Stunning ocean snaps and romantic city photographs are all over Instagram, but it turns out a handful of these enviable images may be fake.
Fake It 'Til You Make It?
People who can't afford a luxury vacation abroad can simply digitally insert themselves into the world's most famous destinations without ever having step foot outside their houses.
Nebraska-based company Fake A Vacation will even do it for people who cannot do it themselves. For as low as $20 for a Las Vegas package on sale, clients can have themselves superimposed onto fake backdrops in the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, and other travel hotspots.
"They fake it ... sometimes because the actual vacation is too expensive, so they plan this way or sometimes they do it to get others envious," Tom Eda, marketing and support lead for Fake A Vacation, tells New York Post. He adds that some clients decide to fake their vacation pictures after having to cancel their trips at the last minute.
Eda explains that the need for fake photos increased with the upsurge of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
Surveys Reveal Faking Vacations Is Already Quite Common
It may appear unbelievable, but faking vacations is already a trend in social media. A new study by Jet Cost surveyed more than 4,000 adults from the United States, revealing that 10 percent of the respondents have already posted fake travel photos on their social media accounts.
"Even though it is probably more common than not in the U.S. to have not holidayed abroad, Americans are clearly still feeling the need to appear as if they have traveled," a spokesperson from Jet Cost explains. "With the modern pressures of social media, people feel as if they have to prove themselves to others, which is a shame — but life isn't a competition and just because someone says they've done something, doesn't mean you're less of a person for not having done it."
In the same survey by Jet Cost, researchers found that of the 27 percent who have traveled internationally, 61 percent of those have exaggerated about their experiences, whether it's about the weather, accommodations, or sightseeing.
Previous surveys also point to this growing trend.
In 2017, a survey by LearnVest shows more than 33 percent of men and 26 percent of women have posted faux vacation images on social media to make it appear as if they're somewhere more expensive than they actually were.
Overall, 30 percent of Americans reported doing the same, but the number spikes among millennials with 56 percent of the generation engaging in this particular behavior.