Why is this such a tough question? This is especially true in the travel spectrum. Adventure is wonderful, but so is security and nostalgia and knowing what you’re going to get. When you travel, it is often difficult to rationalize returning to the same destination – let alone multiple times. We all have limited resources – time & money – how can you justify a revisit?
I’ve seen this topic trending over the past couple of weeks and it got me thinking about the cities I’ve been back to. Whether it be only once like Istanbul or London, or repeatedly like Paris, Bangkok, or New York. This is when I realized that some of my favorite city trips have been return visits. Don’t get me wrong – I love to discover new places. But often the second-time around is more relaxed, more spontaneous and more enjoyable. Also, who said you need a change of destination to see something new? Going back to a place lets you dig a bit deeper and uncover another layer of the location. Here are my top 5 reasons why you should never say no to a revisit.
#1 – Famous Sights Already Knocked Off The List
Most big name sights are popular for a very good reason. You wouldn’t take a trip to Cairo and skip the Pyramids, or avoid the Louvre and Eiffel Tower on a weekend in Paris. That being said, most first time visits to a destination are centered around seeing these once-in-a-destination sights, which often come with long wait times. So there is something nice about repeat visits when you’ve already done the big names and can concentrate on exploring the off-the-beaten path aspects of a city. Plus there’s no need to feel bad about spending an entire trip doing nothing but eating, drinking and shopping if you’ve already done the major ticket items.
#2 – You Know The Lay Of The Land with a Revisit
I’m not going to lie, I’ve always been a bit directionally challenged. So when I arrive into a new city there’s a slightly confused phase I have to go through. This includes working out how to get from the airport, finding out how to use public transportation, and getting my bearings on the streets. However, when you go back to a place for the second time its like visiting an old friend. You already know how to buy a metro ticket, how late the buses or boats run, and you don’t have to keep getting a map out to find your way around. You also know where to find the best hidden-away bar, or local bakery that does the best croissants. Of course you’re not going to want to go to all the exact same places, but having that bit of local knowledge goes a long way.
#3 – A Revisit Can Provide You With Local Insight
This is particularly the case in social media or blogging. Once you write about a destination, you start getting all sorts of recommendations from locals about things you missed. People love to read about their home cities and see what others think, and to share their own favorites. On the next visit you can take these recommendations that you would have never found out about otherwise, and get a chance to give it a go. So going back means you can put all these thoughts to good use.
#4 – Experience A Different Time Of Year
The same city can feel like a completely different place with a simple change of seasons. I’ve watched the yachts roll-in and fished along the Croatian Coast in July. Then in December have seen the Advent Christmas Celebration and drank mulled wine. Two totally different experiences in the same place. Changing seasons will mean you concentrate on different areas and aspects of a place. Even a change of weather can do the same. You can spend sunny days exploring the parks and beaches or a rainy day of museum and long lunches. Many cities are transformed for special festivals or national holidays.
#5 – A Second Chance
The cities I return to more than likely caught me up in their Siren songs the first time around or I simply wouldn’t be visiting again unless as a stopover. However, a second visit is always a double edged sword as it may end up reinforcing your first connotations of that place or unfortunately ruining them. Bad weather, bad choices or bad lack can all turn you against a destination, but maybe it deserves a second chance?