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Travel Experts Explain Why People Return To The Same Places Again And Again

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Travel enthusiasts typically want to visit as many different parts of the world as they can. Some destinations, though, are just so special that even the most adventurous travelers want to return again and again.

But what makes a place so meaningful and compelling? HuffPost spoke to a number of travel experts to find out.

Without further ado, here are 10 qualities that make a place worth revisiting. Keep these in mind if you’re looking for a good repeat destination spot.

Emotional attachment

“I think many destinations become repeat destinations because travelers develop an emotional attachment to these spots through amazing experiences they’ve had there ― often with family and friends,” Nancy Schretter, managing editor of the Family Travel Network, told HuffPost. “As the bond grows deeper, vacationers simply can’t imagine not coming back.”

The emotional connection can run deeper. “One of my specialties is planning Ancestral Destination Adventures ― this can keep extended family members returning to a place or country several times, whether they still know people in the ‘old country’ or not,” travel consultant and writer Lisa Vogele told HuffPost.

“One of my clients traveled to Ireland to visit her ancestors’ farm,” Vogele said. “She met current-day occupants who then proceeded to spend hours with her and her daughter, sharing what they knew about the farm’s previous owners. She enjoyed her experience so much, she returned to visit other parts of Ireland where other family lines resided.”

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Forging strong connections often makes a place a repeat destination. 

Connection to local culture and community

“For me, the destinations that draw me back are the ones where I feel a connection with the place or the culture, a need to explore more and dive beneath the surface,” said Alex Reynolds, travel blogger at Lost With Purpose. “Beautiful tourist sights are well and good, but it’s the welcome you get from the local people that leaves a true lasting impression. I can finish checking a bucket list of sights, but I can never stop learning about people and their cultures.”

Forging personal relationships can be tremendously powerful. “I’ve personally traveled to Italy 10 times,” said Vogele. “Seven of those 10 times I’ve made at least a pit stop in Bologna because what started as an acquaintance with three of my mothers’ overseas colleagues showing me around turned into a treasured friendship with those friends that has grown deeper as our spouses have also become friends, and we’ve become friends with their friends.”

“People will go back to the same place to see friends and to be with their communities,” Molly McCorkle, senior editor of AHotelLife.com, told HuffPost. “Tulum, Ibiza, Burning Man, Mykonos … all beautiful places that the community also helps to build and evolve with a conscious approach. They’re easy to get hooked on.”

Rich history

“A major draw can be a deep, historical interest in a particular period or subject of a country ― the Renaissance in Italy, the royal family in England, or recreations of historical events,” said Vogele.

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People often revisit countries with rich histories to explore. 

“A country like Italy is just ‘wow!’” travel writer and photographer Michael Luongo told HuffPost. “It has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. So you also have places that are rich in cultural heritage, archaeological heritage ― and just a few miles from wherever you were the last trip, you can explore something completely different.”

Unique beauty

“Watching the smoke rise from Mt. Etna, the view from the Eiffel Tower, the surfing waves on Portugal’s shores, hiking one of the Camino de Santiago trails ― these are all moments in time you are physically present and treasure, causing a desire to repeat them,” said Vogele.

“Nature is an element that can be important for many people,” said Alice Boyes, a former clinical psychologist who is now a writer. “My spouse is like this, and likes returning to places and doing the same nature walks we’ve done previously.”

“New Zealand, where I’ve been four times, is very out of the way, but I’d go back there any time,” said Max Hartshorne, editor of the travel website GoNOMAD.com. “It’s so special and so one-of-a-kind, even the animals and fauna are unique.”

Amazing food

“We have a great percentage of clients that repeat destinations, and the number one spot is Italy, number two is France and number three is Spain,” April Merenda, president and co-founder of Gutsy Women Travel, told HuffPost. “I believe gastronomy plays an important factor, as well as culture and the ‘wow’ aspect of so much to see and do that multiple visits are necessary. These destinations appeal to all the senses.”

tbralnina via Getty Images

Sometimes the food makes it all worth coming back. 

Familiarity

“There’s something about coming back to a place you know you’ll love,” said Schretter. “If certain vacationers had a great time at a destination, they want to return because they’re confident they’ll have a good time. They’ve discovered certain activities, restaurants and experiences they’ll enjoy there. If the place continues to make them happy, they’re likely to return again and again.” There’s also comfort, safety and less risk in familiar places, she added.

Boyes pointed out that it’s less stressful and time-consuming to plan repeat visits, particularly if you’re choosing the same hotel, car rental spot and so on. “Certain destinations are very predictably relaxing. For example, my family in New Zealand return to small beach towns in either New Zealand or Australia year after year,” she said. “The experiences are different enough to provide a sense of a break and change of pace and scenery but don’t involve culture shock or require a full day or more of travel to get there.”

“Destinations can attract you to the point that you’re perusing real estate posters and wondering about how much that apartment you stayed in might rent for,” said Hartshorne, adding that he visits Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania, and Edgartown, Massachusetts, year after year.

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Returning to a sense of familiarity is priceless. 

“I value and continue to travel to these familiar places because I know exactly what I’ll find when I get off the ferry, or finish the six-hour drive through Pennsylvania’s vast countryside,” he said. “The predictability is a draw. That same little downtown may have a few new shops, but it’s still basically the same. The lake, the man in the ferry boat who takes us across, all of them are deliciously familiar.”

Obscure exploration

“An advantage of repeat destinations is that you’ve typically done the tourist traps on your first trip, and can focus more on relaxation or exploring less touristy neighborhoods,” said Boyes. “For this reason, repeat trips often involve less waiting in line and less dealing with crowds.”

“For all travelers, I’d recommend returning to destinations because it’s a great opportunity to see the parts of town or parts of a country you missed the first time, maybe get to more obscure areas beyond the highlights, and get a deeper appreciation of the people, culture or landscape you’ve come to see,” Lonely Planet travel writer David Else told HuffPost.

Family tradition

“Some travel destinations become long-standing family traditions. Parents take their children to a particular beach, dude ranch or destination for summer vacations, and as a family, they make treasured memories there,” said Schretter.

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Travel destinations can become family traditions.

“When the children grow up and have kids of their own, they want to share this destination with their own children. These can often turn into multigenerational vacations, as grandparents enjoy seeing the destination again through their grandchildren’s eyes,” she said, noting that Walt Disney World, North Carolina’s Outer Banks and Cape Cod are popular family tradition spots.

“At smaller properties, vacationers may be returning to a place ‘where everyone knows your name,’” she added. “Coming back to the destination is like coming home.”

Special treatment

“Some resorts and vacation properties go out of their way for return guests. They learn their preferences, what they enjoy, and the staff goes out of their way to make them feel special. There may be some extra perks involved as well,” said Schretter.

“I’m someone who likes hotels. I like the simplicity of living out of a suitcase, having staff available 24/7, and having someone make my bed!” said Boyes. “I typically use credit card points for hotel stays, so when I find a hotel that’s friendly, pleasant, convenient and good value for using points, I love returning. There are small things that enhance my returning experience, like being greeted at hotels as a returning guest.”

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Hospitality often draws people back to a great hotel.

Easy access to different experiences

“Certain vacation spots and destinations have such a wide range of activities that they can keep all ages and interests happy. This can make them a popular repeat travel destination ― particularly for multigenerational families, families with kids ranging from little ones to teens, or groups of friends,” Schretter said. “Destinations like this are often constantly adding new attractions and restaurants as well. This broad range of activities and experiences also allows vacationers to enjoy ‘old favorites’ but also try something new on their next visit. That way, no one gets bored.”

Luongo noted that people like to visit major cities repeatedly for similar reasons. “Buenos Aires for example is a city that many people go back to because there’s always something vibrant and always something changing, whether that’s the art scene, the nightlife, the restaurant scene.”

He added that a major city also often offers easy access to different adventures around the country. “Maybe I’m going to do a weekend again in Buenos Aires, but then can I go skiing around there? Or hiking? What other destinations can I do ― wine country, mountain country, beaches?” said Luongo. “So it’s about a place that has a large city that always has something new, but that city is always easily accessible to a different interior that gives you those experiences.”

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Travel & Escape

Why your hotel mattress feels like heaven (and how to bring that feeling home)

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(NC) Choosing the right mattress is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. To make a good choice for your home, take a cue from luxury hotel-room beds, which are designed to support the sound sleep of tens of thousands of guests, 365 nights a year.

“When we’re shopping for a mattress, we do lab testing, identify the best materials, bring in multiple mattress samples and have our associates test them,” explains David Rizzo, who works for Marriott International. “We ask for ratings on comfort level, firmness, body support and movement disruption. It takes 12 to 18 months just to research and select materials.”

Here, he shares his tips to pick the perfect mattress for your best sleep:

Understand your needs. People have different food and exercise preferences, as well as different sleep cycles. So, it’s no surprise that everyone has unique mattress preferences. Not sure whether a firm or a soft mattress is better? Rizzo says the best gauge is to ask yourself, “Do I wake up with aches and pains?” If the answer is no, you’re golden.

Foam versus spring. All mattresses have a core that is made up foam or innersprings or a combination of the two. Today’s foam-core mattresses contain memory foam — a material engineered by NASA to keep astronauts comfortable in their seats. It’s special because it retains or “remembers” its shape, yielding to pressure from the sleeper’s body, then bouncing back once the pressure is removed.

An innerspring mattress has an encased array of springs with individual coils that are connected by a single helical wire. This wire creates continuous movement across the coil that minimizes disruption if the mattress is disturbed, such as by a restless sleeper. According to Rizzo, the innerspring is “bouncier.”

Temperature preference. Consider how warm or cool you like to sleep, and factor in the construction of the mattress to find one with a temperature that suits you. The air space engineered into an innerspring mattress promotes ventilation, which some people find keeps them pleasantly cool. To accomplish the same purpose with a foam mattress (or the foam layer of an innerspring) it may be infused with metal, usually silver or copper, to help dissipate heat and humidity.

Need to test out the right mattress for your needs? Find the right fit during your next trip by booking your stay at marriott.com.

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Travel & Escape

How to make the most of summer travel

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(NC) One of the best parts of our short Canadian summers is the opportunity to enjoy them a little bit extra on long weekends. If you need ideas, check out these creative things to do whether you decide to stay in town or go away.

Do a dinner crawl. Pub crawls are fun for couples, friends and also families with older kids. For an exciting twist that stretches your dollars and lets you taste food from several spots before you get too full, try a dinner crawl. Eat apps at one restaurant, mains at another and dessert at another.

Go on a mini getaway. You don’t need to go very far to enjoy a vacation – exploring a Canadian city over a summer weekend is great way to treat yourself to a holiday. Whether it’s checking out the museums in Toronto or the parks in Vancouver, there’s something for everyone. For upgraded benefits, special experiences and the best rates guaranteed, join Marriott Bonvoy and book direct on Marriott.com.

Host a potluck. Perfect whether you’re staying at home or going to your cottage, gather friends and family together for some food and fun. A potluck is an easy and affordable way to host a big get-together and lets everyone try something new and swap recipes. Make the festivities extra special with a fireworks potluck, too – ask everyone to bring some fireworks or sparklers and put on a light show. Just be sure to follow local regulations for consumer fireworks.

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Travel & Escape

Lottoland: Here’s why Canadians love it!

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Lotteries have been in existence for many centuries now and it’s an open secret that most people enjoy playing a good lottery.

Asides from gauging your own luck, the thrill of playing, the anticipation of the results and the big wins every now and then is something most people look forward to. Since 1982, the lottery has been in Canada, but now there is a way to play both the Lotto and other international lotteries from Canada, all from the comfort of your home.

With Lottoland, all you need to do is register and get access to numerous international lotteries right from their website. The easy-to-use interface has all the information you need, and great amount of care has been taken to ensure that the online experience is similar—and even better—than if players were to visit each location personally.

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are hitting record highs with their prize money, in what the organizers claim to be the largest jackpot in the history of the world. However, the U.S. has gambling laws that are state controlled and buying your ticket through an online broker can be considered gambling.

“No one except the lottery or their licensed retailers can sell a lottery ticket. No one. Not even us. No one. No, not even that website. Or that one,” Powerball’s website says.

Therefore, to stand a chance to win the $1.5 billion-dollar lottery jackpot it means you have to purchase your lottery tickets directly from a licensed retailer such as Lottoland.

Since 2013, Lottoland has been operating in Canada, rapidly growing in popularity amongst Canadians. Due to its easy of use and instant access to lotteries that were previously considered inaccessible—as Canadians had to travel all the way to the U.S. to purchase tickets in the past—Lottoland has attracted lots of visitors.

Currently, there about 8-million players on Lottoland, a figure that points to the reliability of the website.

One of the core values of Lottoland is transparency and that’s why a quick search on the website would show you a list of all of their winners. Recently, a Lottoland customer was awarded a world-record fee of $137 million CND.

Also, due to the incredibly slim chances of winning the grand prize not everyone would take home mega-dollar winnings, but there are substantial winnings every day.

Securing your information online is usually one important factor when registering on any platform and as the site explains, “Lottoland works very hard to verify your information.”

The site has a multi-verification process that will ensure that you confirm your identity and age before giving you a pay-out. However, in the rare case that a player has immediate luck and wins a lottery before completing the verification process, Lottoland will hold on to the winnings until they complete your verification.

While this might seem like a tedious process, it is very important as these safety features would ensure that your information wasn’t stolen and ultimately your winning routed to another account.

Lottoland is licensed with the National Supervisory Bodies For Lotteries in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Ireland and Australia—where it is called a wagering license. Typically, most gaming companies don’t establish insurance companies as it entails that their activities have to be transparent and the must be highly reputable in the industry.

Nonetheless, Lottoland has no issues meeting up to these standards as they have established themselves as the only gaming sector company who has its own insurance company—an added advantage for new and existing users.

Lotteries aren’t the only games Canadians enjoy playing and Lottoland recognizes this by providing players with other types of gaming. As an industry leader, video designers of online games often make them their first choice when it comes to publishing their works.

Online games such as slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, keno, scratchoffs, roulette and many others are always on offer at the Lottoland Casino. There’s also the option of playing with a live dealer and a total of over 100 games.

Lottoland has received numerous rave reviews from its growing list of satisfied customer and their responsive customer service agents are always available to answer any questions users may have, along with solving challenges they may have encountered.

More and more Canadians are trooping to Lottoland in droves due to the unique experience of going to a casino without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

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