Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Year in Review: Travel Edition

It's that time of year when we celebrate the joy of the season and look ahead with hopeful optimism to the future. As we look to what the new year might bring, we also take time to look back because the Past is Prologue.

2013 has been a busy year. I mean busy in the sense of constant movement. I was always on the go. I traveled more this year than I ever have before, primarily work travel. There was a stretch from September 1 to Thanksgiving where I traveled every week. In June and July, of the 45 business days, I I was only in the office 9 of them. Busy is a hopelessly inadequate description of my life this year. Now lets not mistake this constant movement for progress. Being on the go so much left little time to relax, have fun, vacation, build relationships and meet new people. As legendary coach John Wooden said, "don't mistake activity for achievement." Of course, I feel that I have accomplished a lot this year; however, with all of the busyness dominating my time there was plenty more I wanted to. Plenty that I will dedicate myself to achieving in 2014.

2013 Travel by the numbers:

Delta Sky Miles
  • I traveled to 15 states and over 30 conferences, business meetings and events.
  • I have flown nearly 80,000 miles - Gold Medallion status on Delta.
  • I have spent over 60 nights at a hotel:
    • 22 nights at Marriott Hotels - Gold Status
    • 19 nights at Hyatt Hotels - Platinum Status
    • 14 nights at Starwood Preferred Hotels (Westin, A-Loft, Sheraton)
    • 9 nights at Hilton Hotels 
    • … and a few other random hotels I don't have rewards points for.
  • I have accrued 29 rental days with Enterprise - Enterprise Plus Silver status
Meet Durrell. We drove him in New Orleans

This A-Loft Hotel in Nashville was super cute.

I always unpack immediately, hanging up as much as possible.
I absolutely hate digging through a suitcase.

The perks …
  • I have earned about five free flights on Delta. I cashed in two of them already. 
  • I am higher on the list to receive free first-class upgrades (still behind Platinum and Diamond members though).
  • I can board early with the Sky Priority boarding group.
  • I can fly through airport security using the priority lane (at airports that have this feature).
  • Discounted Sky Club membership.
  • I get two free checked bags, 3 if my first class upgrade is confirmed prior to checking in.
  • Guaranteed room choice at Marriott and Hyatt hotels and a dedicated check-in line
  • Free suite upgrades and business upgrades, including complimentary breakfast in the hotel restaurant, complimentary laundry service: 1 pressed shirt or pants (I suck at ironing so this is perfect) and complimentary wifi access.
  • 2 pm guaranteed late check-out.
  • Access to the concierge lounge that includes breakfast, snacks and beverages throughout the day, a manager's reception with heavy hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer and honor bar. (This is clutch when traveling in an expensive market or on personal travel. You could eat and drink for free all day).
  • I have at least two free nights with Hyatt and Hilton hotels and one more left with Marriott (I burned one earlier this year).
  • I've earned at least 4 free rental days with Enterprise or two days with a bad ass upgrade.
  • I automatically receive a complimentary upgrade to the next level up from the car type I originally booked.
This may not seem like much, but these perks make travel that much easier, and afford me some freebies for personal travel.

The wifi struggle on the road can be treacherous.

Thats my travel in review. In the next few posts, I will review my year in running and a general 2013 list of accomplishments and goals for the next year.

What did 2013 look like for you?


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