Looking Back On 2013 And Forward To 2014

I’m a bit late in putting this post together, but I’ve been in Thailand for the past little while, so cut me some slack :)

2013 was a pretty busy and exciting year for me, both from a travel perspective and from a blogging perspective, so I thought I’d share some of the highlights, and offer a sneak preview of how 2014 is shaping up:

Travel

I didn’t end up traveling quite as often in 2013 as I did in 2012, but it was still a pretty busy year and all together I flew 105,934 miles and visited a number of new places. Here’s what my total flight map looks like (via GCMap.com):

2013-travel-recap-map

Lots of domestic trips, as well as a few to Europe and Asia, and the return leg of my trip to South Africa last New Year’s. I’m based in New York, so a sizeable share of my flights were into or out of New York’s three major airports. Here’s a little wordle I put together that provides a visual depiction of my most frequented airports:

2013-travel-recap-wordle

A few more stats:

  • Of my 105,934 miles, 62,342 were for business (all paid tickets) and 43,592 were for personal trips (18,923 booked with miles, 24,669 on paid tickets)
  • My longest flight was JFK-HKG (8,072 miles), my shortest was GSO-CLT (83 miles)
  • My most frequent route was EWR<>BOS, which I flew 3 times in each direction

What does next year look like in terms of travel? Well, I actually think it’ll be a bit slower – though it’s a little hard to predict my work travel a year out so I could be wrong. I know for sure that I have a work trip to India this spring, and wouldn’t be surprised if I end up having trips to Europe, Asia or even South America at some point throughout the year as well. From a personal trip perspective, there are always trips up to Toronto to see my family, but I also know that I have weddings in St. Louis, Maine, Ottawa, and Massachusetts to attend this year. We also have a big family trip to Greece over the summer, and I can’t wait for that!

The biggest difference will be how many personal tickets I actually pay cash for. With a big stash of Avios burning a hole in our pockets, my wife and I will likely be looking to use miles for the majority of our personal trips this year (vs. the slightly over 50% we had in 2013).

Blogging

From a blogging perspective, 2013 was also a big year as I joined a great team here at First2Board! I also got to spend a fun weekend at BoardingArea’s BAcon blogger conference, where I learned a lot and was able to put faces to names. My little blog has grown considerably over the past year or so, and it’s been a great experience all around!

My most popular posts since First2Board launched in late February 2013 are:

  1. How To Maximize Your Upgrade Chances When Flying United
  2. Flying SWISS Business Class JFK-ZRH
  3. United Debuts New p.s. Commercial
  4. Visiting The Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge In Istanbul
  5. Flying South African Airways Business Class From DC To Johannesburg
  6. United And Marriott Get Together To Offer RewardsPlus
  7. South African Airways Business Class Take Two: Johannesburg to JFK
  8. Are Hotel Points More Valuable Than Airlines Miles?
  9. Flying SWISS Intra Europe Business Class
  10. Chase United VIP Lounge To Return To The Westfield San Francisco Centre

Lot of trip reports in that list!

For 2014, I still plan to write trip reports of my more interesting flights and hotel stays, sharing my experiences so that you can make informed decisions about who to fly and where to stay (especially when it comes to food and drink, seat quality, and entertainment). I’ll also try to offer more tips and suggestions (a la the United Upgrade post above) on specific airlines, hotels, loyalty programs, destinations, and other travel-centric questions. I will continue to offer perspectives and commentary on current news and events in the industry, but likely only for really major things (or medium-sized ones involving United or Starwood).

What else would you like to see me write about this year?

Finally, I wanted to say thank you for reading in 2013, and I hope you all continue to come back in 2014. It’s humbling to see how many visitors this blog is now getting on a daily basis, and I hope that that growth trajectory will only continue next year!

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!


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  2 comments for “Looking Back On 2013 And Forward To 2014

  1. Miles, Points, and Mai Tais
    January 4, 2014 at 11:02 am

    That wordle thing is awesome! Never heard of it before, but I had to make one too :) http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/7424409/2014

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