An heiress who splurges on five-star-holidays several times a year has been brought down to earth with a bang during a no-frills camping trip with a family-of-four in Wales.
Melissa, 21, from Kent, who lives a sheltered life financed by her wealthy father, features in tonight’s Rich Kids Go Skint On Holiday, where she swaps her usual exotic breaks for a trip with the Male family.
Pam and Graham Male, their daughter Anne-Marie, 23, and her son Jayden, three, from Walsall, saved four months to afford the holiday, which costs £36 a night, but Melissa is unimpressed.
‘When I heard camping I was like “Ugh, can I just turn back and not even bother,”‘ she says.
Things go from bad to worse for Melissa, who struggles to put up her tent, is kept awake most of the night by the rain, and is horrified by the communal showers, branding the idea a ‘disaster and a nightmare’.
Rich heiress Melissa, 21, from Kent, is used to five-star holidays in exotic locations but will have to make do with a camping trip on Rich Kids’ Skint Holidays. Pictured: Melissa, right, standing in front of the Male family, from left to right, Anne-Marie, 23, Jayden, three, Pam and Graham flying a kite
Melissa could not believe the Males were taking her camping, and didn’t know how to put her tent up (pictured)
The heiress, who has just finished her BA in drama performance, is currently jobless, enjoying a life of leisure sponsored by her parents.
She often goes on shopping sprees, buying clothes and accessories, and once splashed out £2,500 on Christian Louboutin shoes.
Melissa’s holidays consist of flying first class to exotic destinations and expensive activities, such as jet-skiing, renting yachts and spa treatments.
She believes that ‘a holiday in the UK is not a holiday,’ and usually flies to exotic destinations with her family and friends.
Melissa’s luxury lifestyle is financed by her parents. As well as luxurious holidays she spends a lot of her time on shopping sprees
Anne-Marie, holding Jayden, Graham, Pam and Melissa pose with a donkey during a farm visit near the camping site
There, she rewards herself with champagne, expensive cocktails, spa treatments and social outings.
But Pam, Graham and their family are convinced that Melissa can enjoy herself on a budget and take her on their camping trip.
When the couple finally pull up at the camping site, Melissa looks skeptical: rain is pouring down and she does not look overly enthusiastic.
Melissa takes two hours to get ready in the morning and will buy £2,500 of shoes in one shopping trip
‘I think she’s gonna realise from this holiday that you can have fun on a budget,’ says a hopeful Pam.
‘It’s about making those memories, not buying those memories.’
But the ordeal is just beginning for Melissa, who struggles to put up her tent while a storm rages on.
Wet from the rain and not excited by the idea of sleeping in the damp, Melissa is very disheartened come night time.
Avid campers Graham and Pam are experts are putting up their tent, even while a storm rages on
Melissa proves clueless when it comes to putting up the tent and struggles until Graham and Pam jump to her rescue
Melissa has to make do with the tent, but says she can’t sleep properly under the rain and on the floor
‘On my usual holiday, I’d be in the sun, not stressed out – it’s a bit difficult,’ she says.
After a long night of tossing and turning, where Melissa manages to get two to three hours of sleep, it’s time for a shower.
But Melissa is not excited about that prospect either, and explains that on a ‘normal’ holiday she would have her room cleaned three times a day.
‘A communal shower is a disaster and a nightmare put together for me,’ she says.
‘You can just see the mess and the dirt,’ she adds.
However, braving the insects populating the corner of the shower, Melissa gets started on her morning routine, which she says can take up to two hours.
Melissa takes the family to the beach and she shares an intimate moment with Pam, as the two women walk along the shore
The young woman takes so much time getting ready that a worried Pam comes to see her, in fear of ‘not getting anything done.’
‘When we go camping we try to cram the activities in and I’m just worried we’re nt gonna have the time to do it,’ she explains to Melissa.
Pam and her family are renting a patch of grass for their tents, which costs £36 a night. The family can’t afford to rent one of the chalets that are on site, which go for £126 a night.
Even the camp’s snack bar’s £5 meal are out of the question, as Pam can only spend £30 a day for her whole family.
Jayden can only play in the outdoor areas, which are free, and will have to make due with a mended broken kite, as the new ones cost too much.
‘I’ve never really had to think about money in this way before,’ Melissa admits, ‘ what I spend on a Starbucks they probably spend on trying to get a meal together,’ she adds.
Melissa said she didn’t want to bother before the family took her camping, but got on with them very well
As the two women get to know each other, it becomes clear that Melissa’s expensive ways are miles away from Pam’s.
The young heiress admits the most expensive champagne she’s ever had cost about £2,000.
‘Wow, really… My wedding cost that,’ exclaims Pam, causing Melissa to cringe.
Melissa then explains her next holiday will be a five star hotel in Amsterdam.
‘Can anybody justify spending that amount and have any better time than I can have for the little bit of money that been spent here?’ Pam comments.
‘What we don’t have financially we can create with human laughter,’ Pam tells Melissa over lunch.
The young heiress is shocked to hear how long it took for the family to save for their camping adventure.
Melissa taking a selfie with a donkey. The heiress said she felt bad that the family had to save for so long to afford their camping trip
Pam wants to show Melissa that she can have fun without spending money, and teaches her to create memories instead
‘Four months to pay for a holiday, going camping is actually very shocking,’ she says while doing the dishes.
‘I didn’t realise it had taken them that long,’ she adds.
‘I’m very happy that we had that talk because it’s opened my eyes.
‘People who think money is everything are not experienced in the true value of life,’ Pam says wisely.
As the family go on a fishing trip on their last day, Melissa indulges in a selfie on the boat (pictured)
In order to challenge Melissa’s budgeting abilities, Pam tasks her with organising a full day of activities for the whole family, and ingredients for their dinner for only £30.
And while she sets up with good hopes of finding a fun activity for Jayden to enjoy, Melissa is disheartened to find the family cannot afford most of the outings offered by the camping site’s neighbouring businesses.
‘I think I didn’t really realise just how lucky we were to sort of, have these things,’ Melissa explains, getting emotional.
But the young woman comes around, and eventually gets the family down to the beach.
It’s revealed at the end of the episode that Melissa is still in contact with Pam and her family (pictured)
The group builds some sand castle with a £2.50 bucket Melissa purchased from the gift shop. Jayden is treated to an ice-cream and Melissa indulges as well, which costs her £16, which baffles Pam, who says she could get her grocery shop for that much.
They then head to the Snowdonia National Park for a walk and encounter some donkeys, and Melissa redeems herself with the free activity.
With 12 pounds left in hand, Melissa has to purchase the family’s dinner.
She opts for a pasta, and manages to buy the meal and dessert for £9.
The next day, the whole gang goes fishing, and Pam reels in the catch of the day before getting a mud mask from Melissa.
However, the ‘relaxing,’ turns into a mud fight when Pam playfully throws it at her guest’s face.
At the end of the experience, Melissa and the family part as friends, and the heiress says she wants to change some things in her life, as she’s realised that she had had a fantastic time away from all her luxuries.
It’s revealed at the end of the episode that Melissa has kept in contact with Pam and her family, and that the heiress has learned to help her parents at home.