Every year I like to not only reflect on our past adventures, but also tally up my travel stats. I know. Totally nerdy. I am most interested in seeing the world for the experiences themselves and the innate value I see in that. But I am also a numbers guy who enjoys totaling things and calculating statistics and such. I also have a few checklists that I’m working through as well, such as visiting every state in the Union.
New countries and states visited
The two main things I track are countries and states (as well as Canadian provinces) that I’ve visited. I did not honestly expect to pick up any new states this year. My one new state was rather unexpected: West Virginia. Never did I think I’d be headed there anytime soon, nor did I ever think the company I work for would pick up a project in that state. But that’s exactly what happened. I’ve now spent more time in Pocahontas County, WV than many other places in the U.S.
I could probably count my visit to Charleston, South Carolina as my first visit to that state as well. When my wife and I took an overnight train from New York City to New Orleans (SEE: Our Honeymoon: An Introduction to Travel Rewards), we technically passed through South Carolina. However, we were fast asleep in our Roomette at the time, so we didn’t actually see any of the state. We woke up in western Georgia.
As far as new countries go, I only added two this year: Luxembourg and China. China is one that I will surely visit again. There is so much to see. Our time in Beijing and Hong Kong barely scratched the surface. This was also my first time visiting any country in Asia, so I added a continent. My brief layover in Incheon in early 2017 doesn’t count (SEE: Asiana business class review: Seoul to Sydney).
More miles flown than in any previous year
A little over a year ago I started tracking all my flights using openflights.org. The website is simple and effective, although it isn’t the most visually appealing. But that doesn’t really matter. All I want it to do is track when and where I’ve flown, and with which airlines and on what equipment.
My 2018 travels consisted of exactly 60 flight segments totaling over 75,000 miles on six different airlines. This year also included my first trip to Asia and my first time flying both Air France and Cathay Pacific. The Air France economy experience was stellar (SEE: Air France A380 Economy Review: Paris to San Francisco). But the Cathay Pacific flights in premium economy and business class were far, far better. Here is a map of the flights.
My 2018 air travel amounted to the most of any year to date. It also amount to over a third of my total lifetime flight miles. This was mostly due to eight trips back and forth across the country for work, although the two international trips certainly racked up the miles as well. Here are some other statistics from the year:
- Number of airports visited: 26
- Number of different aircraft types flown: 20
- Longest segment flown: Hong Kong to San Francisco – 6,914 miles
- Shortest segment flown: Charlotte to Roanoke – 155 miles
- Average flight distance: 1,259 miles
Hotel statistics compared to 2017
We spent a ridiculous number of nights in hotels back in 2017. Most of this was due our trip to Costa Rica when we adopted our kids, as we stayed in an apart-hotel for nearly two months. Other trips earlier in the year added to the total, and all said and done, just over a quarter of my year was spent away from home.
This year was very similar, primarily due to eight week-long work trips. Here is the breakdown by chain:
- Best Western: 1 (1 work)
- Choice: 7 (2 cash, 5 work)
- Club Carlson: 6 (1 award, 5 work)
- Hilton: 13 (1 cash, 11 award, 1 work)
- Hyatt: 10 (3 award, 7 work)
- IHG: 17 (3 cash, 6 award, 8 work)
- Marriott/Starwood: 26 (1 cash, 5 award, 20 work)
- Wyndham: 8 (1 cash, 4 award, 3 work)
- Other: 7 (2 award, 1 work, 4 other)
- Total: 95 nights (8 cash, 32 awards, 51 work, 4 other)
Favorite stay: our five nights at the Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing (Review). The benefits of holding elite status with Marriott were well worth acquiring for this stay alone. It was both enjoyable and a great value.
Looking ahead to 2019
I already have a number of trips penciled in for the first half of next year (SEE: Travel Planning: Penciling in the First Half of 2019). The work travel will slow down a bit, at least for the next six months or so, but we’ll still be heading out on an adventure roughly once per month, even if it is a quick weekend away. I also have some exciting flying planned, and my sights set on top-tier Hyatt status.