Feel like your vacations aren't as fabulous as your friends'? This study is for you.

People love to talk about their amazing vacations, but research shows that many of them are lying.

Ever feel like those Instagram and Facebook posts of picture-perfect places and epically awesome experiences may not be telling the whole story? You're probably right. Research conducted by flight-comparison site JetCost.com found that a good portion of Americans are blatantly dishonest about their vacations.


Of 4000 people surveyed, a full two-thirds admitted to lying about some aspect of their trips, mostly about weather, accommodations, and the number of attractions they visited, TravelPulse reported. About a quarter of Americans also lied about the amount of alcohol they consumed, and 21% lied about how much money they spent while traveling.

In perhaps the most telling statistics, 68 percent reported they had told someone they enjoyed their vacation more than they did, and 52 percent said that they wouldn't tell anyone if their trip was a disaster.

Why do so many Americans feel the need to lie about their travels?

Keeping up with the Joneses is not a new phenomenon, but social media is adding new pressure.

With the advent of social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, more people are sharing more stories and photos with more people than ever before. And when we tack on the filters and editing tools that make our photos into fantasies, and it's not hard to understand why people feel pushed to exaggerate.

But this survey seems to show that some people are going beyond a bit of hyperbole. Sadly, a full 10 percent of respondents admitted to posting a fake picture on social media to make it look like their vacation was better than it really was.

Why are people so embarrassed by reality that they would never admit to a disastrous vacation and feel the need to post fake photos?

The truth is that no one's social media posts or photo albums tell the full story of a vacation.

Even those of us who don't feel the need to lie about our travels don't usually share the full truth. But maybe we should start.

A few years ago, I wrote about how the photos from our awesome family road trip didn't tell the whole story. While the trip overall really was fantastic, it wasn't without mishaps. Kids bickered and whined. Some places were annoyingly crowded. I practically froze to death in our tent one night. There were long, boring parts that didn't deserve to be documented.

When all we see are the curated highlights from other people's vacations, it's easy to think there's something wrong with ours when we experience the inevitable imperfect moments of traveling. But we also need to reject the idea that our worth is wrapped up in what other people think of our vacations. Travel should be experienced and enjoyed for its own sake, not for the approval of our neighbors and friends.

As a Jet Cost spokesperson told TravelPulse:

“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. 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."
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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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