top of page

All Inclusive Vacation: Minus the Pain of Paying

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

What Makes Couples Happier?

Research shows that happiness is often born by spending money on experiences, not possessions, with friends, and not alone. Furthermore, research has shown that nearly 100 million Americans plan to go on family vacations in the upcoming year. So, how can we make the most out of a family vacation?

Planning a vacation has proven to take a lot of work because there are a lot of unknowns when planning. How much money should you bring? What can we do while we are there? These are just some questions swirling in our heads as we prepare for a vacation. As you do, you can feel the dollar signs add up as you make decisions. It takes some fun out of it. And that's for those who plan ahead.

A friend of mine took a trip to Hawaii and didn't plan for anything, he just swiped his credit card for the entire trip. The pain of paying for that trip cost lasted for the years that followed.

All-inclusive vacations destress the time we spend lending up to a vacation. And according to science, they can improve the vacation experience because it reduces or eliminates the pain of paying while you're submerged in paradise.

From the palm trees on the resort to the use of bold, bright colors, all-inclusive vacation resorts are designed to make a person feel like they have stepped into a dream.

Why All-Inclusive Vacations Can Make Couples Happier

All-inclusive vacations wrap guardrails around our vacation spending decisions. Payments for the whole experience are made upfront. Folks don't get caught up in the euphoria of paradise and lose track of their spending decisions. The vacation has already been paid for, making it easy to enjoy the resort amenities without the pain of paying.

Dan Ariely, Professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, researched the outcome of paying for a vacation before, during, or after the vacation. Ariely found that "when you pay upfront, you start the vacation, you've paid for the whole thing, and now you don't think about money, and that's a great way to experience it." More specifically, Ariely further emphasized that all-inclusive vacations allow individuals to experience more of what the vacation offers, making them happier.

How to Select an All-Inclusive Vacation

If a past experience of meager food and entertainment has you questioning whether an all-inclusive vacation is right for you, consider a recent Washington Post article that found a lot of luxury has entered into the all-inclusive category as resorts focus on delivering a five-star experience.

If you're convinced that an all-inclusive vacation is the way to go, create a list of what you and your spouse are looking for from vacation. Here are a few examples to help you get started:

When do you and your spouse want to go? If your schedule is not beholden to a school calendar, off-peak dates are open, making the trip much less expensive.

Where do you and your spouse want to go? Before diving into your search, consider the climate you're looking for first and how practical it is to travel to different areas of the world. Do you have your passport? What are the crime rates? How accessible is the location?

How do you and your spouse relax? Do you want an active vacation, or does drowning in a sea of booze while lying on the beach more relaxing for you and your spouse?

Last consideration: Do you want to be around kids, or would y'all prefer an adult-only resort?

Whatever you decide, only spend the amount of money can afford to not have in the near future. Leaving a vacation to strap yourself in the future is only going to make you and your spouse miserable in the future.


Learn More

Couples who learn more, save more, and spend more on what is important to them.

For engaged and recently married couples who want to manage money and the home as a team.

Self paced online courses for couples designed by national financial therapy and financial planning experts

Winning ideas from experts to manage money and the home as a team. 2023 Plutus Award Finalist: Best Couples or Family Content

A course for students ages 13-22 to learn research-backed homework hacks and independent learning strategies.

Winning ideas to manage money and the home as a team delivered to your inbox every two weeks. You'll even receive a few free gifts!

Modern Husbands Monthly Newsletter (engaged and newlyweds)

Everything you need to know about transitioning to marriage. The first gift you will receive is a guide to tackle the seven most asked questions about budgeting as a couple.



Ariely, D. (2013, February 5). The pain of paying. Dan Ariely. Retrieved November 4, 2022, from


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page