Submitted by Joe Cortez
As it happens this time every year since we started acknowledging these occasions with the Gregorian Calendar, the closing of another year is upon us. Yesterday, we bid adieu to the 2012, and look forward to another trip around the sun.
At this time, we usually set standard goals for ourselves in the form of resolutions. You know the lot: lose weight, stop smoking, take up a new hobby, etc. But as I look at 2013, and what I want to get achieved, I have a completely different set of goals ahead of me. This year, instead of making the traditional resolutions, I'm setting a new personal course and making travel resolutions.
Yes, you read that right : travel resolutions. Over the long holiday weekend, I've gone to my favorite restaurant (where I ususally go to make important and potentially life-altering decisions) and decided on all of the travel goals I wanted to hit this year. My rules are the same as those for any other resolution: they have to be reasonable, be feasible, and not send me into bankruptcy by the end of 2013. And I think I've made a list of goals that I can make without much trouble. So here are my travel resoultions to hit:
- Star Alliance Gold status through Aegean Airlines
This year, I flew for 5,000 credited miles to Aegean Airlines by flying Star Alliance carriers. And while I suffered a couple of trip?delays as a result, I have no regrets. I now have Star Alliance Silver Status, which allows me to board faster and get priority waitlisting on other flights when I do travel. This year, I want to credit an additional 16,000 miles to Aegean. Why would I do this instead of try for United MileagePlus Gold? As outlined by one of my favorite blogs, View from the Wing, Aegean Airlines status is good for three years - and extends every time you credit miles to the account. Plus, I get free Star Alliance lounge access while traveling in the United States or abroad, extra checked baggage, priority handling (as to not suffer baggage loss),?and super priority boarding. Once I have this, I'll have all the privliges of being a gold member, short of getting free upgrades.
- Enhanced?status with at least one hotel chain
Thanks to a weeklong stay in San Francisco this year, I was able to get Hilton HHonors silver status - which means I get to accrue HHonors points faster. In 2013, while I plan on having HHonors gold status through a credit card (which gives me free WiFi at all Hilton Hotels), I also want to earn status the old fashioned way. And with one trip to the Falls in February, as well as trips to the West Coast in March, April, and November, I think I can get enhanced status with at least one property chain. And if I have at least one trip delay requiring an overnight stay, it could work to my advantage. Now, to decide which one...
- Make it back to?Europe at least once this year
The last time I was in Europe was the summer of 2001 - I was an exchange student in Germany. Its high time that I go back. So sometime this year, I want to make it back to the European continent. It would be ideal if I could make it on miles - but even if I don't the experience of returning to Europe would be well worth it. I think this time, I'll go to London. Or maybe Edinburgh.
- At least two mileage runs for fun
This year, I made a run to San Francisco just to get on an airplane. And because the price was right, and I needed to make the run for my status above. This year, regardless of trip delay, trip interruption, or baggage loss, I want to make at least two mileage runs - for fun - because I can. I'll be scanning the ITA Matrix and Google Flights to see where the best prices are per mile - and seeing where my adventures take me this year.
It's an ambitious list that I have above - but I have a feeling that I can make it all work this year. I'll keep you updated this year on how I end up.
What are your travel resolutions in 2013? Let me know in the comments below!
(Ed. Note: No incentive was given to mention any product or service in this blog. Travel Insurance Services and its affiliated companies do not endorse nor guarantee any product or service mentioned in this or any blog. Your experiences and results may vary.?However, we sure would love to hear about your experiences with them!)
About the Author:
Joe Cortez is the marketing specialist for Travel Insurance Services. In his spare time, he has a deep affinity for travel, points collecting & multiplying,?seeing how?cheap he can run from one corner of the continent to another.?He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.