Repeating vacations

Is travel redundancy smart or lazy?

There are many advantages to repeating vacations year after year. We took our kids to the same spot in Florida for spring break for many, many years. They felt it was a second home. They established traditions they loved. It was familiar and they felt comfortable and safe.

The travel industry also loves repeat business, particularly hotels. Frommer’s reports that a recent survey of spa hotels found that three quarters of all visitors were repeat guests. That means that if there weren’t repeat guests, the occupancy rates would crater.

British researchers recently took a poll among UK vacationers that showed almost 91% of British adults over 50 years old chose to return to a previous vacation spot rather than go somewhere new.

Why many people prefer to be repeat vacationers:

  • Repeat vacation guests know what they’re getting and aren’t likely to be dissatisfied.
  • They might have made friends in previous visits that they will reconnect with.
  • Repeat guests often develop an emotional connection.
  • Repeating a vacation allows the vacationer to ‘dig deeper’ into the area and experience aspects they couldn’t get to the first time they visited.
  • Repeat vacationers often receive preferential treatment. The staff gets to know them and the hotel is very pleased to have them back and showers them with rewards.
  • Repeating a vacation is not Groundhog Day, it’s comforting and predictable.
  • It’s easier.

With the ability to travel almost anywhere in the world, many people wouldn’t consider repeating a vacation when they have the opportunity to satisfy their curiosities and expand their horizons.

Benefits to vacationing in new places:

  • Learn to communicate with people who speak different languages and have different cultures.
  • Disconnect from routine daily life and focusing on something completely new.
  • Learn to cope with the unexpected and uncertain.
  • Being someplace where usual support systems do not exist encourages personal growth and adaptation.
  • Travel wakes up and sharpens your brain as you find your way in unfamiliar places; try to understand foreign languages, try new foods and adapt to new eating and sleeping schedules.
  • New places give travelers different perspectives about the world.
  • There are many opportunities to branch out and try new things.
  • Travel upends your comfort zones and forces new things upon you.  This enhances self-confidence, especially in children.
  • New places are invigorating and energizing. Come home renewed.

Reader and friend Warren S., who suggested this topic, is a quasi-repeat vacationer. I’m not sure of his criteria, but I know he only revisits a vacation spot for a few years, and then he moves on. That might be the perfect solution!