As we count down to the end of 2022, it is time again for me to reflect on my year, especially in terms of travelling. This year has been full of ups and down. 2022 turn out to be my most travelled year where I spend the longest time abroad. At the same time, I have kept it kind of low-key and did more travelling regionally. This is part of my process of cutting costs as well for 2022. Furthermore, 2022 seems to be a converging point in terms of COVID recovery where we experienced unprecedented travel demand and awful hotel prices everywhere. From Singapore to worldwide, we see crazy epic hotel prices and airfare. To put things in perspective, my hotels in Japan went from a lull 300 SGD a night to almost 1000 SGD. I am so thankful to secure my accommodations early.
My Most Travelled Year
I have since converted from being the king of staycations back to a traveller in 2022. 2022 is hands down my most travelled year. I spend a total of 101 days overseas! I visited 13 countries and 30 cities in 2022. Among them, 3 new countries and 21 new cities. Super happy with my achievement this year in terms of the travelling aspect.
12 Trips, 13 Countries & 30 Cities
101 days in 2022 overseas out of Singapore with 3 unique countries and 21 unique cities. Let me do a little recap of the year and cover some of my highlights. First, will be my month-long stay in Bali back in April. I truly enjoyed my time there and despite being there for a month, time flies. I wish that I can do something like this again very soon. No wonder, people can stay in Bali for months. Food, Sun, Beach, what is there not to enjoy?
Bahrain – The Outlier. In May and June, I also took an unexpected trip to Bahrain which was unplanned. It turn out to be my first visit to the Middle East and it was quite a nice experience.
Japan is definitely the highlight of the year and the one trip that I have been looking forward to. I finally made it there after planning and waiting for almost 2 years. It surely didn’t disappoint. I visited Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya and Fujikawaguchiko.
Which place is my favourite out of the 21 new cities that I visited this year? Some of the potential ones that come to mind would be Kyoto, Osaka and Seville!
2022: 34 countries and 132 cities
Heading into this decade, I gave myself a goal, to visit 32 new countries by 2030 and so far I am at 32 unique countries in the world! I added 3 new countries in 2022 with Greece and Japan being the highlight of the year. I have 26 more to go in 7 years! Can’t wait to embark on more journeys with you and Seeing The World In Steps! I have recently reached the 100 Cities milestone! It took me 26 years and 6 months to hit 100 Cities. Let’s see how long it will take me to reach 200! 68 more to go!
The goal for the decade: 60 countries and 200 cities. 7 more years to go
I started 2020 with a target of 32 countries in this decade. For the past 3 years, I have accomplished only 6. I really need to pick up the count. COVID have taken away 2 years of my time. In 2023, I have plans for NZ which is the highlight of the year and a new country for me. I am also relishing the opportunity to cover more countries in SEA. I can see myself doing some regional travels and checking out Cambodia, Brunei and Laos. That will make Myanmar the only ASEAN country left untouched for me.
Top 10 Destinations / Trips in 2023
- New Zealand (Booked)
- Perth (Booked)
- Taiwan (Booked)
- Hokkaido (Booked)
- Hong Kong
Let me cover my main hotel status, Hilton, Global Hotel Alliance Discovery and IHG! Hilton Honors continues to be my primary go-to chain and hotel loyalty program. Maintaining my Diamond status is a must. They do treat me pretty well. I do have to say Hilton has done a great job during this pandemic with their policies. They have come up with the best pandemic policies and status extensions among their peers and still have generous promotions throughout the year. I stayed extensively this year and clocked in 80 nights. My status is valid till March 24. I will also have 38 rollover nights, giving me a headstart to extending my status and requalifying till March 2025.
Global Hotel Alliance went thru a series of devaluations recently and gone are the amazing days of earning valuable Local Experience where I could easily extract over 300 SGD for a single one. They are moving on to a spending-based system for attaining status. I still managed 3 stays this year and will still be a GHA Black or Titanium member till Dec 2023 which might still be useful if I choose to stay with them. Depending on my needs, I might qualify again since they just require 3 stays and that is rather easy
IHG was a surprise this year. I managed to get Platinum thru a status challenge promotion this year and did 5 nights. It will be a good backup status whenever I need it in 2023. I did have a couple of nice IHG stays this year and got some upgrades too. But with no complimentary breakfast and lounge access, it will never be my primary status to requalify or the chain to stay
Travel Plans for 2023
I have several tickets booked for the year ahead. As mentioned, the highlight would be my NZ trip that I have planned in April. I will also have a Hotelux voucher to use this year. I can’t wait to visit Japan again and booked a trip to Hokkaido using my Alaska Miles before they devalue it. I am keen to try out another premium cabin on a different airline again. I also have SQ tickets booked for flights to Perth and Taiwan. The main highlight next year is really NZ. Hopefully, I can add in a couple of other new countries. Maldives? Croatia? Dubai? Abu Dhabi? Morocco? Here are some of my bucket list destinations.
On the domestic front, I got a stay right in January for Hilton Singapore Orchard, a hotel that I have been wanting to review since they open. If everything goes as normal, you can look forward to a review of it very soon. Another hotel that I would like to check out if the opportunity exists would be Capella Singapore. To be frank, staycations no longer interest me a lot. I doubt that I will be travelling as much as I did in 2022 and spending that much time abroad. It will more or less be shorter and weekend trips.