I wasn't that bothered with them exploring the occasional planet or anomaly tbh and I don't think it really happened that often. I do think there should have been more episodes where they actively seek out new technologies to help their journey however. Voyager should have been rocking some awesome new alien technologies by the time we got to season 7 but unfortunately the ship didn't change whatsoever except for the astrometrics lab. And that basically brings us back to the problem of Voyager never changing despite its unique situation. We started off well with Neelix's canteen and then nothing. I've always thought that if they'd got rid of the holodeck stuff then the ship could have had a couple of cool additions and sets to provide recreation for the crew - maybe a permanent hydroponics garden (a good place for Kes to hang out) and some other recreational facilities beyond that bland, grey, military looking canteen we got. Voyager really was lacking color.
That was a budgetary thing more than a plot choice. They had a lot of leftover props and sets from TNG's holodeck stories, which made it easier to use them. Making all these new sets for the ship, commerce planet sets, repair stations/space drydocks would've broken the budget they had.
That's also why they didn't change the ship model either, it meant they could keep using stock footage since CGI alterations would've been really expensive back then as well. Year of Hell was as far as they were willing to go because of how expensive just doing it for two episodes was.
If they'd done what Berman wanted and waited until DS9 was done, they'd have started off with superior CGI tech (instead of starting off with physical models) and have plenty of leftover DS9 props and stuff from the TNG movies to use. And also they'd have had enough time to iron out VOY's conceptual problems (and it did have them).
Don't forget they had to rebuild the bridge set after it caught fire in between s3 and 4, I think it was.
Plus, "YOH" was a sweeps week eps., in which studios are allowed to spend a bigger budget on eps. because that when sponsors are shopping for hit show to advertise on. Season premiers, mid-season and season finales are the when the biggest amount of the shows budget is spent. If you look at the DVD's, you'll notice all the higher budgeted eps. are always clumped together. Look at when DS9 used it's budget on those FX space battles. Between DS9 & Voy., you'll see the pattern.
"Nothing Human", further proof of reusing an old set from DS9. Besides the DVD extras on TNG DVD's explain how many of the sets they us are reused sets and props to save on budgets. Every time their in a cave, it's the same cave in every series.
Yep, budget is everything on a show with such high production already such as Trek. The lighting bill on DS9 just to light up the Pormenade and Quarks alone must have been though the roof considering they film for 14 to 16 hours a day!!!