Every time I’ve booked a trip to a city I’ve already been to (usually under the persuasion of a friend who desperately wants to go there), I’ve ummed and ahed about it for quite some time before committing.
I worry that my travel budget and precious annual leave could be better spent exploring a new city or country I’ve never been to before, particularly considering the costs of revisiting expensive tourist
traps attractions which I’ve already ticked off.
But I’ve never once regretted revisiting a destination, and these trips actually tend to turn out much more memorable.
Here are 7 reasons why you should revisit cities you’ve already been to.
1. It’s impossible to see everything in one trip
Even if you’ve lived in a city for a few years, more will remain to be explored and an obvious reason why you should revisit cities is that you get a chance to see things you missed the first time around.
When I visited Barcelona it was on a cruise so I only got to spend a day there, madly rushing around to see as much as we could. I can’t wait to return next month, see the city at night and spend time checking out the amazing beaches.
Having a bit of local insight and knowing the best ways to get around helps too rather than grasping bus and train systems for the first time.
2. Cities change
I often think of Auckland, a city I knew well when I lived there five years ago and still visit regularly. It changes so much every time I visit as big cities are prone to doing, and that’s without an event which has forced a sudden and massive change.
I visited Christchurch before, shortly after, and then five years following the 2011 earthquake which significantly changed the city. Each time it was a totally different place – a functioning city, a cordoned off ‘red zone’, and then the beginnings of a vibrant and cool new city under construction.
But the change is not always positive – cities are changed by tourism as they become more popular. They become more developed, more crowded by tourists and more commercial as the big chains like Starbucks and McDonalds move in.
3. Changes in your life stage will change your experiences
There are cities like San Francisco, New York and Miami which I visited in true backpacker mode in my 20’s and would love to revisit with the funds behind me to do them in a bit more style – not staying in a dorm room and being able to eat out and experience more.
4. You (probably) won’t revisit cities with the same company
Visiting a city solo will generate experiences which are totally different to travelling with other people,with a tour group or in completely different company which can make for a totally different experience.
Visiting with a friend, partner or family member who has never been before means you can show them where to go and experience the city completely differently with them.
5. To experience different seasons
Cities can be immensely different from Winter to Summer. I visited Whistler in the height Summer when it was all sunshine, mountain biking and hikes. I hope to return during the winter ski season when the ski resort town is covered in snow.
6. For a more authentic experience
Once you’ve done the big tourist attractions you can get a real feel for the people, culture and back streets and can gain an understanding of what it might be like to live there.
It’s also great when you don’t feel under time pressure to race around at top speed ticking off the ‘must do’s, and you’ll feel less guilty spending time relaxing, eating and drinking.
7. Because you loved it, or because you didn’t like it
If you’re returning to a city because you loved it so much the first time, l really like the idea of start traditions such as photos in specific spots, cocktails in rooftop bars. You can also reread your old diaries, journals or blog posts to reminisce.
If you didn’t like a city, you can give it a second chance and see whether you overcome any negative feelings.
How do you feel about revisiting cities and places you’ve been to before? Tell me your experiences!