Before "Lizzie McGuire" lied to us about what it's like to go abroad, we grew up watching Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's impromptu trips to Australia, the Bahamas, London, Paris and Rome. We blame the twins for setting the bar wayyy too high when it comes to world travel, and now we all have unrealistically high expectations about what it's like to explore new countries. Here's the deal:
LIE: Your parents will randomly surprise you with tickets to a far-off land.
In the movies: In "Passport to Paris," MK&A's parents -- OK, MK&A's characters' parents -- surprise them with tickets to the city of love for spring break. The parents' logic? Their daughters are a whopping 12 years old now, and it's about time they see the world.
IRL: Maybe you get surprise tickets to the amusement park for your birthday, but a spontaneous trip to Paris just because? That's a pretty impressive trip to get a 12-year-old.
LIE: Traveling is quick and painless.
In the movies: Before landing in Australia, MK&A jet around the world like it's NBD in "Our Lips Are Sealed." They have the help of the Witness Protection Program, of course, but still.
IRL: Connecting flights, rapidly changing ticket prices, flight delays and travel visas make globetrotting a huge headache, but it's all worth it once you finally arrive at your destination.
LIE: You have your own room on a family vacation.
In the movies: MK&A get their own private suite to kick back and relax in "Holiday in the Sun."
IRL: You sleep on a pull-out couch, a fold-up cot or a plain ol' sofa while your parents get the bed (as they should).
LIE: You can see [insert famous landmark here] from your hotel window.
In the movies: MK&A enjoy the view -- which includes Rome's famous Colosseum -- from their private bedroom's balcony in "When in Rome."
IRL: Again, you probs don't have a private bedroom. And even if you're lucky enough to have a room with some kind of view, it's likely nowhere near as beautiful as the one MK&A get to see.
LIE: Sightseeing is a breeze.
In the movies: Every famous palace/statue/museum/etc. is blissfully empty, and you can do things like have a baguette sword fight in front of the Eiffel Tower.
IRL: There are hundreds of people here. You've been waiting in line for three hours. This is SO not what you expected. :(
LIE: It's easy to make new friends.
In the movies: MK&A effortlessly find friends everywhere they go.
IRL: If you've ever been on vacay by yourself or if you don't have siblings to chill with during family trips, then you know how nerve-wracking it is to walk up to a complete stranger and say, "Hey, you look cool. Wanna hang out?"
LIE: There are a ton of equally hot guys available so you and your friends never fight over the same guy.
In the movies: MK&A's characters always pair off perfectly with two insanely cute boys.
IRL: There's one hot dude, and you're competing with a gazillion other girls to get his attention. Or the guy you're into isn't into you back. Or there are zero hot guys in sight. Whatever the scenario, vacation flings never work out as flawlessly as they do for MK&A.
LIE: Language barriers are cute, not annoying.
In the movies: MK&A are swept off their feet by two French boys, Michel and Jean. Michel speaks basically perfect English with a to-die-for accent, while Jean isn't quite as fluent at the language. Every time there's a miscommunication, the twins think it makes the boys even more adorable.
IRL: Communicating solely through gestures is entertaining for about a day, then it gets old. If you get lost and need directions, you'll wish you spent more time brushing up on the native language before boarding the plane.
LIE: You can gallivant around a foreign country with boys you just met.
In the movies: 12-year-olds MK&A ditch their chaperone to explore Paris on the back of Michel's and Jeans' Vespas. Casual.
IRL: The police have a search party out looking for you.
LIE: Surfing is super easy.
In the movies: When Ashley's character gets on a surfboard for the first time ever to impress the so-called popular kids at Australia's Manly Beach, she doesn't fall.
IRL: You fall.
LIE: You love the local cuisine.
In the movies: To fit in with the same gang of Australian kids, Mary-Kate's character tries Vegemite for the first time and ends up loving it.
IRL: Even if you love most of the country's cuisine, you likely encounter at least one food you'd rather do without. You also start to miss your comfort foods from back home. (To MK&A's defense, they do make a late night McDonald's run in "Passport to Paris" to satisfy their milkshake cravings.)
LIE: Money isn't a concern, because you get free stuff.
In the movies: After the twins get fired from their summer internship, the head of the company they just got fired from invites them to hang out rent-free in his private villa in Rome.
IRL: If you're fired from your international internship, your next stop is probably the airport -- so you can catch a flight back home. Staying in hostels costs money, and you need a job to get that cash. Womp.
LIE: You meet royalty or someone famous.
In the movies: Mary-Kate's character is standing in a hotel lobby with toilet paper stuck to her shoe when she casually meets the son of an English noble.
IRL: The only way you brush shoulders with someone remotely famous is if you battle your way through their bodyguards. Good luck with that.