Making a Familiar Place Feel Brand New

Hi Frugalistas!

Do you have a place you keep going back to?  A trip or a holiday you just have over and over?  In my last post I talked about rituals – the things you do every time and every where you travel.  While rituals and traditions are important, this time, I’m talking about how to keep the same location or the same type of trip feel brand new.

1.  Stay somewhere different

Staying in a different part of the same location can give you a very different experience.  If  you normally stay in a particular part of town, stay somewhere different with a different vibe, where you’ll be forced at eat at different places, catch a different train or bus route, and shop at different shops.

Think about a different type of accommodation.  If you normally stay in a hotel, why not try self catering accommodation or a hostel, or vice versa?

If you normally try and stay on the waterfront, try a mountain location overlooking the water.  Do whatever you need to do give yourself a different physical perspective of the place you are staying.

I travel fairly regularly to Paris and do have a special hotel that I love to stay in.  The last time I visited I stayed in an apartment in a different part of the city – that alone gave me a completely different experience of being there.  It made a familiar place seem brand new.

I have a favorite hotel on the Left Bank where I usually stay in Paris, so an apartment just off Place de Vosges in the Marais was just the thing to make Paris look brand new

2.  Eat somewhere different

Even if you end up the same restaurants you normally go to, choose something you’ve never had before off the menu.  If you are used to casual dining make savings on your meals, and have a little splurge somewhere more upmarket.  Even if you are staying in the same location, resolve to eat in at least one new restaurant you’ve never tried before – you might find a new favorite!

If you are staying in a different location, resist the temptation to go back to your “old location” to eat in your traditional location.

If you are staying somewhere with a kitchen go the market or supermarket, find some local ingredients and cook something you’ve never cooked before.  Even if it’s not what you have expected, it’s part of the experience of traveling.

There was plenty of egg & bacon on the breakfast buffet, but I ate local food most mornings recently in Bali

3.  Make sure you find somewhere new to visit

You can’t possibly have seen every beach/mountain/market or museum, so make sure you find somewhere new to go.  Ask at your hostel or hotel, get chatting to stallholders in the markets, or other travelers.  Another way to find somewhere different is to buy a different guidebook.  If you just buy the latest version of your old favorite, or haven’t updated your old guidebook in years – update or try something new.  Also look for other sources of information – local “what’s on” websites are great for this.

4.  Fall in love with your location all over again

What made you fall in love with your favorite location in the first place?  Whether it was the sunset at Kuta in Bali, the Vatican in Rome or reaching the summit of a mountain after a long climb, why not do it again?  Just for a day pretend you’ve never been to your favorite location before and do something “touristy” to capture that original feeling.  You will fall in love with your favorite place all over again………

I love the Italian Lakes, but next time, I’ll be looking for a hotel in the mountains above the lakes rather than a lakefront location

5.  Do something out of your comfort zone

It doesn’t matter what your comfort zone is, do something to get out of it.  Whether it’s a balloon ride, a hike or just visiting a museum or art gallery if you would never normally do that, getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to have a new experience. Have you considered taking a class or course at your destination?  Or maybe a day or weeks’ volunteering would give you a new experience?

Do you have a favorite location, and if so, how do you keep it fresh and new everytime you go?


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5 Comments on “Making a Familiar Place Feel Brand New”

  1. Pola (@jettingaround) 05/11/2012 at 9:31 am #

    These are great tips! As much as I love to explore new places, there are some I have to go back to periodically to save my sanity 😀 (Paris, San Francisco). When I do, I always stay at a different hotel, will check out a few favorite spots, and then venture out to try new places.

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 05/11/2012 at 9:37 am #

      Yes, I’m a bit like that with Paris too. I have one particular place that I love to stay in, but did stay in a different part of town, in an apartment rather than a hotel, and it did make it completely different.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. Alouise (@Alouise_D) 16/03/2014 at 9:14 am #

    Great tips, and I can certainly agree with the first one. I’ve been to New York City twice now. The first time I hotel by Times Square, and the second time I stayed at a guesthouse in Harlem – the experience was completely different and made it so my memories of New York City weren’t blurring into each other (did I go to MOMA on my first trip, or the second? I don’t remember…that sort of thing).

    I’m actually going back to New York City for the third time this April, and to Vegas for the second time this May so I’ll have to keep these tips in mind to make my experience feel new.


  1. Top Travel Blogs :: #SeeTheWorld Creation Curation : Part I - 03/09/2013

    […] Making a Familiar Place Feel Brand New by Frugal First Class […]

  2. My Paris itinerary – making a new place feel brand new in practice | frugalfirstclasstravel - 10/09/2013

    […] Regular readers will know that I’m planning a trip to France early next month.  I’m staying four days, and because I’ve visited Paris many times, I don’t want to fall into the trap of just doing the same old things.  I also don’t want to miss out on some of my favorites.  So I’m taking on board the principles I spoke about in a post late last year about making a familiar destination feel brand new. […]

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