In the era of the bucket list and the Instagram feed, there’s a high premium on keeping everything fresh and new.
Every year brings a new round of not-quite-identical smartphones, every month brings a new wellness fad, and ASOS recently changed their returns policy to stop people buying an item of clothing, snapping a photo for the ‘gram, and then returning it.
So it is with holidays, but now a new breed of canny globetrotters are espousing repeat travel – which basically means returning to the same places again and again. Here’s why, when it comes to travel, quality can often beat quantity…
1. You really get to know somewhere
Everyone wants to get beyond the guidebook, but if it’s your first rodeo somewhere, then it’s guidebook or trial and error. Once you know somewhere though, you can stride the streets with purpose, tell your friends you “know a little place”, then walk in and ask for “the usual”.
2. You can see it in different weather
It’s quite extraordinary how much our impressions of a place are dictated by the weather. Grey, muggy conditions can make even the friendliest city feel foreboding, while sizzling sunshine imbues even the dourest concrete jungle with good vibes.
Seasonal changes can be even more drastic: In countries like Iceland, a few months can turn snow-covered wilderness into verdant pasture, while a trip around India might take on a different feel if you visit mid-monsoon.
3. You already know it’s going to be good
Which do you trust more – the conflicting reviews on TripAdvisor, or your own blissfully happy memories?
4. There’s no need to waste time
If you know a city well, you can cut all the endless guidebook-checking, map-consulting and souvenir-shopping that’s often a tourist’s biggest time sink. You’ve been there and done that, and there’s no need to get another T-shirt.
5. You can rip up your bucket list
Otherwise known as scratch map-itis, it’s easy to become obsessive about checking off new countries, and once your holiday becomes an exercise in box-ticking, you might as well just use Google Street View.
You control your bucket list, not the other way round.
6. You might start to actually fit in
No one wants to be instantly pegged as an outsider, and many forgo the camera-around-neck, guidebook-in-hand image hoping to witness that most valuable tourist commodity – authenticity.
We’re pretty sure it doesn’t work. In a brand new place, your very body language gives you away, and most natives can spot an interloper at a hundred yards.
If you really want authenticity, you’re going to have to earn it.
7. Some places are really big
“I once changed planes in Newark Airport. I guess that’s America done.”
You might be selling it a little bit short.
8. There’s less pressure to sight-see
Repeat travellers know what they want to see, but they also know what they don’t want to see. The guidebook might be all over that five-storey pottery museum 10 miles out of town, but if it put you to sleep last time you visited, it probably will this time too.
9. The admin gets easier and easier
Most regular travellers will have endured at least one slice of holiday hell. Perhaps it’s an unfamiliar visa system, perplexing public transport, or an accidental breach of a local law.
The more you know, the less likely you are to ruin everything with that sort of faff.
10. Why wouldn’t you?
How many times have you visited your favourite restaurant, listened to your favourite album, or watched your favourite film? Visiting your favourite city might be more complicated, but the principle is the same.
- Press Association