Everybody has a different style when it comes to traveling. Some like to visit a country only once and then move on to somewhere else. Others like to travel back to that same destination again and again. We’re the latter, and we’re about to tell you why you should visit the same destination twice!
We spent the month of March 2016 in Japan, and fell in love with absolutely everything about the country. From the incredibly kind and caring local Japanese people, to the awesome attractions and how smoothly everything runs. Tokyo might be the most populated city in the world, but life still runs more smoothly than anything we’ve ever experienced.
Our love for Japan is so deep, that we’ve already booked our next trip! We’ll be returning to Japan for another month, during January and February 2019. We’ll be spending a lot of our stay in most of the same cities, but this time around, we are including a few day trips to cities we didn’t get a chance to visit last time.
Have you visited and fallen in love with a country before? Are you wishing you could return, but aren’t sure whether it’s the best idea? Keep reading to find out why we truly believe you should visit the same destination twice, if your heart desires!
Table of Contents
- Why You Should Visit the Same Destination Twice
- 1. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable
- 2. You’ll know how to pack more efficiently
- 3. You can experience different places and attractions
- 4. You’ll pick up the language a lot faster
- 5. You’ll be a pro at public transport and navigating the streets
- 6. You’ll be more prepared and know what to expect
- 7. You can learn from mistakes made the first time
- 8. You’ll know the best times to visit certain tourist attractions
- 9. You’ll have the chance to visit during a different season
- 10. You can do the things you missed the first time round
- 11. You’ll know what to expect when it comes to the cost of things
- 12. You can plan a lot better the second time round
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Why You Should Visit the Same Destination Twice
1. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable
Just like anything, practice makes perfect. The same rule applies for traveling, too. Your first visit to a foreign country (especially a non-Western country, if you’re a Westerner like us) can be pretty overwhelming the first time. You’re thrown into a totally different world, and depending on the country, it could be an intimidating or scary experience.
Returning to the same country twice, means you’ll already know the areas that you feel safe, and places that you should maybe avoid – especially if you’re traveling alone.
Even simple things like walking down the street to get some dinner, will feel a lot more comfortable. You’ll already know the process when it comes to paying for your food, and you’ll know the best places to go for a quick snack or indulgent three course meal. Feeling comfortable in a different country is super important, and can make the world of difference when it comes to making the most of your holiday!
2. You’ll know how to pack more efficiently
On our first trip to Japan, I overpacked real bad. Before we left Australia, I was adamant that I had only packed the essentials. I was positive I would need four t-shirts, three pairs of leggings and a pair of jeans (even though I hate jeans and literally don’t remember the last time I wore them). Well, it turned out I didn’t need half of what I packed, and ended up having to purchase extra luggage to get everything home.
Next time, we will know what we definitely need to pack, what we can leave behind, and what we can purchase when we arrive!
Things like shampoo and conditioner, will definitely not be going in my suitcase. They’re much cheaper in Japan and most hotels provide complimentary toiletries anyway, including soap, shampoo and conditioner.
Packing to travel is always a trial and error experience. Especially if you’re traveling with checked baggage like we do. If you’re a backpacker, you’re probably used to carrying everything you need on your back. But for us suitcase folk, it’s a little bit harder. We tend to overpack, even when we don’t mean to. So, returning to the same destination twice, means your luggage will be a lot lighter!
3. You can experience different places and attractions
This is another great reason for visiting the same destination twice!
Since we have already spent a month in Japan, and have ticked off so many things on our bucket list, that gives us the freedom to take more day trips outside of major cities, explore further and have more unique experiences next time around.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with returning to a place that you absolutely loved on your first visit, even if it’s the most cliche tourist attraction you’ve ever seen!
Don’t forget to take the opportunity to head off the beaten path, though. Talk to locals, ask for their favourite lesser known destinations, and where they might recommend you visit. This will allow you to feel as though you’re seeing more than the same tourist attractions, and will give you a deeper love and perspective of the country and people!
4. You’ll pick up the language a lot faster
Although we aren’t fluent in Japanese, and will probably need to brush up on some key phrases, the fact that we’ve already visited before means we’ll naturally pick it up a lot faster. We’ll be able to communicate with the locals much easier, understand a lot more than we think we will, and will have the added advantage of knowing where most places are and how to get there.
It’s always a great idea to learn a few key words and phrases before traveling to a new destination. This also applies to a place you’re traveling back to as well. The locals will respect your attempt at learning their language, and are more likely to go out of their way to help you if they can see that you’re trying your best!
Japan’s transport system is world class. Trains and buses run precisely on time, and if there’s a slight delay, you can expect a public apology.
Regardless of where you’re traveling, the fact that you’ve already experienced the public transport before, means you’ll be a pro in no time.
Give yourself a couple of hours to get back into the swing of things, then you’ll be catching trains and buses without even needing Google Maps! Well okay, maybe that’s a bit far fetched. But I’m sure you get the point. You’ll generally feel a lot more comfortable and more prepared to hop onto a train, knowing (almost) exactly where you’re heading!
6. You’ll be more prepared and know what to expect
Tasks like catching public transport from the airport to your hotel, or knowing whether it’s good value for money catching a Taxi over the train. The best places to grab a cheap meal, what time of day the shops open. How busy the trains are at certain times of day, and how quickly you can get from one station to another.
These are some of the things that you will already know before returning to the same destination again. Your trip will feel like it’s running a lot smoother, even though you’re still in a somewhat foreign country.
7. You can learn from mistakes made the first time
Say you forgot to purchase a portable wifi device the first time round, and had to rely on hotel wifi instead. If having easy access to the internet is important to you while traveling, this is something you’ll know to make a priority next time.
Maybe you didn’t use Google Maps very often, and relied on paper maps or the advice from locals to get around. There’s nothing wrong with doing things this way, but depending on the country you’re traveling to, Google Maps can generally save a lot of time and difficulty in getting where you need to go.
Did you book a hotel that you didn’t necessarily love? You’ll know to book a different type of hotel or accomodation next time! All of these things might seem un-important, but they all help in making your trip as easy and smooth sailing as possible.
8. You’ll know the best times to visit certain tourist attractions
Theme parks in any country are always going to be busy. But theme parks in Japan, are on a whole other level.
We have never seen as many people in the one place, as we did at Tokyo’s Disneyland, and Osaka’s Universal Studios. Both parks were crazy busy, even though we visited on weekdays as opposed to the weekend. Almost every line was multiple hours long, and if we didn’t have Express Passes, we definitely wouldn’t have been able to go on half as many rides as we did.
If you hope to go back to one of these busy tourist attractions, you’ll know the least busy times to do so. For attractions other than theme parks, first thing in the morning is generally the best time to visit. Leave your hotel before the sun comes up, and you’re almost guaranteed to have the place to yourself. Or at the very least, a much smaller crowd to compete with than if you visited at lunch time.
Sometimes it’s worth sacrificing a bit of sleep, for the chance to experience something spectacular, and have the place (almost) to yourself!
9. You’ll have the chance to visit during a different season
Say you visited the country during summer on your first time round. How about planning your next trip for winter or autumn? Depending on where you’re traveling, there can be some pretty incredible scenery during certain times of the year.
For example, our first trip to Japan was during March. It was the beginning of Cherry Blossom season, so the trees were blooming with beautiful pink and white petals, and the weather wasn’t too unbearable.
Next time, we’re visiting during the dead of winter. It will be freezing cold, there won’t be any Cherry Blossom trees, but we’re hoping it will be far less busy than last time! Snow might be falling in major cities, and it will be a totally different experience.
If visiting during a particular time of year is important to you, make that a priority! It’s always fun experiencing a place during different times of the year.
10. You can do the things you missed the first time round
Say you spent a month traveling across the United States. Before you arrived, you had written a long list of things that you wanted to see and do, but in the end, didn’t get to cross them all off. Well, now is your chance!
Use your second trip to the same destination, as a chance to see the things you missed the first time. Make those your priority, do them first and enjoy every minute of it.
Even though you missed out the first time, having the chance to go back and tick off those attractions you have been dreaming about since your first visit, will make them even more special experiences.
11. You’ll know what to expect when it comes to the cost of things
Our first trip to Japan was a bit of a fail when it came to spending money. We thought we had enough, and even if we didn’t, we assumed we would be paid our annual leave for at least the first three weeks of our trip. Well, unfortunately, things didn’t work out that way. There were issues with our leave payments, and long story short, we weren’t paid for almost an entire month.
This meant we had to prioritise the things we wanted to see and do, had to budget a lot more than we wanted to, and missed out on some of the most exciting attractions due to our lack of money. Having the chance to return to Japan, means we can save much more money beforehand, know what to expect when it comes to the cost of food and attractions, and can budget a lot easier.
If you had similar issues last time round, use this visit to plan ahead more. Get spending money converted in the months leading up to your trip, instead of leaving it to the last minute. Budgeting before you arrive, means you’ll probably have a lot more money saved up than if you did the opposite.
12. You can plan a lot better the second time round
Combining all of the above 11 reasons for why you should travel to the same destination twice – it will essentially be a much more enjoyable experience.
You’ve essentially got a second chance to have the most amazing holiday of your life. You’ll be able to see a lot more, have more unique experiences and be much more prepared than your first visit.
Regardless of where you’re traveling back to, write down all of the things you learnt the first time and list all of the things you missed or didn’t get time to see – then combine the two! We guarantee your trip will be a lot less stressful, more smooth sailing and tons more enjoyable the second time.
We hope our guide with 12 reasons why you should visit the same destination twice has helped you decide to book those flights! If you have fallen in love with a country you’ve visited, why shouldn’t you go back and spend more time there? We know there are some people who believe in moving on and creating new memories and experiences in brand new locations – but who says you can’t do both?!
Have you returned to the same destination twice, after falling in love with the country? Was it a good decision? Would you do it again? Tell us in the comments below!
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