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Should you repeat your vacation? Let's settle this once and for all.

Christopher Elliott
Special to 91影视
  • Travelers are divided on whether to repeat a vacation or try something new.
  • There are good reasons to go back to the same place, including comfort, friends and family and special memories.
  • But there are also good reasons to get out there and travel: it changes your perspective and makes your life more exciting.

Want to start an argument? Just ask a random family member where to take your next vacation. Specifically, should you play it safe by returning to the same place 鈥 or try something new?听

But it's an argument worth having now. Here's why: The top destinations for the summer of 2024 are ridiculously familiar. Orlando, London and Cancun, according to the latest . All those far-flung revenge travel destinations from after the pandemic are history. People want something safe and familiar.

But is that a good thing?

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Why everyone is arguing about vacation repetition

Experts say there's a reason that this is such a heated debate.听

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"Typically, when people return to the same spot over and over again, they want predictability," said Thomas Plante, a psychology professor at . "They know exactly what they are getting and how it works for them. This differs from those who want the unexpected by going to a new place each time they vacation."

Let me acknowledge my bias upfront: I'm part of the second group. I don't have a permanent residence and, as a travel writer, I get restless after being in one place for more than a week. So I had to ask an expert to explain our fondness for sameness.


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"When a traveler finds a place that they like, there's a risk to going anywhere else," said Jeff Galak, who teaches marketing at ."We've all experienced bad vacations, so when we find one that just works, it's hard to leave it behind."

I'm going to hand the microphone to both sides of this argument in a minute. But first, let me tell you who is right: Yes, you can go back to the same place 鈥 but not in the way you think.

Groundhog Vacation

Here's why repeat vacations are great

Travelers have their reasons for coming back to the same place again and again. Shirleigh Brannon, a retired librarian from Marin County in Northern California, travels to Anaheim, California, twice a year to visit Disneyland.

Her love of Disney vacations goes back three decades when she brought her son to the Magic Kingdom for the first time. Experiencing the Jungle Cruise or Alice in Wonderland through the eyes of a four-year-old was special.听

"Lots of fond memories," she said.

Even though she knows every inch of the park by now, it's those special memories that keep her coming back again and again.

Another reason to repeat is because your friends and family will be there. Janet Ruth Heller returns to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, every summer with her extended family.

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"We have good memories," said Heller, a retired college professor. "Elkhart Lake has many activities for families, and it is conveniently located for our relatives."

There's also a comfort level. Bernard Nash, a medical school professor from New York, likes to explore the world. But he also has a timeshare in Aruba that he goes back to every year. He loves hanging out by the pool, taking long walks along the white-sand beaches, and dining in his favorite restaurants. And from time to time, he runs into people he knows, who are also there on vacation.

听"It's the perfect place to go and just chill out," he said.

So, comfort, friends, family and special memories 鈥 those are all great reasons to repeat your vacation.听

But I have to warn you: You're missing out.

Why you should get out there and experience something new

Other travelers would never repeat a trip. Marcy Schackne is one of them.听

"When it comes to travel," she said, "It's one and done."

Schackne, a marketing executive for a healthcare company in South Florida, has been to all seven continents and is part of the exclusive century club, having visited more than 120 countries.听

"There's too much world to see to go back and repeat a Groundhog Day experience," said Schackne, who is off to Greenland in July.

"Going to the same place every year would be boring," said Kathleen Panek, who owns in Shinnston, West Virginia. "There are so many things to see and do."

Panek's parents taught her how to read a road map as soon as she could recognize numbers. And she's been traveling ever since 鈥 mostly road trips in the 91影视 and occasional adventures in Europe. Her only regret is that she hasn't traveled more.

There's one more reason to get out there and travel: it changes your perspective. And in a highly polarizing election year, getting outside your comfort zone can make a real difference. Research suggests that travel can , although there's no evidence that it will make you more liberal or conservative 鈥 just that it will change how you see the world.

So, to sum up, trying a new destination broadens your horizons and makes your life more exciting 鈥 and maybe even more interesting.听

But saying you should take each vacation in a new place would be wrong.

How to find a new place to visit this summer

Here are a few ways to find a new destination to try this summer.

  • Ask a friend. A word-of-mouth recommendation is always the best way to find a new place to visit because it comes from someone who knows you. Ask a friend or family member for a new place to visit. The answer might surprise you.
  • Try the random trips button. Almost every online travel site has a function that lets you choose a random place to visit. For example, has a "suggested trips" function that will recommend inexpensive places to visit.
  • Consult an expert. A qualified travel advisor can help you find a new place to visit. If you don't have a travel agent, you can find one through the .

Where should you go this summer?

So should you go to the same place this summer or try something new?

Laurel Barton has the correct answer. She lives in Forest Grove, Oregon, but loves the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. Barton and her husband spend at least a week there every year.听

"We know how to get around, where to go, what to do, options for inclement weather, where to shop," she said. "No maps required."

But Barton also loves to explore. This summer, she's headed to Iceland and Rome to make new memories.

Kristiana Capati-Choquet, a luxury travel advisor at , sees that duality in her clients, too.

"Seeing the same people in the same destinations contributes to the basic human need of wanting to belong," she said. "On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who can't stand to repeat vacations and have a true adventurer side."

It's OK to visit a favorite place this summer. I have many. I love Paris in July and Seattle in August. Utah is my go-to spot in September 鈥 maybe one of Mighty Five national parks.听

But try something new, for goodness' sake. You have no idea what you're missing.听

is an author, consumer advocate, and journalist. He founded听, a nonprofit organization that helps solve consumer problems. He publishes, a travel newsletter, and the听, a news site about customer service. If you need help with a consumer problem, you can听听or email him at听chris@elliott.org.

The Key Points at the top of this article were created with the assistance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and reviewed by a journalist before publication. No other parts of the article were generated using AI. .

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