual sex. Vacations that are free from at-home restrictions, promote lower inhibitions, and involve high alcohol consumption are the most conducive for casual sex behavior” (Psychology Today).  Interesting, but not much of a surprise, right?  This combination of variables is what results in hours and hours of material for media “gems” like Girls Gone Wild.

In 2012, the Web site MissTravel.com surveyed 30,000 British women and found that “over 40 percent of participants under 30 reported having had a one-night stand during a trip, and 10 percent said that they had five or more sexual partners over the course of a week-long holiday” (Huffington Post).  Wow!  Match.com had similar findings in their survey of men and women in the U.S.  They found that “over 50 percent had engaged in a one-night stand” (Huffington Post).  This survey, however, was not specific to such encounters on vacation.

Okay, so we’ve established that a good portion of people are likely to have one-night stands and that vacations promote this behavior.  But how does relationship status play into this?  Yes, we all know that some (not all) attached people cheat.  When it comes to casual vacation sex, who’s doing it?

Unsurprisingly, I was able to find very little information on this subject.  Well, several search results came up on Google, but I prefer to reference only the more reputable resources.  I did, however, find one article that provided a list of the top 10 “adulterous vacation spots”.  According to the article, UndercoverLovers.com (based in the United Kingdom) surveyed 3,000 of its members and discovered that 71% of had cheated while on vacation.  (Now this statistic may sound quite shocking, but please keep in mind that UndercoverLovers.com is a Web site catering to married people that are looking for opportunities to cheat.)  Until I find more data, the question of “Who’s doing it?” will have to remain unanswered.

Back to the title of this post….  We’ve addressed casual vacation sex, at least on the surface but does what happens in _____ really stay in _____?  I wonder how much data is out there regarding unplanned pregnancies and STIs as a result of casual vacation sex?  That will be a topic for another day. 🙂


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