Thursday, November 17

All Inclusive: Yay or Nay?

This is the first draft of a piece I wrote for The Investment Society's publication at the University of Toronto.

Are all inclusive deals for you? Read on...

"I can make more generals, but horses cost money. "
-Abraham Lincoln

Wallet free environment awaits
Most of us live on a budget and would love a chance to leave our wallet at home and live like a king! When it comes to travel, “all inclusive” is probably the most often used term. And free booze is the most exploited of all its features. It cannot be denied that when you are on a budget, and don’t want any unexpected expenditures to pop up- all inclusive deals turn out to be great. With travel agencies springing up left, right and center and competition till the neck, deals are getting better and better with time. Just like fine wine! When penny pinching is on your agenda, it is the suggested way to go. So, whether you’re packing your bags for Cuba or Greece, the vote here is Yay!

"Charm is a product of the unexpected."
-Jose Marti

Wait, what? Only one bagel?
I disagree with what activist Jose Marti says above. Unexpected is not always charming, at least in this one instance, it certainly wasn’t. Last year, I attended a business conference through university. All inclusive. The hotel, the food and of course, the competition were all included in the cost. It was a great conference, and I did have a fabulous time – but it was also an eye opener to the term “all inclusive”. The breakfast included in the “all inclusive” was one pick from the bakery – bagel or muffin and two picks from fruits – yogurt or an orange or an apple. It was not the breakfast any of us at the conference had expected. The hotel was great, so when instead of the restaurant we were guided towards a foyer, where we had to line up with a paper plate in hand to pick one bagel, none of us were particularly pleased. Here the vote is Nay.

"A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work."
-John Lubbock

Lock your worries and lose the key!

Isn’t it true? Worrying is exhausting and should be banned on vacations. There should be a way to escape any hassle that might come your way or simply for every whim to be taken care of. Why not be spoon fed everything? All inclusive packages to rescue! From your flight, to taxi to sightseeing to spa, everything can be fulfilled, without you having to move finger. All you have to do is sit back on the beach with your piƱa colada in hand and bask in the glorious sun! The vote here is Yay.

"We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey."
-John Hope Franklin

The World is a book

…so, take advantage! Most vacations where all inclusive resorts are booked are spent inside a resort. A colleague of mine has frequented Latin America and now does not have learning about the culture on the vacation agenda. This is why she tends to lean towards all inclusive packages. But when you plan to visit a new place, don’t give up on the opportunity to learn something about its culture. Travel is an effective way to learn something new, so why not explore every nook and cranny of a brand new world! Unfortunately, all inclusive packages focus only on the major tourist sites and in resort experiences. While they offer a great way to unwind, exploration is limited to the different varieties of cocktails the bartender can mix. Here, the vote is Nay.

All inclusive can be great or disappointing – it all depends!

So, as Mark Twain famously said, “Throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Bon Voyage!
Harleen A.


  1. This is a very uniqie piece, something I have never come across. Very creative and pleasing to read!

    -Madiha <3

  2. A very 'harleen' sort of a piece :)

  3. Guneev, what does a "harleen" sort of piece mean?

    Madiha, aww thanks! You're too kind =)