When you begin planning an RV trip, your thoughts likely leap to somewhere new. Many of us want to experience the thrill of adventure when we’re traveling the U.S. and Canada and discovering new locations and experiences.
I read an article recently where the writer said she would never visit the same place more than once. That there were so many new places to see, how could you justify a return visit?
It got me thinking about the locations I’ve been back to—whether that’s once like the Smoky Mountains and the Black Hills or repeatedly like Tucson and the Rio Grande Valley. And I realized that my favorite trips had been the return visits. I love to discover new places too but often the second-time trips have been more relaxed, more spontaneous, and more enjoyable.
And who says you need a change of destination to see something new? Even if you live in a city for years you’ll never have seen everything. Going back to a place lets you dig a bit deeper and uncover another layer of the place.
While RVing somewhere new may be the ultimate adventure, it’s also rewarding to return to places you’ve been before. It may be to relive a special life moment or watch your favorite sport change through the seasons; either way, fire up your wanderlust a second time and discover why many destinations warrant a repeat visit.
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Let’s take a look at a few reasons why revisiting a favorite destination may be a great idea.
Feels like returning home
Returning to a destination you’ve previously enjoyed can feel like returning home especially if you are returning to a favorite RV park or campground. You can still explore new things but you also have a familiar home base to return to. This also helps in getting over the initial legwork that most road trips entail. You already know where you’re going and how to get there so you can focus on activities to enjoy upon arrival.
Since you’ve been here before, you’re familiar with the nuances of the location and can visit with added confidence. As you spend more time in a location you will feel less like a tourist. Whether it’s negotiating the winding streets of Santa Fe or wandering the Charleston Historic District, you’ll explore at ease armed with knowledge from your previous visit.
You rarely see everything in a single visit
Unless a destination is very small or known for one specific attraction, chances are that you didn’t see everything there was to see during your previous visit. On an RV trip to San Antonio, you may have focused on the Alamo and the Riverwalk. By revisiting you could explore other historical and cultural attractions including the Missions National Historic Park, The Pearle District, King William neighborhood, Brackenridge Park, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, and the nearby Hill Country.
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You can experience different seasons
The same location can feel like a different place with a change of season. 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 a sunny day exploring local parks and other green spaces or a rainy day of museums and other indoor attractions. Many cities are transformed for special events like festivals or fairs at certain times of the year too. A visit to Roswell during the annual UFO Festival (first weekend in July), Tombstone during Helldorado Days (October 21-21, 2022), or Fiesta San Antonio (April 20-30, 2023) would be completely different from being there at any other time of the year.
Even if you saw most everything you planned to see on your previous visit, changes occur over time. Now, may be the time to revisit and see what is new. This could mean new or upgraded attractions, restaurants, and even RV parks.
Also, consider the time of the year. Visiting Phoenix in the middle of a scorching summer and visiting it in the winter are going to be very different experiences. Not every city or destination will vary this much, but many of them will.
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Just like we do
Chances are, your interests have changed as well. You’ve learned new things and had experiences that will change the lens through which you view a given destination. This means that when you return years later you could end up enjoying a vastly different experience than you did at your original stop.
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t strike off a destination simply because you’ve ‘been there, done that’. You never know what you’ll discover during a second or even third visit. And for snowbirds and full-time RVers, there are only so many places you can visit before you need to start considering a return trip.
Numerous reasons can make revisiting a destination worthwhile, but do you need one? It’s your RV trip, so go where you want to go and do what you want to do.
In these social media-driven times, there’s pressure to view RV trips and other experiences as a bucket list to be checked off. If that’s what you want to do then go for it, but remember that the purpose of an RV trip or a vacation is to experience the things you want to experience—on your own terms.
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Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.
—Margaret Lee Runbeck