2018 Business Travel - Year in Review

2018 Business Travel Summary: A review of my business travel this year

My last trip of the year is in the books (literally…I just submitted my expense report)! No more business trips for the rest of the year. Plus I am not on PTO until January 3rd. Yay me!

It’s been a whirlwind of a year with a two common themes: change and travel. In this post I share some of the highlights of this year’s business travel and some of the changes that came with it.

Some of these changes were big (acquisition of my company), other’s not so big (but still irritating) and some were good (like starting this blog in late August).

So, here’s my summary of the year from a business travel point of view (I will do a post that focuses a bit more on travel blogging).

Summary of Business Travel this Year

I was on the road a lot this year. Not as much as some years in the past, but more than a few other years (like last year which was a little light). Overall, it was 2018 was am average year of business travel for me.

I remember hitting elite status on both Southwest and Delta in one year. Yikes…that’s a lot of travel. I didn’t travel quite that much this year, but quite a bit more than last year.

Here’s a by the numbers summary.

Just the Facts M’am

  • Business Trips: 24 (basically, 2x a month)
  • Destinations: 13 (lots of repeats, mostly to Nashville)
  • Hotel Stays: 79 nights (feels light, but I try to compress my travel whenever I can to be home more). Gonna go check my #’s again on this one.
  • Flights: 41
  • Rental Cars: 15
  • Vacations: 2

Destinations

I live in California but the team I lead is mostly based in Nashville. Consequently, I spend a lot of time in Nashville. So much time, btw, that I’ve started writing about it:

Yeah…there’s more coming too! LOL.

Besides the great city of Nashville, I also spent time in many other great cities and towns. Here’s a complete list for 2018:

  • Chicago (2x)
  • Bloomington, IL (1x)
  • Nashville (9x)
  • Salt Lake City (2x) – working on article about SLC…but it’s going slow
  • Grand Rapids (1x) – wrote article about the beer scene here (it’s awesome – the beer that is, and maybe the article too…lol)
  • Phoenix (2x)
  • Las Vegas (2x)
  • Bismarck (1x) – checked off another Airport Code and another state. Only 3 left to go.
  • Minot, ND (1x)
  • Manchester, VT (1x)
  • Orlando (1x) – still hate FL…
  • Washington, DC (1x)
  • Palm Springs (1x) – just a day trip via car for a crummy little convention
  • San Diego (2x) – day trips by car customers/prospects
  • Los Angeles (2x) day trips by car to see customers/prospects

Plus 2 vacations…one to Salt Lake City and one to Phoenix (both cities have family members who live there).

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Business Travel by Provider

If you’ve been following me, you know I prefer Southwest, National and Hilton. As part of the acquisition I’ve had to switch to Avis (who I despise…), and a United switch is looming…

Here’s a breakout by company:

  • Hotels
    • Hilton, 24 stays, 77 nights
    • Marriott, 1 stay, 1 night
    • Others, 1 stay, 1 night
  • Airlines
    • Southwest, 34 flights
    • Delta, 6 flights
    • Other, 1 flight
  • Rental Car Companies
    • Avis, 10 rentals
    • National, 5 rentals

I re-earned my Southwest A-List this year (after losing it the year prior due to a lighter schedule). Not enough to get A-List Preferred this year (or companion pass) and not close enough to do a mileage run.

Kept my Hilton Diamond Status another year, lost my National Executive status (sad…), and am earning Avis status (who cares…they suck).

Change is constant (but expected)

The other dominant theme this year was change. And it came on many fronts:

  1. Started a Travel Blog. I finally decided to do it. After years of travel (some more than others) I figured I should share what and how I do it. It’s been an absolute blast. I’ve made a little money (not much), but had so much fun. Figuring out how to work this around my already busy schedule has been fun, but I’ve been religious about keeping it distinctly separate from my paying job. As it should be.
  2. Company Acquired. I’ve been through several of these before. They always make you a little uneasy. But this has been good for us and for me personally. We hit our numbers this year. They like us, and me and so far…so good.
  3. New Travel Provider(s) – like Avis… New company. New Travel Rules. No more National. Hello Avis. No more Concur. New internal Travel system. etc. United is likely on the Horizon.
  4. Reorg. With acquisitions, reorgs happen. We did a few. But so far so good.
  5. Title Change. With acquisitions things happen. I got my title demoted, but a pay raise. I think that’s a win.
  6. Spent more “work-related” time w/ my son. Now that I have a blog, my oldest son (who’s in college) and I have bonded over a few blog/internet/traffic/side hustle things. It’s been cool to connect with my son on adult terms. He’s got good ideas/advice and he’s willing to listen to mine. He’s been helping me w/ Instagram too, which is great!

I actually like change. So it’s been good, overall.

Looking Ahead

Starting a blog in August was not planned. It was also FAR more work than I expected. Especially if you want to be successful. But I’ve seen growth in leaps and bounds. More importantly, I’ve not had this much fun in a while. 2019 will be a massive growth year for this blog. I’ve no doubt.

Professionally, work is going very good. No end in sight for business travel in 2019. Maybe mix in some international (Krakow and India) next year too.

Personally, family life is good right now. Not amazingly great or anything. But good. And sometimes good is ok. With a travel job, family life is hard. But we all make the best of it. And I try to be present when I am home.

So, there you have it. My 2018 business travel year in review.  How about you? What did your 2018 year look like? Drop me a comment below and follow my social media accounts.

Peace out!

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By the way, if you are interested in more travel tips and travel advice, you might be like these great articles:

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