Year in Review

2022: The Year in Travel

2022 saw my return not only to skiing but to international travel. In both cases there was a wonderful sense of normalcy returning. While masks were still required for my ski trips, by the time I took a flight in May they were optional. I chose to wear a mask on my trip over to Europe as I didn’t want to chance catching anything that would ruin my enjoyment but I didn’t wear one on the way back.

I had five trips this year that involved flights. Three were ski trips and the other two were with my travel buddies. For trips to see family I just have a three-hour drive.

Ski trips this year were to Beaver Creek, Colorado (where I’d intended to fly into the Vail/Eagle County airport (EGE) but learned that during inclement weather regional jets can’t land there! But I caught a ride from Denver and was able to return home from Eagle), to Crested Butte, Colorado (Gunnison – GUC) and Steamboat, Colorado (Hayden – HDN). I had a round-trip flight to Chicago (ORD) in May where I met up with friends for a trip to the Great Plains, including Mount Rushmore.

My 2022 Domestic Travel

In October I finally left the country for the first time since 2019, flying United to meet my friend in Chicago and flying to Florence (FLR) via Zurich (ZRH) on SWISS and then flying to Paris (CDG) on Air France where we took a Viking River Cruise to Normandy and back before I returned to Chicago on Air France and back to Memphis on United. I’m still working on that trip report but hope to finish it early in the new year.

My 2022 International Travel

My flight maps this year have a lot of overlapping lines, especially between MEM-DEN, MEM-DFW and MEM-ORD but that’s life in a non-hub city.

Though I didn’t add any new entries to my “countries I’ve visited” list, I thought I’d include a map of that here.

Countries I’ve visited so far. I plan to add at least one new country next year! Get your own map on the Matador Network

Where did your travels take you this year? Leave me a comment!

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2021: The Year in Travel

Like a lot of folks my travel came to a screeching halt during the pandemic.  After returning home from my last ski trip on March 7, 2020 the only times I left the Memphis area for the remainder of that year were to visit family in Nashville.  I’d planned to go skiing at the end of January this year but as COVID rates started increasing and vaccines were not yet a reality I ended up canceling that trip.  As a result 2021 will close out without me getting on a plane. I believe this is the first time since the mid-1990s that has happened.

After being double-vaccinated my friend and I met in Nashville in May and took off on a 10-day roadtrip around the Southeastern US.  Part of our plan was to use up some of the free night certificates we’d accumulated.  It was great to enjoy the warm (but not hot yet!) sunshine, walk on the beach, see some minor-league baseball as well as visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

Instead of a flight map of my travels, this year I have a road map:

I’m not usually a fan of road trips but was so glad to get away that the mode of transportation didn’t even matter.

Have a safe and healthy 2022, please get vaccinated (and boosted!) and let’s put this whole miserable pandemic behind us.

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2020: The Year In Travel

What a difference a year makes! In 2019 I had 30 flight segments and nearly 50,000 miles flown. In 2020, just 7 flight segments and 4,155 miles in the air.

Of course we all know why. I’m not positive I’d ever heard the word “pandemic” before March of this year and now it’s part of our everyday vocabulary.

Map created by

I did get two ski trips in before the US shut down(-ish) and had related lodging reviews:

Then there was the small fire in my home that caused me to live at the Homewood Suites Southwind/Hacks Cross here in Memphis for four months.

I was able to get back to Nashville in the late summer and stayed at the new Home2Suites by Hilton Nashville Bellevue on the southwest side of the city and stayed there again at Christmas. Over Thanksgiving I was at nearby Hampton Inn that I reviewed late last year. Amex Offers provided discounts to both places which was an unexpected bonus.

I’ve got a ski trip planned for early February and am hoping it doesn’t get canceled. At the time of this writing some Colorado counties are not allowing folks who don’t live together to share vacation lodging. Hopefully that won’t be the case in Eagle County during the week I’m planning to be there.

This past October we were scheduled to go to Hawaii and attend a Hilton timeshare presentation in return for several free nights on the Big Island. Obviously that got canceled but I was still on the hook to attend a presentation. So we’ve moved it to Myrtle Beach, SC in May and will hope to take a few days on either side to explore the Carolinas.

We don’t have plans for our usual big trip in the fall; it will all depend on how things go with vaccines, etc. Hopefully in a few months we’ll be able to get the ball rolling on that – even if we stay domestic instead of going abroad in 2021.

How did your 2020 travel plans change and what do you have on tap for 2021?

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2019 Travel Year in Review

Once again it’s time to look back and see where I traveled in the past year.

Cyan: Ski trip to Big Sky (Bozeman), Montana, Pink: Ski trip to Park City (Salt Lake City), Utah, Green: Business Trip to Copenhagen, Red: Business Trip to Vienna (49,830 miles)

I was able to do two ski trips this year and they were to two of my favorite places: Big Sky, Montana and Park City, Utah. In Big Sky I arrived a day before the group so I spent the night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman. Up on the mountain we stayed at The Huntley Lodge for the first time in about 20 years.  For the Park City trip I again arrived a night early and stayed at the Spring Hill Suites SLC Airport for one night and then at the Park Station Condos for the week.

After the last ski trip in February it was a long wait until I flew again. Then I had two trips in August. The first was to Copenhagen where I flew SAS Business Class and stayed at the AC Bella Sky Marriott. The second was to Vienna where I flew LOT Polish Business Class and stayed at the Hilton Vienna am Stadtpark with a stop-off at the Hyatt Place Chicago O’Hare Airport on the way home. Continue reading

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2018 Travel Year in Review

Once again it’s time to look back and see where I traveled in the past year.

Red: Ski trip to Snowmass, flying into the Vail/Eagle County airport, Yellow: the path my luggage took on that ski trip, Pink: a visit to New Orleans, Green: European vacation, Blue: Vacation to Iceland, Purple: work trip to Italy and Germany

My lone ski trip of the season was to Snowmass, Colorado in February. I flew United Airlines from Memphis to Houston and into the Vail/Eagle County airport (EGE), where I chose to rent a car and driving the last 1.5 hours rather than getting stuck all day in the Aspen airport like I’d done in 2017! I spent one night at the Westin Snowmass and the rest of the week at The Crestwood condominiums. Meanwhile, my luggage decided to take the scenic route (shown in yellow on the map) and visit San Juan, Puerto Rico. When it arrived there the good folks on the ramp determined that the quickest way to get it to me was to send it to Newark, NJ and from there Newark to EGE. Unfortunately that meant over 48 hours without my luggage and two missed ski days. I did get a free sweater, t-shirt and shorts out of it (had to buy something clean to wear and to sleep in) and eventually United reimbursed most of my expenses and sent me a flight voucher. Continue reading

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2017 In Review

It’s time to take a look back at my travel for 2017.  According to TripIt (a great app for keeping up with all your travel reservations!) here were my statistics for 2017:

Jet Lovers, a cool site that reads your Swarm or Facebook check-ins and maps your travel from that, calculated my distances as a little further, but still pretty close.  I also like the map they create that highlights airport names.  The more prominent the airport name, the more times that airport was visited during the year:

Continue reading

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2016 In Travel

It’s time to take a look back at the travel I’ve done this year.  As usual I had a couple of ski trips and one multi-week trip overseas with a couple of long weekends too.  First, the visual of my domestic travel:


It’s hard to tell on the map because I hit up the same airports several times but here’s how it worked out:


A trip to one of my favorite places, Big Sky, Montana.  As usual, finding award seats was a challenge.  Add in the fact I had a friend traveling from Memphis with me and another friend in Nashville who wanted to use miles and we decided it was cheaper to take an extra day off work and leave on a Friday rather than buy a ticket to fly on Saturday with the rest of the ski club.  Splitting a hotel room made that an obvious choice for us.  With American Airlines flying into Bozeman for the first time this ski season, I’m hoping that in the future there will be more award space available than on the Delta flights.



My second ski trip was to Vail, Colorado.  I had no problem finding award space on the flight to Denver, which meant I could easily meet up with my ski club there.  However their return flight was in the late afternoon and the only DEN-MEM flights with award space were in the morning.  So I either had to pay for my own transportation back to Memphis or fly back from the Vail/Eagle County airport (EGE). Even though I had to book ground transportation from our condo to EGE, it was much cheaper than shuttling two hours back to Denver.



I took a long weeked to visit friends.  One lives in Chicago and the other in Milwaukee. So I flew into Chicago and spent a night there before we drove up to Milwaukee for the rest of the weekend.



Another weekend trip out to Denver and my first-ever summertime visit to Vail.  I’d originally purchased a MEM-DFW-DEN ticket for Friday night but my flight got cancelled. To get me to Denver as early as possible the next morning I was re-routed via … Charlotte.  I didn’t love getting up so early to catch that flight but I did get into Denver on time so for that I’m thankful.  A non-stop on Frontier proved to be the cheapest route home.



My longest trip of the year was a cruise on the Danube River.  I hope to start posting about it soon.  I flew to Chicago to meet up with my trip roommate and from there we flew to Prague via Brussels.  After a couple of days there we took a bus, a train and a taxi to Nuremberg, Germany, where we began our cruise,  and floated to Budapest, Hungary.  On the return trip I had visions of using my Miles & More miles to stop at Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal in Frankfurt but no award space ever opened up.



Not the most glamorous of travel destinations but I’d never been to any of the European cities that I visited and it was good to go back to some places that feel like home by now.

Next year will bring more new destinations in the form of a trip to Asia as well as going back to some familiar ski resorts.

Where will 2017 take you?

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2015 In Travel

In 2014 I flew longer and further than I had done in quite some time but in 2015 I actually flew even further and longer thanks to my two week trip to Australia and Fiji.

Domestically, ski trips took me to Steamboat Springs (Haden via Atlanta) and to Salt Lake City (via Dallas/Ft. Worth) and visits to my friends sent me to Los Angeles (via Houston on the way out and via Denver on the way back) and to Chicago (ORD).2015 Domestic Travel

The good thing about my domestic travels was that every trip was either paid for with airline miles, credit card points or travel credits from a credit card.  None of the trips were free but the points, miles and credits sure help to keep the costs down!

Internationally my Birthday-With-A-Zero extravaganza sent me to Sydney (via DFW), to Ayers Rock (AYQ via MEL and ASP/Alice Springs), to Melbourne (returning via ASP), to Nadi (NAN), Fiji and home to Memphis via LAX and DFW.2015 Intl Travel
So despite two trips across the Atlantic last year, I flew 1500 miles further and had 4 hours more in flight time than last year.  I choose to think that those extra miles and hours were spent aboard the Qantas first class flight from Dallas to Sydney.  You’d never think a 17-hour flight could pass so quickly!

I won’t be flying further or longer in 2016.  I’ll still have two trips but my international trip is to Europe and  some of the ground there will be covered via a river cruise.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the new year brings!

Where will your travels take you in 2016?

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The Year in Travel

2014 was an unusually heavy travel year for me. I normally like to take a ski trip in January and another in February and then another big vacation in the fall, with a weekend trip thrown in here and there. But when we were offered the opportunity to go on a river cruise in spring 2014, that meant I had to forego my fall 2013 big vacation, since my company’s vacation year is based on our fiscal year and not the calendar year. But it also meant 2014 would be very busy!

I started out with ski trips to Breckenridge and Beaver Creek, CO and then took a long weekend with friends in Chicago in March. The European river cruise was in April and in September friends and I visited Turkey. I had one final trip to Chicago in October to obtain Global Entry for the next five years.

So visually my traveling looked like this:

My Year in Travel - 2014 Made with

My Year in Travel – 2014
Made with

That’s a total of 30,862 miles in a year. While I realize that’s peanuts in comparison to true road warriors, it’s quite a lot for me! The best part is that at least the last three trips were all paid for with miles. They weren’t free – the first class segments on British Airways had large fuel surcharges – but they allowed me to travel in comfort and be much better rested when I arrived that I would have been if I’d flown in economy.

What’s on the horizon for 2015? Much less travel as of right now. But so far I’m only using points, even for my domestic trips. I am flying in economy on my first trip of the year but because I’m using points I paid for the extra legroom on the two longer flights. I’m not that tall but my legs are long enough that I really like the extra space.

Here’s the plan for 2015 so far:

Projected 2015 Travel Made with

Projected 2015 Travel
Made with

I’ve got a “round” birthday coming up this year and decided to celebrate it in style, Down Under. I’ve got all my airline tickets booked (on points, of course!) and a couple of the hotels. I’m working on gaining the points for the other hotels by the end of March. I’m very excited about this!

With no trips currently planned between February and October, I imagine I’ll have to get away for a long weekend this spring. I will head back home for Mother’s Day. If my dad doesn’t come to Memphis for the golf tournament, then I’ll go home for Father’s Day too.

What kind of travel do you have planned for 2015?

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