Social media is jampacked with picture-perfect holiday snaps – but it’s worth taking these glossy posts with a pinch of salt.
That’s the message shared by a handful of TikTokers who have taken it upon themselves to reveal how some of the world’s most beloved holiday hotspots can be something of a letdown.
Their videos illustrate the idealised expectations they had for their trips and how they contrast with the reality of the getaway, thanks to everything from uber-crowded streets to horrendous weather.
Below are some of the most startling examples, from the Maldives to Mykonos…
A handful of TikTokers are revealing how some of the world’s most beloved holiday hotspots can be a letdown. Psychology student Beata Lexova shared a video showing what she expected from a trip to the Maldives (above)
Beata’s video shows the Maldives in July, in the middle of the country’s rainy season. She admits: ‘It was very rainy and windy all day all week’
When you think of the Maldives, blue skies and even bluer water might spring to mind.
But psychology student Beata Lexova, 21, shared a video showing how her visit to the famously tropical archipelago in the midst of its rainy season – which lasts from April to November – panned out. Her footage captures grey stormy skies, lashing rain and palm trees flapping in the intense wind on the isle of Kuramathi.
Beata tells MailOnline Travel that she was ‘expecting hot sunny days with relaxing time [spent] on the beach’ during her trip to Indian Ocean islands, but was ‘disappointed by the weather’. She admits: ‘It was very rainy and windy all day all week.’
Sharing some advice to travellers planning a trip of their own, she adds: ‘After my experience, I would only go to the Maldives during winter.’
Blogger Mandy van der Heide, who runs the travel blog Unlimited Passport with her boyfriend Daniel, shared an ‘expectations versus reality’ video from an October trip to the Maldives
The rainy season put a dampener on blogger Mandy’s travel plans in the Maldives. ‘We expected a paradise-like experience in the Maldives with crystal-clear waters and serene beaches,’ she says
Mandy admits that even though the rain ‘disrupted’ their plans, the islands’ beauty still ‘amazed’ her
At one point in Mandy’s video of the Maldives, the wind is so intense that she can be seen struggling to keep her umbrella up on the beach. The gale eventually knocks her over
Beata isn’t the only TikToker to have faced dismal weather in the Maldives. Blogger Mandy van der Heide shared a video showing how the rainy season put a dampener on her October trip to the Maldives. At one point in the clip, Mandy can be seen struggling to keep her umbrella up on the beach because the wind is so intense – and falling over on the sand seconds later.
The 26-year-old, who runs the travel blog Unlimited Passport with her boyfriend Daniel, tells MailOnline Travel: ‘We expected a paradise-like experience in the Maldives with crystal-clear waters and serene beaches.’ Unfortunately, they found that the rain ‘disrupted’ some of their plans.
Mandy was aware they hadn’t picked the optimum time to visit the islands. She says: ‘We took a last-minute deal and knew the rain season was about to end, but [hadn’t ended] yet.’
That said, the islands’ beauty still ‘amazed’ her, and the experience hasn’t put her off the archipelago. She says: ‘We’d love to explore more of the Maldives.’
THE PINK BEACH
Above is a stock photo of Elafonissi Beach, a beach in southwest Crete that’s famous for its pastel-pink sands
Gabriela Sokolova, who works at a travel agency, travelled to Elafonissi Beach and turned her camera in on the ‘pink’ sands. Her video shows how the sand is a watered-down shade of pink in real life, rather than the bright candyfloss hue that’s often shown in photographs
Gabriela admits that she expected the beach ‘would not be as pink’ as it appears in photographs before her visit, so she wasn’t disappointed by the reality of its sands
Gabriela Sokolova, who works at a travel agency, ventured to Elafonissi Beach, a beach in southwest Crete that’s famous for its pastel-pink sands, on a work trip. The beach gets its unusual colouring from the reddish-hued seashells that have been crushed on the shore, local travel site Creti reveals.
An ‘expectation versus reality’ video captured by Gabriela shows how the sand is actually a watered-down shade of pink in real life, rather than the vibrant candyfloss hue that’s often shown in photographs. The 23-year-old admits that she expected the beach ‘would not be as pink’ as it appears in photographs before her visit, so she wasn’t disappointed by the reality of its sands.
In the comments below, several commenters pointed out that the pink sands are depleting because tourists steal sand from the beach – even though it’s strictly prohibited. User ‘Ioanna’ wrote: ‘People take the sand in bottles although they are not allowed to.’ And ‘Nancy’ said: ‘There isn’t so much pink sand anymore because tourists take it with them inside bags.’
Another drawback to the beach, Gabriela admits, is that sunbeds are ‘quite expensive’. It costs around £17 (€20/$22) to rent one, she reveals. However, her overall impression was a good one, she says, noting: ‘It is a very nice place [that’s] worth visiting. The water is beautiful and clear.’
The isle of Mykonos, with its designer hotels and beach bars, is one of Greece’s most popular summer holiday destinations, but one TikTok video might put you off visiting the island by boat.
The ‘expectation versus reality’ clip, shared by Swedish TikToker Sofia Bontin, shows Sofia and her friends sailing towards the island in the summertime. Unfortunately, their boat can be seen tossing and turning on enormous waves, with the queasy-looking passengers on board strapped into life jackets.
Taking to the comment section on the video, which has gone viral on TikTok with more than two million views, TikToker ‘Fearless Fred’ remarked: ‘I’m surprised the skipper even agreed to take you to Mykonos in that weather.’
And user Lina pointed out that the Etesian winds blow over the Aegean Sea in the summer months, adding: ‘We call Mykonos “The Windy Island”… especially this season… it’s not really recommended for sailing!’ While ‘Motacilla’ commented: ‘For a true sailor, the reality looks better than the expectation.’
Italy’s picturesque towns and villages have lots of admirers – so many that it can lead to overcrowding in peak season, some TikTokers have found. One such TikToker is Sandra Gutmanaite, who shared footage (above) from her trip to Cinque Terre, a string of pretty villages on the Italian Riviera
Sandra says she was inspired to holiday in Cinque Terre as she had ‘seen it a lot on social media and travel magazines before’
Sandra visited Cinque Terre during peak season – the month of May. She was stunned to find she was ‘getting super claustrophobic with all the people in the small towns’
‘It was almost impossible to breathe,’ Sandra says of Cinque Terre. She had intended to visit all five villages in the region but left after the first
Italy’s picturesque towns and villages have lots of admirers – so many that it can lead to overcrowding in peak season, some TikTokers have found.
Website creator Sandra Gutmanaite, 23, was taken aback by the volume of tourists in Cinque Terre, a string of pretty villages on the Italian Riviera. An ‘expectations versus reality’ video she captured shows slow-moving queues and streets packed with people.
Sandra, who was living in Tuscany at the time of her visit, says she was inspired to holiday in Cinque Terre as she had ‘seen it a lot on social media and travel magazines before’.
She visited the region twice during the off-season and found there were ‘almost no people there’, but when she returned during peak season – the month of May – she was stunned to find she was ‘getting super claustrophobic with all the people in the small towns’.
Sandra says: ‘It was almost impossible to breathe. We were planning to visit all five towns, however, we left after the first [village], since it was unbelievably busy.’ The TikToker adds that she was ‘really disappointed’ to have made the journey.
Vicki Rutwind headed to Positano, a cliffside village on the Amalfi Coast, because she was inspired by the ‘beautiful images’ she’d seen of it online. ‘It looked like a magical place to visit in the summer,’ Vicki says of Positano
Vicki shared an eye-opening video of Positano’s crowded streets on TikTok. ‘The thing I found most disappointing was that it feels like you really can’t leave any room for spontaneity in Positano because it is so busy and popular,’ she says
Above is the queue snaking out of one of the Positano restaurants that Vicki visited
Meanwhile, content creator Vicki Rutwind, 39, headed to Positano, a cliffside village on the Amalfi Coast, because she was inspired by the ‘beautiful images’ she’d seen of it online. ‘It looked like a magical place to visit in the summer,’ she tells MailOnline Travel, adding: ‘I was expecting to visit a charming seaside town, where I’d spend my days relaxing at beach clubs and my evenings eating homemade pasta at restaurants with that iconic Positano view.’
However, its popularity meant that everywhere she wanted to visit was booked out.
The New York-based influencer, who shared an eye-opening video of the village’s crowded streets on TikTok, reveals: ‘The thing I found most disappointing was that it feels like you really can’t leave any room for spontaneity in Positano because it is so busy and popular. You need to plan out every element of your trip in advance.
‘That includes your hotel, every taxi you want to take, the beach clubs you want to visit, and where you want to have dinner each night. Everything books up. And even if you try to book things in advance, you may not even get the reservations you want, since Positano is so busy. We weren’t able to get reservations at any of the restaurants we wanted to try.’
While she says she’s likely to return in her capacity as a travel influencer, she says that next time, she’ll ‘have more realistic expectations and a better idea of how to plan [her] trip’.