After summarizing my 2018 in travel, now I’m looking ahead to what travel related items I hope to accomplish in 2019.
What about my travel goals from last year?
I met a few of my goals I set out for last year, including returning to Africa. Early in the year, I had a business trip to Johannesburg. I would like to have extended that trip, but it was in the midst of a lot of time away from home. Instead that trip was short, and all business. I did spend some time in Hong Kong this year, as a layover spot on a few trips in the region. Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities, so I was glad to be back. There were 2 trips down under last year, one to Australia for work, and then a great trip to New Zealand in Qantas First Class.
There are a few new stamps in my passport this year, but not as many as I hoped. I had some extra days on trips to Europe early in the year, and I enjoyed visiting Eastern Europe. The mix of architecture from the middle ages, Soviet era, and today is an interesting mix. I definitely want to visit this region more.
Most of my leisure trips this year, and lots of my work travel was to places I’ve been before. No complaints about that. Our family trip to Spain was great.
I still get great value from elite status. My work travel is a mix of domestic and long haul international trips. Always booked in economy, so my status matters a lot. last year I had good luck upgrading many of my flights. My upgrade rate was north of 75% overall, although I had more flights on single cabin aircraft that I would like.
Hotels were about as expected
Splitting loyalty between Hyatt and
Starwood Marriott was about as I expected it would play out. It was a pretty even split, with 50-some nights with Marriott and just over 60 with Hyatt, plus assorted others. With all the issues Marriott has had post Starwood integration, I guess I stayed there more than I expected. At least this year I didn’t have to do any mattress running. Hyatt counting award stays towards elite qualification makes that process much easier.
Goals for 2019
I’m not that into resolutions, but I guess I’ll lay out some goals for the new year. I don’t have any exotic trips planned yet. One thing I’d like to do is fly Qatar Airlines in a premium cabin. They have a very highly regarded business class, so I’d like to try that. With threats to leave Oneworld, I figure I better get something booked while I still can. Ideally I can grab one of their frequent sales and credit to my American Advantage account. Alternatively, maybe an award ticket would work.
I spent a lot of time away from home traveling alone for business in 2018. Given the nature of my job, that is likely to continue. Hopefully I can be more efficient in those trips and be home more. Better yet, have even more fun trips with family this year. Nothing booked yet, but file that under ‘developing’. So far I only have domestic travel planned out thus far this year.
How about you? What travel goals have you set for yourself in 2019?