In February 2012, LivingSocial conducted an online survey among 4,000 Americans  and 1,600 additional respondents in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The survey found that Americans, Canadians and Australians all gave U.S. tourists the title of the world’s worst tourists, while the Irish identified their British neighbors as the worst tourists, and the British called out the Germans for bad travel behavior.

The survey also found that 78% of Americans have visited at least one foreign country, 61% have visited multiple countries, and 36% have traveled to four or more foreign destinations. The average number of countries visited was more than four.

Among other findings of the survey:

Worst Tourists Have Sticky Fingers

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%).

Staycation Nation

Two-thirds of employed respondents (65%) said they had taken at least one “staycation” in 2011 by using vacation time to relax at home.

All Work and No Play Makes Jack an American

Americans reported far fewer vacation days from work last year —16 days off — than their peers in Australia (27 days), Canada (21), Ireland (28), and the UK (23). Of those days off, Americans spent 10 days traveling outside of their home city and just under four outside the U.S.

Takes little brain to conclude Americans are the worst tourists.

Takes little brain to conclude Americans are among the worst tourists

Tough to Cut the Cord

Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) say they check their e-mail or cell phone while on vacation.

Oh those Russians!

11 percent of the Americans surveyed said that Russians were the worst tourists. (Russians topped the list of the Real Holiday Reports as the worst travelers, with participants complaining that Russian tourists eat almost everything off buffet tables, swear, yell at the hotel staff, and offend everyone with their bad fashion.)

[Photo credit: Cow Palace @Flickr]