The Illusion of Savings

So I just finished a 10-day Mediterranean cruise with my family. A great time was had by all, and along the way, I’ve observed and learned a couple of things about human behaviours, including my own.

The biggest myth about vacationing on a cruise is that it’s “all inclusive”. That’s how they are being advertised. I have cruised before, so I knew we would still be spending money on the ship, such as alcoholic beverages, land excursions, etc. What fascinated me though was the way the cruise company entices you to over spend while thanking them for “saving you money”!

RCL_soda-packageUpon arrival and throughout the first couple of days, we were greeted with endless “money-saving packages”. For example: All-Inclusive Beverage Packages that range from $20/pp/day with unlimited soda, juice, tea, coffee, water to $65/pp/day with unlimited soda, juice, beer, wine (up to $12 value), cocktails (up to $10), etc. Really?! Yes, I’m on vacation, so I may be in the mood for a couple of mojitos ($6.50 if bought individually) and a couple of glasses of wine, but to spend $65 a day on beverage per person! I would really need to get myself drunk to make the package “worthwhile”.

RCL-winepackageAt dinner time, we were once again presented with Wine Packages: $199 for 5 bottles, which isn’t too bad strictly speaking. But my husband and I decided to do a test to see if the packages would actually save us money. We opted to not take the package, and just order whatever wine we felt like having. At the end, what we consumed came out to be about the same as the package price. The big difference though is without the bondage of a package deal, we were free to choose whatever we felt like having, meaning we were consuming at our “normal” spending level. It also means we would need to over-spend to make the package deal worthwhile.

And then, there was more with Spa Packages, Photo Packages, the offerings were just never-ending. It was amazing to see how many people signed up for those beverage packages! Clearly, they are playing on the psychology of when people are on vacation, most people don’t want to be bothered with counting their money nor entertain the idea of doing break-even analysis.

There was a second element in the marketing psychology which we eventually fell for after 9 days of fending-off temptations, and that is the logic of “if I spend just a little more, I can get it all”. On the last day, we opted for the All-Photos Package! Alas, even with the vigilance of a money coach, we still became the willing prey.

I must say, “The Force Is Strong”! Lesson learned? We shall be vigilant and keep the guard up to avoid those sneaky money traps At All Times!

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Yulin Lee

Yulin Lee

Yulin is a Money, Wealth & Financial Coach who helps women reduce stress and live a happier & easier life by having their finances under control. It’s her own journey to financial freedom that fuels her passion to bring more women onto the path of living a purposeful life without the money constraint.

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