Elevenerife: A Look at Holiday Exaggerations

Ever been impressed by someone else’s holiday photo or story? We have. But what if you found out afterwards that the photo wasn’t quite accurate or the story didn’t exactly add up? Unfortunately, that’s happened to us too.

Yes, we’re talking about holiday exaggerations. These are the little and not-so-little white lies that people tell to take their trips from bad to good or from dud to Dubai. Sometimes, people even outright lie. But why?

To answer the question above, we conducted a comprehensive survey asking respondents to spill the beans on their holiday fabrications.

The Five Types of Holiday Fibber  

Our research helped us to identify five characters who tell holidays fibs. See anyone you know in this list?

Filter-Mad Fiona

In her photos it’s always sunny, but everyone knows that it rained the whole weekend. Photoshopped skies perhaps? And are her legs really that perfect?

Elevenerife Filter Mad Fiona

Spammy Sammy

Posts too many pictures of her ‘perfect holiday’, but actually got dumped by her boyfriend and broke her leg while abroad (and had food poisoning).

Elevenerife Spammy Sammy

Better Brett

Always has to get ‘one-up’ and claims to have done everything on a better scale. If you stayed in a campsite, he stayed in the President’s Suite of the Grand Hotel and was personally welcomed to the town by the mayor and a marching band.

Elevenerife Better Brett

Exaggerating Emily

Exaggerates everything she did, (claiming to have lived in Paris when she was only there for two weeks). She also tells the world she spent her gap year with an indigenous tribe and survived a great white shark attack, but her friends know she’d never go anywhere that didn’t have wi-fi and a Waitrose. 

Elevenerife Exaggerating Emily

Blagging Boris

Never been there, but tries to blag it just to be part of the conversation. He gets caught out when he claims to have crossed the border from Mexico into Thailand.

Elevenerife Blagging Boris

Digging into the Data on Deceit

An astonishing 71% of respondents admitted to posting holiday pictures online purely to make their followers jealous. When you let that fact sink in, it becomes easy to see why so many people fib about their holidays.

In fact, 64% of respondents admitted to exaggerating how good their holidays were. What’s more, 45% have edited photos for social media to make a holiday appear better than it was. 

But watch out: in the course of our research we also discovered that 68% of respondents would unfollow someone if they found out they were a ‘holiday bragger’.

The Ten Most Desired Destinations

Since most holiday exaggeration seems to be about making people jealous, which are the most desirable destinations? According to our research these are, in the following order:

  1. Tokyo
  2. Havana
  3. The Maldives
  4. Sorrento
  5. New York
  6. Sydney
  7. Paris
  8. Dubai
  9. Barcelona
  10. Santorini

Stories from Our Respondents

The following is a selection of the porkies our respondents have admitted to telling:

“I managed to convince a few friends I'd gone on holiday by taking a snap chat of my desktop screen saver (an idyllic beach in Barbados) and setting the time zone to the location in the picture – winner!”

“I told colleagues my partner proposed on the beach in Ibiza, surrounded by rose petals and candles. He in fact got down on one knee the weekend before in Blackpool. It was all fine until his best man mentioned the Blackpool proposal in the wedding speech…”

“I went on holiday to Mexico, however there were torrential rainstorms. I wanted everyone at work to think I was having the best time and to be jealous so I (stupidly!) used a Google picture of a beautiful sunset. It was only a couple of weeks later that I saw the exact picture hung up in the office building…oops.”

Holiday Exaggerations We Have Heard

“I told my friend at work I’d been to Laos, and he immediately informed me that it was too commercialised and that he usually goes to Maos – much more unspoilt. It was only when I googled it while planning my next trip abroad that I realised there was no such place! He had just been trying to one-up me.”

“There’s a guy at work we call ‘Better Brett’ because whenever you come back from a holiday he says he’s been to the same city, but went to much better attractions than you. If you went to a popular café, he went to a place that only locals go to. If you went to a beach, he went to a private island. You had a room, while he had a suite…in the best hotel. You get the picture!”

“My friend was definitely lying when she told me she had ‘lived’ in Paris for two years in a beautiful Parisian flat. At a BBQ her mum told me about the time she wanted to move to Paris but ended up being there for just two weeks, staying in a hostel and then coming back home when she caught a cold…’

Beyond Holidays

In the course of our research, we asked what else respondents fib about on social media. And it seems that exaggeration isn’t just reserved for the holidays. 

These are the things that people most often exaggerate about on social media:

  1. Holidays 31%
  2. Relationships 21%
  3. Friendships (looking popular)18%
  4. Career 16%
  5. Personal Achievements 14%

Getting to the Truth

So, it turns out that many of us exaggerate in all sorts of situations. Along with this, we’re usually aware when someone else tells a bit of a porky. So, what’s the best thing to do? Tell the truth at all times, of course. Failing that, do your research and make sure your made-up stories are absolutely watertight.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to bookmark our blog. It’s full of interesting travel articles – and that’s no lie.


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