Ah holidays. They’re the best, aren’t they? The sun, the sand, the living as though you won’t have to go home and back to work in a week…

Problem is, there’s just times in life where sadly, you can’t justify another jaunt away.

So, what do you do? Breakdown? Whinge to your friends until they start avoiding you in the street? Start constructing an intricate web of lies to fool both yourself and others that you are in fact on holiday?

Actually, that last one could work...

1 The travel toiletries ruse

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This is a very easy way to start your grand self-delusion. Simply purchase a basketful of mini travel toiletries, throw out all your regular bottles, and place your new additions sparingly around your bathroom. To fully commit to the vision your bathroom should be primarily white with the occasional splash of colour such as aqua-marine and it should also have a single photo of seagull.

Remember, when your ‘holiday’ is done, sneak all the left-over travel toiletries into your handbag.

2 The washing machines trick

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This is a good one for taking your holiday fantasy to the outside world. Simply get your significant other to photograph you leaning against the washing machine window and staring into it wistfully.

Next, fire up the computer, because this is where the fun starts.

 Simply crop your photo so all traces of washing machinery are gone and then add a view from a plane to the remaining ‘window’ part of your image. Voila! Post it on Facebook with some deceitful sentiment about holiday excitement and prepare for all your friends to be suitably jealous.

3 Holiday toes and flip flops

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This is an easy, quick-fix method to feeling more in the holiday zone. All you have to do is break out the most garish of your nail polishes (most of which will be drying up and remnants from younger days and questionable fashion choices) and apply a somewhat tacky coat of neon yellow, lime, orange, whatever to your awaiting toes. Then jam those gloriously colourful tootsies into your less than best flip-flops and wham, you’re in holiday mode.

4 Whack up the heating

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This is if you prefer holidays to hot locations, Spain sunbathing, Greece snorkelling, etc. Just turn that heating dial, break out your bikini and parade around your house accordingly humming ‘we’re all going on a summer holiday’.

5 Turn down the heating

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If you’re someone who enjoys snowboarding holidays, turn the heating off, put on a jumper and put your ironing board and staircase to good use. Please note, the success rates of this are astonishingly low so it's probably best avoided. 

6 Wear loud and obnoxious clothes you only seem daring enough to wear when abroad

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No one knows why, but some things can only be worn abroad. Somehow, the idea that you won’t know anyone and will only be around for a week or two makes your inner extrovert launch out and suddenly you’re wearing things that you wouldn’t dream of trying out in your regular life.

Shirts so loud you need ear protectors to wear them. Dresses in colours that make people wince. Garments with tassels and frills that seem to be summer wardrobe staples and yet drive you up the wall.

Well, it’s time to break all those terrible yet glorious glad rags out and rediscover your holiday look. Remember, this is an all or nothing approach to pretending to be on holiday, and only by engaging with the narrative fully will you reap the wonderful rewards.

7 Put on a YouTube video of sea sounds

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Honestly you can get hours of gentle wave noises, seagulls and the occasional middle-aged man yelling ‘oi, that’s my sun lounger!’, right on YouTube. Just hit play on that baby and sit back, close your eyes, and hey-presto, you’re on the beach.

8 Break out the beloved holiday reads you're ashamed of

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Time to dust off the holiday reads you always pretend you’re too good for. You know the ones we mean, the romances with a hint of supernatural to them, the autobiographies that all end up in bargain bins for £1 and the scandalous books that are less about literature and more about cheap thrills…

My top tip? When I read these types of books (on holiday or otherwise) I always switch the book jacket for something considered more highbrow, you know, Sense and Sensibility or Fashion For Dummies.

9 Enjoy some cocktails with lunch

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It’s always happy hour somewhere and when on holiday, cocktails start at lunchtime. Thus, to pretend you’re on holiday, we recommend you invest in the ingredients for Pina Colada (and don’t tell me you aren’t a fan, it’s not allowed) as well as some fancy glasses and little umbrellas. Oh and after glass or two, don’t forget to tip yourself and offer a cheeky wink to complete the real holiday experience.

10 Make use of your inflatable pool

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There’s nothing that screams holiday more than hanging out poolside, and for those of you who aren’t lucky enough to own the real deal, we suggest you drag out the kid’s inflatable pool and get yourself in it pronto. Make sure to wear your sunglasses and occasionally shake your empty champagne glass at the cat while calling out

‘I say, pour us another would you darling?’

It will feel exactly like you’re on holiday. Except the cat will definitely not return with the bottle (but it will give you a look of contempt) and the fickle UK weather will likely mean you’re sat in a pool in the rain.

11 Indulge in holiday food in the classic holiday way

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Gelato for breakfast, Tapas for tea, whatever crazy food antics you get up to abroad, be sure to replicate them at home to continue your self-made denial. Eating out at a new restaurant daily will maintain the pretence especially well, as well as trying to ask for dishes in their native language and failing miserably. At which point, it’s advisable to go “full tourist” and point while speaking in English loudly. Trust us, nothing will make you feel less at home than when you’re showing a certain level of ignorance.

12 Spend money as though you are infinitely wealthy

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You know how it is on holiday, it’s like you’re in possession of not only Monopoly money-but in fact the entire Monopoly bank. Replicate this sense of financial flippancy by buying whatever you like whenever you like, all the while telling yourself that you NEED another straw hat and those snail salt and pepper pots are a MUST.

13 Put a ‘tour guide’ uniform on the dog so you feel like you have helpful staff around

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This works best on sensible-looking dogs like golden retrievers and collies but there’s plenty of others you can try it on. Just fit your pooch with an appropriate uniform (a hat is a must) as well as a name tag with words such as “Happy to help!” on it and you have yourself a tour guide.

Next, walk around your home or garden (in flip flops of course) while nodding at your ornaments and plants and murmuring ‘fascinating’ as though you’re looking around a museum or ancient ruins. Occasionally comment to your dog how interesting everything is and assume their wagging tail is delighted agreement.

14 Lather on the sun cream like there’s no tomorrow

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All the time, all over. Just lather it on and bask in the glorious coconut aroma that is pure holiday 101.

15 Fake (tan) it 'till you make it

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We all want to look a little sun-kissed on holiday, so it stands to reason that when you can’t go on holiday, you should take faking it until you make it to a whole new level.

All you have to do is buy some form of moisturiser with a hint of tan and you’ll be looking like a wotsit in no time. Or, if you’re like me and merely adopt an unhappy pink tone while on holiday (interspersed with freckles), simply water down beetroot juice and apply liberally.

And bingo, it’s like you’re in sunny Span.

16 Maintain the lie

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Remember the photoshop trick with the washing machine? Well now it’s time for what I like to call ‘holiday deceit maintenance’. You can’t stop at uploading alleged pre-holiday photos, oh no, you’ve set a precedence that now demands to be kept up.

Happily, it’s easy. All you have to do is start adding yourself to group shots via Photoshop in beautiful locations, before uploading them to Twitter with hashtags like #makingmemories and #wanderlust.

It’s also important to not be spotted in the supermarket by neighbours while simultaneously posting yourself with good looking Shutterstock people in Barbados, as this can somewhat break the illusion.

And there we have it, pretending to be on holiday is easier than ever so why not try it?

If, however you feel this is a morally questionable or something of an unhealthy coping mechanism, you could always do the deed for real.

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Take a look at all our holiday properties and save yourself (as well as your concerned dog and confused neighbours) from all the faff of pretending.