Why You’re Not Failing At Life If You Don’t Go On A Fancy AF Holiday

This post is totally spontaneous. I was in the middle of finishing off a draft I’ve had saved for ages, when I stopped (a.k.a. was distracted) and had a cursory scroll through Instagram. Cue an onslaught of snaps from L.A., the Maldives, Las Vegas, a private beach in Thailand; they all looked incredible – as did the girls in them – but I was suddenly struck by how inaccessible most of these destinations are.

Let’s be upfront. Bloggers are often offered complimentary or discounted trips in exchange for coverage, the likes of which is intended to encourage new customers to book into wherever that destination may be. Only a few weeks ago I was sunning it up in Corfu, having been offered a hotel room and half-board for three days in return for a blog post and social uploads. I want to establish early on that I’m not bashing the girls that accept these trips in any way – if somebody offered me a plane ticket to Bora Bora tomorrow, I would take it in a heartbeat. It’s part of the blogging industry, and who the heck wouldn’t want to go on a complimentary trip?!

Instead, I just want to bring attention to the fact that, for most people in their twenties, a trip to the Maldives is a big fucking deal. It’s a once-in-a-blue-moon, I’ve-been-saving-for-this-fucker-for-ages kind of trip. It’s not a boozy weekend in Magaluf or a one night stay in Paris (both of which can actually get pretty pricey, tbh) – it’s a huge expense.

Top – Zara (Stradivarius dupe here)
Bag – Zara (La Redoute alternative here)
Jeans – New Look
Shoes – ASOS
Earrings – ASOS

And we all have normal shit to pay for. Rent, a mortgage, boring bills, eating out, our phones, our computers, food – the list goes on. Saving for a holiday on top of saving for your life or even trying to pay off that credit card you blitzed during uni is difficult, and all too often social media can not only glamorize certain destinations, but also bypass just how inaccessible they are. Mad props to you if you can afford to hit up Bora Bora every year, but you’re not failing at life if you can’t.

Maybe you visit Benidorm every August with your family. That’s normal, that’s fine. Maybe you do a couple of city breaks instead of one huge two-weeker. That’s normal, that’s fine. Maybe you don’t go on holiday because right now, you can’t afford it. That’s normal, that’s fine. Holidays are a luxury  and I think that’s all too quickly forgotten. They’re a special treat and sometimes you can’t afford said special treat – that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

Even now, with two jobs and at 23 years of age, I would still honestly still feel anxious about dropping over a grand on a holiday. And my worries may sound silly to some people, because I’ve bought two designer handbags, both of which would have paid for nice and extravagant holidays – bags last for a long time, but memories last forever, right? I know the line of thought and I get why big holidays are a big deal, it’s just a world away from the way I was brought up.

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My family never went on big trips abroad when I was younger. Instead we went to Scotland with my grandparents or Yorkshire to stay on a working dairy farm (THE.BEST.FUN.EVER. My Mum even helped deliver a calf!). In fact, I didn’t go abroad until I was 17, when myself, my two best friends and my brother went with his best friend to stay in his Dad’s Spanish villa, all of which I paid for out of my Sainsbury’s salary and, let’s be real, the accommodation was free anyway.

I say this because when I see these glamorous destinations popping up time and time again on my Instagram theme, I’m reminded of how far away reality can often be from social media. There’s no doubt about it – a fancy holiday in some far-off, exotic location is undoubtedly incredible, and if that’s accessible to you, then good god please continue and let us live vicariously through you.

But if you can’t, no worries. Your success or your happiness is not defined by how far-flung your holiday spot is, or how cool the restaurants are or how hipster your grainy shots can be. If the furthest you can make it is your garden for a series of boozy BBQs, then keep on living your best life, girl. There’s no rush. The world is your oyster, and if and when you’re able to explore it, then it will be waiting.

  • totally reading this with a nodding head saying yes gurl! I'm the same in that I would 100% take on these holidays given the chance, but the thought of ever paying for it is well beyond my means! One day I'd love to get on the eurostar to France and just see how far I can get for as little money as possible!

    laura | roseandweston.blogspot.co.uk

  • Really love this post! You're absolutely right! And most probably the country you live in (even round the corner from your house) has some absolute gems of views and beaches and areas that are almost just as good as a lot of foreign sites (it just seems like they're better because of how far away they are and how much money they cost to visit – and perhaps the weather, yeh England sucks at that!)

    I'm so lucky that both my parents work in travel and so I've been fortunate enough to visit some absolutely incredible places, and the thought of me not being 'a child' anymore, therefore reaping all these benefits for free and having to save for years for one of these trips is quite heart shuddering – but as you said, if you've got the wanderlust, the world will be waiting!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

  • I adore this post. It is so refreshing to be reminded that social media isn't always a true reflection of where most people are at. I feel lucky enough to be spending 47 hours in Barcelona this month and with a mortgage and bills, I have had to save for that!

    Truly thank you for this post, it's put me in a great mood for a Monday. xx

  • Another great post Chloe – glad you went with the spontaneous idea and wrote about this, because it's so good to hear someone talk about about how unattainable some of these trips are for many people. Of course anyone would take the opportunity to visit a fantastic destination for free (I know I would anyway), and good on those that do, but travel can be really, really expensive when you're working a standard 9-5 and have rent, bills, petrol etc to pay for, and actually it can be hard to realise it doesn't mean you're not successful when you see people on social media doing the things you can't afford to. Bloody love your writing!
    Sophie xxx | Sophar So Good

  • Thanks for this post! I have to avoid travel blogs because I always feel pants that I can't do those things and that I can't take my kids on all these family holidays. Saving up for a weekend by the sea is a big deal for us lol. But thanks for this post, seriously. It's reassuring to read. We all have different means and it's easy to forget that most of us aren't jetting off around the world all the time.

    Beccah xx

  • YES. All of this. So flippin' true, there is so much travel all over my feed – most likey 80% are press trips which are awesome, but it isn't an attainable lifestyle for most people! You gotta cherish what you have, a weekend away in our lil Spanish flat is better than nada! Immy x


  • Amen girl – Absolutely love how honest you are in your posts! I didn't go on my first abroad holiday until I was 19 and that was with a group of my friends. Me and my family always went away to Wales for 2 weeks but as a child that held some of my best memories. As you say, the world is your oyster and we're only young – We have plenty of time to explore it!

    Toni x

  • Love this post!

    I am going to New York in 2 weeks and it has cost me so much money, I haven't been able to save for anything else for MONTHS!

    In a way i'm excited to come back so I can just have money again haha.

    Maya xx



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