Year in Review

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:

2016-12-31-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:

January

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.

Routing: MEM-DTW-MSP-BZN-MSP-MEM

February

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.

Routing: MEM-DEN // EGE-DFW-MEM

April

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.

Routing: MEM-ORD // MKE-ORD-MEM

August

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.

Routing: MEM-CLT-DEN-MEM

October

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.

Routing: MEM-ORD-BRU-PRG // BUD-FRA-ORD-MEM

2016-12-31-international-travel

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 gcmap.com

My Year in Travel – 2014
Made with gcmap.com

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 gcmap.com

Projected 2015 Travel
Made with gcmap.com

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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