1 in 5 Britons Lie About How Well Travelled They Are

New research of more than 2,000 people by an online travel agency in the UK has revealed that 21% of adults from the UK lie about how well travelled they; over exaggerating the number of places they’ve been and seen. The most common reasons for lying about past travel experiences were revealed to be ‘to seem more interesting’ and ‘to compete with others’.

As many as one fifth of adults in Britain admit to lying about how well travelled they are; with ‘work colleagues’ the most likely to be lied to in terms of holiday fibs. According to new research, 5% of individuals in the UK have also played down their travel and holiday experiences, with the top reason for this being stated as ‘not wanting to seem like a show off’.

The team at online travel agency www.sunshine.co.uk conducted the research in order to find out more about the holiday experiences of British adults; this time focusing on whether or not lies are ever told about the matter of travel. A total of 2,023 people aged 18 an over from around the UK took part in the study.

First of all, everyone taking part was asked ‘Have you ever lied about how well travelled you are (e.g. over exaggerating the number of places you’ve visited or saying you’ve been somewhere you haven’t)?’ A total of 21% of the respondents said ‘yes’. These people were then asked who they had lied to in the past about this topic (they could select more than one answer if they had lied to multiple people), revealing the following top five answers:

  1. Work colleagues – 47%
  2. Stranger – 38%
  3. Partner – 19%
  4. Friends – 15%
  5. Relatives – 9%

When the relevant respondents were asked why they had lied about and over exaggerated their travel experience, the majority of people (47%) admitted that it was so they could ‘seem more interesting’; whilst 24% revealed that their motive for lying was ‘to compete with others’. 12% admitted they ‘didn’t know’ why they had lied. 38% of the people who had lied were later caught out and had to confess to their dishonesty.

A further 5% of the total respondents admitted that they had done the opposite and had actually downplayed the number of places they had been or the destinations they had visited. When asked why they felt the need to do this, 64% said it was because they didn’t want to ‘seem like a show off’.

Anyone who had lied about their previous travel experiences (in the sense that they had said they’d been somewhere that they hadn’t) was asked to name the places they had lied about. The most likely places for people to say they’ve visited when they actually haven’t were revealed to be ‘Thailand’ (12%), ‘USA’ (9%) and ‘Australia’ (7%).

Chris Clarkson, Managing Director of www.sunshine.co.uk, said the following about the findings:

“Lying about where you’ve been or seen in the world is a risky game to play. What if you tell someone you’ve been to Sydney, for instance, and the person you’re telling has been there too and wants to get into an in-depth conversation about what you did when you were there? People are bound to get caught out when telling fibs about travel.

“Personally, I think it’s quite sad that some people lie about their travel experiences. It probably, in part, stems from a desire for them to get out and actually see the places they are lying about having visited. All we can say is that through a bit of dedicated saving and good planning, there’s nothing to say you won’t ever be able to visit the places you want to go. Just don’t start telling people you’ve been there before you actually have!”

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