Travel goals are something I find critical to planning each year. Not only do they influence how I may approach status but also where I may choose to travel.
I laid out seven goals for 2017. These were in line with my overall focus on achieving a goal of “less” this year.
- Maximize my actual travel time – This goal was all about gaining some of my time back and I’ve done just that. I’m often taking conference calls from the back of an Uber. The only frustrating thing about not driving myself to the airport as much as been that Uber has been less reliable. Lately I am also buying up to first class so that I can wrap up my work on the plane too.
- Maintain only necessary status – So far, I am tracking at a fairly typical pace for airline status in 2017. I am far behind for hotel status. I had normal travel schedules in January/February and then was suddenly home for most of March. April looks to be light but then I will likely pick up again. It seems pretty clear that I will be maintaining my airline statuses. Giving up my Hyatt status was not unexpected either. I don’t know what will happen yet with the roll-in with my lifetime Platinum on Starwood as I have many lifetime Marriott nights too. Right now, here is where I am:
- American Airlines – 42% of the way to Executive Platinum requalification – I’ll hit on revenue before I hit on miles
- Delta – 31% of the way to Gold requalification
- Marriott – 19% of the way to Platinum requalification (I’m not even worrying about my Starwood nights at this point… I’m lifetime Platinum so only thinking Marriott here)
- Hyatt – 12% of the way to Globalist requalification
- Figure out what I need and then pay for it – I’ve been buying up to first class frequently. American is pricing first class higher, but Delta it is often very reasonable to purchase. I feel sorry for the Delta Diamond Medallions who keep passing me on their way to coach.
- Monitor my points and miles credit cards more carefully – Note to self… use United companion certificate next week and then call to cancel card. I must get better about churning. I did see a 70,000 offer pop up last week when I last checked my options. My Citibank AAdvantage threshold has already been hit for the year so I should have done this sooner.
- Spend quality time at home – This was my most passionate goal and I’ve worked hard on it. I think Jim will agree this has been a successful pursuit so far. If you look at the Instagram feed for Jetsetters Homestead you will see how much cooking we’ve been doing.
- Stop collecting destinations – I wanted to focus on the “why” of my trips and not just the “where”. In Q1, I didn’t hit any new locations. There was definitely some personal intent behind a couple of my trips. Now in Q2, we will cross a couple of new locales off the bucket list. We go to Cuba in May and I go to Alaska on Seabourn in June. I’m excited about both new locales. We have not done much planning for the second half of the year yet. I’d hoped for a Middle Eastern carrier redemption but with the recent electronics ban, that may be difficult. Our work situations don’t allow for parting with our electronics. We have tickets on hold for Asia in November but there are many months still to fill in.
- Leverage technology – I still need help here although I think Hub was the best find for us in Q1. With all the changes here recently, there have been a few adjustments. Hub has helped us integrate travel calendars and many lists. Now if we could just get the DVR and our Netflix watch lists fully synchronized!
As we enter Q2, I’m refocusing on these and ready to refresh again. I know as the travel kicks up again that I’ll need to maintain my sanity. Keeping the home life in balance with the travel life will be a challenge but I’m ready to rise to the occasion.