Travel is one of my greatest passions in life. I love being a mom. I love being a social butterfly and having gatherings with my friends. I love going on rafting trips and ski dates with my hubby. But above all, I love being a mom and friend and wife who travels WITH her family and friends. 🙂
A friend of mine posted the other day on Facebook a tally of his travel in 2018. He travels for work so his numbers were crazy high, but it got me thinking about my year, and I decided to add up my own numbers. I did this mostly from memory, but it was kinda crazy for me to realize how much traveling I/we did in 2018!
As a quick disclaimer to this – my husband owns his own company, and with the bills we pay for material for his jobs, we build up a TON of air miles every year (maybe a half a million? more? I’m honestly not even sure). This greatly enhances our ability to afford to travel as much as we do since we almost never pay for airline tickets and have friends and family scattered around the world to stay with.
I also have spent a lot of time researching credit cards and rewards and air miles to the point that we literally think about which card to use to get double or triple miles in different categories in order to maximize our award travel. There are a lot of blogs out there dedicated to just that so I’m not going to go into it in depth here, but I can say it’s definitely worth your time to learn if you want to increase your ability to travel for free! We love our Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Business Preferred cards. <3
So, without further ado, here is the tally of our travel outside of Colorado in 2018!
- 2 countries (France & Mexico)
- 6 states (California, Utah, Arizona, South Dakota, Minnesota, Ohio)
- 50 days of family vacation (France, camping, Cali, rafting, Minnesota, Ohio, and Mazatlan) WOW!
- 7 days of couple’s vacation (hockey weekend 2 hours from here and a trip to Cali for a wedding my husband was the best man in)
- 5 days of a work vacation for me (Maz with coworkers)
- 6 days of weekend vacations for me (Denver girls’ weekend 6 hours from here and a Moab girls’ weekend 2h45 from here)
- 5 days of vacation for my hubby (guys’ golf trip to Mesquite)
- 32 flights for me (about 22,000 miles flown) – 28 commercial and 4 private!
- Only a few nights in hotels, mostly we do AirBnb or stay with family/friends when we travel
When you lay it all out like that, it was seriously jaw dropping for me, especially the 50 days of family vacation! To be fair, when we went to Spain in February of 2017 over the kids’ break, we decided to make it a goal to do one big trip with them each year. Well, in February of 2018 we did France, and then this winter trip ended up happening in December instead of February, so the stats are a little skewed with 2 big international trips in one year. 2019 numbers should be MUCH lower than that.
We do always take a family trip to Minnesota in August that tends to be 11+ days, so that will always bump that family vacation number up quite a bit. I am one of 5 siblings, so our goal as we have gotten older and spread out and started families of our own is to always all get together at least once a year no matter what. We managed to actually do that 3x this year (once with all 15 of us, once with everyone except my parents, and once with everyone except my husband and one of my brother-in-laws because they couldn’t get away from work) , which is pretty incredible! Family is so important.
Also, I am lucky to work 4 day work weeks, and since my husband is self-employed and thus more flexible, we try to make our short trips 4 day weekends (I can shift my work days, so this means 0 days of missed work for me) and big trips always 11 days (Friday through a week after that Monday) since that only requires me missing 4 days of work and we maximize the vacation time!
I also can do a lot of my job remotely, so when we went to Minnesota in August for example to spend time on my parents’ farm, I was able to work from there and not use a ton of vacation days while I was gone. It definitely comes in handy!
When I moved to Colorado 14 years ago, I had every intention of it being a stopover for the winter just to ski and hang out with a college friend. Honestly, I was a little terrified when it became apparent that I was going to stay in this little town (pop. < 1,000 here!) because I loved travel SO much (that’s what I was supposed to go to grad school for – my Masters in Int’l Business) and I felt like I was losing that part of me.
I’m not going to lie – there were plenty of years that we did very little travel, and that was honestly difficult and depressing for me. The infertility years and baby years were the hardest, but thankfully my husband loves travel as much as I do, so we both make an effort to dedicate whatever extra funds and time we have to getting out and about and exploring this world as much as we can!
So there ya go – what a whirlwind of a year of travel it has been for us! What/where was your favorite trip this year?