People say the summer holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. Newsflash: those people are

  1. a) rich, or
  2. b) liars

Everyone knows that summer is a time for crying about your $13 bank balance, enrolling in the units you failed last semester and avoiding questions about your love life.

Worst of all, you have to open your phone and scroll through endless photos of your mates going on Europe trips with their ‘significant others’. Well I say, enough is enough. You have just as much of a right to make people feel jealous, poor and lonely as the next person.

In just 20 simple steps, you can learn how to trick everyone into thinking that you’re on a flashy European holiday, when, in fact, you’re lying in bed binging Netflix.

  1. Download Duolingo

The first rule of holiday faking? ‘You can’t walk the walk if you don’t talk the talk’. If you can’t flaunt your worldliness by correctly saying words like Worcestershire and bruschetta, then your ruse will be ruined quicker than you can say Schutzhaftlagerführer!

You could learn Spanish, which is not only foreign and sexy, but could also be used to acquire a Spanish pen pal, whose name is – for example – Eduardo.

 

  1. Get your sister’s boyfriend to illegally put Photoshop on your laptop

Ethan, if you’re reading this, thanks. This gift from Adobe is your one stop photo-shop to deceiving all your social media followers. Three Youtube tutorials and/or a gruelling semester of COMMS1002 later, and you’ll be Photoshopping like a pro.

 

  1. Photoshop yourself into all those financially unrealistic destinations!

Here are some examples that I have put together for you to gain inspiration:

 

Figure 1: Lifestyle co-editor Ava Cadee and her genuinely smiling boyfriend on the coast of Italy.

Figure 2: Co- Head Editor Sophie Minissale taking a selfie with her Dad or Uber Driver [Note: Choose one] in front of The Louvre in Paris, France.

Figure 3: Lifestyle co-editor Eloise Skoss looking at the financial crisis disappearing over the horizon in Santorini, Greece.

4. Realise you are quite bad at Photoshop

Maybe that seven minute tutorial and a 54% in COMMS1002 didn’t make you as good as you thought. Nonetheless, your 55-year-old aunty comments ‘safe travels xx’ and ‘Don’t drink too much LOL!’ on your photoshopped posts with the naiveté of a baby gazelle. But some of your younger friends are getting suspicious that you may just be lying in bed watching Netflix.

5. Acquire a Spanish pen pal, potentially called Eduardo

Trust me, he will come in handy later. Just work on building a rapport. I hope you’ve been practicing your Duolingo lessons.

6. Use the Hotdogs or Legs? Trick.

Time to employ a little technique that’s been deceiving since 2013. No photo editing skills necessary! This will stop those pesky Gen Z friends sticking their noses where they don’t belong. All you need is some hotdogs and/or legs, and a picture of a beach.

Figure 4: Two hotdogs OR two legs – let the people decide. #democracy 

7. Make a Facebook album called ‘Europeeeee 2019’

Make sure there’s an extra ‘E’ for every day that you’ve spent cooped up in your room neglecting your New Year’s Resolutions in an unmovable state of post-Christmas lethargy.

8. Keep practicing Duolingo.

I really cannot stress the importance of this enough. You are going to struggle talking to your pen pal, possibly named Eduardo, if your Spanish is mierda.

9. Order Uber Eats from that one Italian place

You know that one place, it has ‘La’ at the front. Order yourself some pizza, linguini and gelato so you can taste Italy from the comfort of your very own home! Make sure you post it on your Insta story with the heart eye slider and the Italian flag emoji.

10. Ignore the Facebook friend request from your estranged father

Of course he waits until you’re finally happy, on vacation, and deceiving all the people you care about to try and re-enter your life. Typical. He even has the audacity to wow react your ‘Europeeeee 2019’ album!

11. Ask your pen pal Eduardo to send postcards to your older family members

The good news is, most of your close family and friends are completely fooled. They think you’re exploring England and sipping mimosas on the Santorini shores. But yesterday your Gran rang, wondering why you haven’t come to visit in three weeks. Time to call in a favour with Eduardo and ask him to send Spanish postcards to your grandparents.

12. Broaden your Tinder settings

A foreign fling is a must on any European getaway. Just widen the definition of ‘foreign’ to include 65-year-old Greek men living 150 kilometres south of the river. Make sure you get pics together too, social media presence is EVERYTHING.

13. Send Eduardo $7600 for postage and handling

I know it seems like a lot for four postcards, but you and Eduardo are besties, and your Spanish has improved to no end since he started adding you into group calls with his friends from the Sinaloa Cartel, which he said is a taco business he runs.

14. Wait 7-10 business days.

 15. Get a phone call saying that a package with your name on it from Spain was stopped from entering Australia.

That’s odd, maybe Eduardo accidentally sent me his tacos! Haha, classic Eduardo.

16. Get arrested by the police for drug smuggling.

This is all a big misunderstanding! Tell the police about Eduardo and his Sinaloa Cartel and explain the whole taco-strophe!

17. Get sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Eduardo hasn’t responded to your last 3 letters. Did you say something to upset him? Did you translate it wrong? GODDAMN IT I TOLD YOU TO KEEP PLAYING DUOLINGO AND NOW YOU HAVE LOST THE ONE PERSON YOU TRUSTED! La has cagado this time, ombre.

18. Spend your first two years in prison writing Eduardo more letters, studying Spanish books and getting good at Photoshop.

You’re up to South-East Asia in fake holiday destination photoshopping. Nan got Facebook and is commenting, sharing and love reacting every new pic. At night you kneel in your cell and pray to the Duolingo owl, hoping it forgives you for learning Spanish by hand.

19. Realise that Eduardo is a drug-lord and was just using you this whole time, but then abandoned you when things got tough, and thereby reopen old wounds from childhood about your estranged father.

 20. Escape jail, fake your own death, get a new identity and passport, and illegally emigrate to Bulgaria.

You faked it ‘til you made it my friend. Welcome to the Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria. Enjoy relaxing, eating, and being on the run from Australian, Spanish and Bulgarian authorities. This is what European holiday dreams are made of! Too bad Duolingo doesn’t offer lessons in Bulgarian…

Words by Jessica Carbone
@jess_carbone
Jessica is a self-proclaimed amateur ‘photoshopper’ and conspiracy theorist