My 2020 travel goals

A tradition of mine is to write out my travel goals for the upcoming year, both to help manifest those trips into reality and to remind me of all the places that I want to go.

Back when I started writing this blog, I would only book travel out a few months in advance (my business was just getting off the ground and I wasn’t sure if I’d still be running it more than 3-4 months down the line). Now, I’m luckily able to book travel a bit further in advance, which means some of the trips below are already booked.

That said, without further ado, my goals for 2020 are below:

Laos

Laos.jpg

Southeast Asia is a favorite destination of mine, having visited (almost) annually for the past decade. Although I regularly return to Bali and the Philippines, I’m hoping that this year I’ll get outside of my comfort zone and visit Laos, where I’m particularly interested in visiting the mountain town Vang Vieng.

Taipei

taipei.jpg

I’ve wanted to go to Taipei for years, but can generally only go to Asia once or twice each year due to time zones (my clients are mostly in California) and so have generally been using that time to go to Hong Kong and/or Southeast Asia. That said, with the help from a friend who had a United upgrade to spare, I’ll be traveling to Taipei in March on Polaris business class and flying back in business on China Airlines.

Although I’m very excited about the flights, I’m more excited for the views and the food and can’t wait to visit.

Dubai

dubai1.jpg

My best travel deal of 2019, and perhaps ever, was landing a $18,425 First Class ticket on Emirates for 85,000 Chase points. I’ll be flying from JFK to Dubai to Milan and will have about 10 hours to spend in Dubai, which I’m very excited about.

While I know that there are ethical issues about traveling to this part of the world, I really loved my time in Doha and am looking forward to exploring.

Alaska

Alaska.jpg

This has been on my dream destination list since I first started publishing these annual posts. Truth be told, Alaska might actually be my most cancelled destination, as I’ve had 3 trips planned there in the last 3 years that I’ve canceled either last minute or within the 24-hour cancellation period that airlines allow (I just had a trip to Alaska purchased in February to see the Northern Lights, but chickened out because of the weather).

With increased non-stop service from San Francisco to both Anchorage and Fairbanks this year, I’m hoping I can finally make this a reality.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica.jpg

I’ve been to Costa Rica once before and it was a magical experience where I fell in love with the people, the scenery, and the weather. A dream of mine is to head back there for 5-7 days of surf camp, which I feel would be very good for my soul and body.

Where are you hoping to visit in 2020? Let me know in the comments!

Only 5 cities in the world have more than 1 mega airport

With Beijing opening up a new airport last month, the city is taking steps to join a list of cities that have multiple airports handling 50 million or more airline seats in a year. Although it’s not uncommon for cities to have more than 1 airport, there are only 5 cities in the world that have 2 mega airports.

They are (listed in order of routes operated).

  • New York (JFK, EWR)
  • London (LHR, LGW)
  • Bangkok (BKK, DMK)
  • Shanghai (PVG, SHA)
  • Tokyo (HND, NRT)

I had actually entirely forgotten about Bangkok’s second airport, even though I’ve flown out of it before. Also, although initially I didn’t think it was fair to count Newark since it’s technically in another state, EWR is actually only half the distance away from NYC as compared to how far Narita is from downtown Tokyo.

There are a few cities that are close to joining this list, including:

  • Chicago (ORD, MDW)
  • Paris (CDG, ORY)
  • Istanbul (IST, SAW)
  • Seoul (ICN, GMP)

Generally speaking, larger airports tend to have the flagship routes and lounges, although secondary airports can be quieter and easier to navigate. I’d probably prefer the larger airports, although I’m excited to check out ORY for the first time in April

My favorite Airbnbs in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of my favorite cities in the world for three reasons: the people, the weather, and the scenery.

As much as I love the city (and I guess, as a San Francisco resident, I’m not supposed to!), staying in Los Angeles is never cheap, particularly if you want to stay in a hotel. Because of this, I actually can’t even remember the last that I stayed in a hotel in the city. While I usually have friends to crash with, I wanted to share my favorite Airbnbs in Los Angeles.

Secluded, Contemporary Bungalow in the Heart of Hollywood

My first favorite Airbnb is this gorgeous, newly renovated bungalow in the heart of Hollywood.

Bungalow2

As someone who barely drives, my favorite thing about this Airbnb is the location. It’s walking distance to a ton of great, local restaurants (as well as some guilty pleasures like In-N-Out!), a short Uber to Runyon Canyon, and even close to L.A.’s train system. There’s also an airport shuttle bus nearby, which makes the commute into and out of the city a breeze.

The apartment is set up beautifully and perfect for solo travelers, couples, or even small families. On top of that, the host is amazing and incredibly responsive, making this Airbnb a great option for anyone looking to book a stay in Hollywood.

Spacious Spanish Home

Spanish Home

If you need more space, you should definitely consider booking this spacious Spanish home that boasts 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and a beautiful balcony for roughly the same price as a nice hotel room.

The house is in a central location, located close to the Beverly Center, and is beautifully furnished in a way that will make you feel right at home. The home also has a 4.98 rating on Airbnb (with 53 reviews as of writing this post!), so I’m clearly not the only one who is a fan of this listing.

What are your favorite Airbnbs in Los Angeles? Let me know in the comments!

Earn 5,000 Hilton Honors points (valued at $30) for a 5-15 minute call

Hilton is one of my favorite programs because they make it so easy to earn Hilton Honors points (which are valued at roughly $0.006 per point).

In the latest promotion, Hilton is offering 5,000 Hilton Honors points if you call and listed to a quick timeshare information session over the phone, which can be done at your leisure. You already need a Hilton Honors account to receive the points and just need to call 1-800-984-4482 and mention the 5,000 promotion (here’s a link to it).

I just called and it took exactly 8 minutes from beginning to end. I’ve been told it will take 6-8 weeks to get the points, though I’m hoping they post sooner.

Be sure to take advantage of this promotion if you have some free time!