4 Travel Experiences I Don’t Need To Do Ever Again

Fish Aquarium

Generally speaking, I’m a pretty happy guy and am usually content with doing and seeing anything new when I travel. I guess that’s the key part of that sentence – new. There are a few types of activities and sites that, having done them either frequently or badly, I possess no desire to do them ever again. This isn’t meant to be complainy, just my call out to the world that when attempted more than once, these experiences get old very fast.


My lack of interest in aquariums is so profound that I wrote an entire post on this subject two years ago. Before you get your typing fingers warmed up, let me explain. I love animals and wildlife and seek out meaningful (and responsible) experiences wherever I go. Aquariums are great, but they are great only one time; perhaps twice. Having visited many around the world I think that I can safely say that most of them are exactly the same as all of the others. Outliers exist, and there are some truly world-class institutions that I will no doubt visit before I shuffle off my mortal coil. But in general, aquariums all feature very similar exhibits, or at least styles of exhibits (“River creatures from INSERT PLACE HERE”) and of course thousands of children. I think that was my biggest issue with the last aquarium I visited, the kids. If you have kids, I get it and I agree, aquariums are fantastic for them. For a 38 year old male who frequently travels solo, not so much. So aquariums, it isn’t out of anger that I think we should split. It’s from annoyance and boredom, equally damaging to any relationship but far less tragic.


I have never understood the fascination some people have with caves, and yet whenever I visit a new place I am invariably drug to another poorly lit, hole in the ground. Caves were some of the first tourist attractions for many places around the world; Victorian ladies and gentlemen trundled down into the depths of the Earth to marvel at nature’s splendor. And that’s fine. But they are intensely boring. Nearly every cave experience in the world is as follows:

  1. Climb down stairs and/or slippery rocks into humid and uncomfortable environment
  2. Guide explains to you why THESE rocks are more amazing than ANY other rocks
  3. Guide makes bad jokes and points out rocks that they think look like people or animals (they never do)
  4. Slip and almost fall on wet rocks, swearing to never again visit a cave.

Unless you have a profound interest in geology, I see no reason why anyone ever needs to visit a cave, and after exploring many I can officially say that I am done with them. (The sole exception to this are the glowworm caves in New Zealand, which are truly amazing.)


This is fairly specific, but that’s a true testament to how much I truly hated doing this activity on the otherwise idyllic island of Lanai, Hawaii. I love Hawaii, I love Lanai and I love water-based activities so I was excited when I showed up at the beach for my first experience with SNUBA. SNUBA is a combination of two words: snorkel and SCUBA and when I first heard of it I couldn’t help but think of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or The Snorks. I love snorkeling but have never been diving so I thought this would be the perfect in-between activity for me. What I soon realized is that in reality it’s actually a form of water-boarding or organized group drowning. No matter how hard I tried, I could not resolve the idea that it was ok to breathe underwater. I immediately started hyperventilating and had to head back up to the surface. Around me young children and octogenarians were giddily enjoying their experience while I, in the supposed prime of my life languished atop the water. I tried repeatedly but just couldn’t get the hang of it. After thirty minutes or so I gave up and retreated to shore. SNUBA was a disaster for me, but luckily I’ll always have snorkeling as my fallback activity, which has the added bonus of not being a form of torture banned by international convention.

Wine production tours

I like visiting wineries, I used to work in a winery and I foresee many more winery visits in my future. That’s why there are certain aspects to the experience that I never, ever need to do again. Vintners and the people who work for them have a hard job. Not only do they have to interpret and ultimately sell their wines to the visiting public, but they have to assume a certain knowledge base when doing so. That’s why so very many wineries offer tours to visiting guests. It’s a chance to fully explain the winemaking process and ultimately to have extra time with customers, selling them more wine in the process. Makes sense and I personally think it’s interesting; once. Unless a winery does something truly odd and/or exceptional, there is absolutely no reason to ever go on more than one winery tour in your life. Why? Because they’re all the same. It’s science and while some may tweak things here and there, there is pretty much only one way to make wine and that’s it. So wineries, I think the French oak barrels smell great and wow! That’s a huge stainless steel fermentation tank; but I don’t need to see them again. I will, however, miss making bunghole jokes. (Google it)

What experiences have you added to your ‘never again’ list?

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

16 thoughts on “4 Travel Experiences I Don’t Need To Do Ever Again”

  1. I’d be happy to not visit zoos any more, instead of winery tours. I’d gladly take the smell of wine caves over animal cages! And especially if the winery tour includes a vineyard tour…still enough difference in the views from the vineyards to make the walk through the production side worthwhile.

  2. I agree with Brett about zoos. My kids love aquariums (I know you’re not surprised) so I go to them pretty often and usually enjoy them even though it can get repetitive. I would add SCUBA diving…I did it once with basically no training beforehand, and although it was amazing, it also completely freaked me out.

  3. So sad you didn’t enjoy SNUBA! Although your water-boarding comparison made me chuckle :) If you ever change your mind and want to try again, let me know – I know someone with immeasurable patience who can help you conquer that fear.

  4. I think you just have to find the right caves. Here in the DR there are some caves that have giant crystal blue swimming pools surrounded by lush green vegetation and all sorts of wildlife. I can understand where you’re coming from though because I’ve also been to a lot of similar caves with the typical this is a stalagmite, oooooo.

  5. I have a child so he really enjoys aquariums but yes they are virtually all the same but the Osaka Aquarium is well worth it. Some caves are absolutely amazing I think it depends where you go. For me though it’s the observation decks of city towers the views look similar look over cities doesn’t blow my mind give me nature views anytime. We are off to Taipei this weekend and I’ll go to the observation deck of Taipei101 because my family want to go but I’d be happy to just look at the building from the outside.

  6. I am right there with you on the first two. I would also through zoos in. They are ok, and I don’t hate being there, but I would never seek them out on my own. Caves just bore me. Stalagmites and stalagtites are cool, but give me sunshine or even rain over a dark cave any day. I have never tried snabu, but I don’t know if I could get past the name. Never been on a wine tour, and I have no plans to go on one.

  7. Snuba! Sounds terrible.

    I am usually over temples and churches after a couple days in a region that has a high concentration of them. Except for the most famous ones they all start to blend together.

    I would be ok if I never get on a bus tour again.


  8. I completely agree with you on three of four. And while not destinations I’d add parades and fireworks. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.

    I still love caves. But I like cold and damp.

  9. I’m a huge fan of caves and wine tours, but to each her or his own. I personally never need to see somebody spin fire on a beach in Thailand again.

  10. I’ve only been to a couple of aquariums, but I definitely understand your sentiments on that one. Haven’t been to a cave or done SNUBA before, but I have done a winery tour and if includes samples I’ll happily go on another wine tour.

    On my list I’d add casinos – All casinos generally look the same to me (even if it’s a themed casino in Vegas the casino itself is still a big room of slot machines and gambling tables), and I find casinos quite boring (probably doesn’t help I’m not much of a gambler).

  11. Haha, these are great and I totally agree, though I’ve never tried Snuba! When reading your paragraph on caves I was thinking the whole way through, “except glow worm caves in NZ, except glow worm caves in NZ,” – what a coincidence you mentioned that at the end.

  12. For me I can’t take more than a few minutes exploring the interiors of palaces, especially if they come with a steep price tag ( I’m looking at you Schonbrun). All the gold leaf lined, broccaded to the hilt rooms all seem to run together after seeing more than 3. I’m much more impressed with the exterior architecture and gardens around the palace.

  13. Completely agree about visiting caves! The first one you go to is cool and you try really hard to find the resemblance between that rock and that thing the tour guide is telling you that it looks like. But then the 2nd time and the 3rd are really not any different. I’ve been disappointed with caves ever since I saw one in China. Maybe it’s time I draw the line and stop seeing caves as well.

  14. Matt,
    It means you’re getting older :). It’s good to do these items once and that’s it indeed.

    SNUBA nope, I have enough trouble snorkeling :)

    Caves, I’ve done enough of those, but they are cool though.

Comments are closed.

I help you experience the best the world has to offer!

Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.