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2018 Travel Recap

Time flies when you’re always catching flights…

2018 – The Year That Was…Surprising

For a year that started off without any particular direction, it certainly took me places. If anything 2018 reminded me that we’re not in control of life. We’ve got to pivot and duck and jive and weave…especially if you work for yourself. You’ve got to be adaptive when plotting your travel loyalty strategy as well…a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. All things aside, while a lot of travel can get tiresome, not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for the places, spaces and faces I’ve met on this journey.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

I’m so incredibly fortunate to have been able to check off so many new countries this year. A few of these destinations I knew were coming, and some were a happy surprise. Others, not so much. Here’s the list of destinations:

United States

  • Dallas, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Orlando, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Seattle, WA
  • Denver, CO
  • Boston, MA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Madison, WI


  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Belgium
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • France
  • India
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Bulgaria
  • Netherlands
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • Croatia
  • Germany

Up In the Air

Even I surprised myself with this one:

92 flights…

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168,894 miles…

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This year I reached United MileagePlus Platinum (thanks to a having a non US residency address). While I’ll certainly miss those GPUs (Global Premier Upgrades), I’m not sure how everything will sort out with their recent changes, so still waiting to see what life will be like without Premier 1k status. Don’t cry for me, though because I’ve got four fresh System-Wide Upgrades thanks to hitting American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum.

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At the end of the day, all that really matters is keeping Star Alliance Gold. I’ll miss pre-boarding, but Group 1 still suits me just fine. (Better than Group 2 boarding on AA).

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Heads in Beds

I’m still missing a few stays from the recent Marriott/SPG merger debacle. I was all in on keeping my Platinum status at the beginning of the year. While the app says that I have 56 nights…it’s more like 62. Towards the end of the year I realized getting Hilton Diamond would be easy thanks to another status challenge. Maybe 2019 will be the year of Hyatt Globalist?

At the end, I spent 234 nights at hotels (and about 20 nights sleeping in the office in Madison, Wi).

On The Road Again

So, I also rented a ton of cars. I certainly enjoyed Hertz President’s Circle status (thanks to my United 1k status), which I’ll retain for next year. I also did an Avis status match to take advantage of some pretty competitive promotions. In fact, not counting miles earned in the air, renting cars was the second highest grossing mileage earning activity I had this year.

Hertz: 63 rentals for a total of 173,250 United MileagePlus miles…not too shabby. Curious how I worked that one? Click here.

Avis: 13 rentals for a total of 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

My favorite cars?

  • Volvo XC60
  • Chrysler 300
  • Cadillac XTS
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK 350

What Does 2019 Have In Store For You?

Does the Big Three US based airlines increasing their minimum spend to $15,000 for top tier status change your strategy? Have you given up on Marriott after their merger mess?

The post 2018 Travel Recap was first published on Coworkaholic.

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