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An Ode to the Road

An Ode to the Road

As the sun sets on 2022, I’ve taken the time to reflect on some of the experiences travel has brought me throughout the year.

Indeed, it’s hard to look back on trips to a tiny atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean, traipsing across Europe, galavanting across Australia, and jetting across Canada without fondness and rose-coloured glasses, but travel isn’t always as romantic and wistful as we make it out to be.

Last year, I wrote a year-end “Ode to Airports“, describing my fascination about the facilities from which we depart and to which we arrive. 

This year, I’d like to offer some observations about the travel experience as a whole, as inspired through some of my trips this year. 

Piecing It All Together

Long before we ever get on a plane, there’s a lot of time and effort spent on planning out a trip. For a simple trip, the most important details are times and prices, but for more complex trips, it’s a matter of many hours of head scratching and making sense of the puzzle at hand.

In many of my Points Consulting sessions, we have an hour to go over details of flights, find availability, and piece together an itinerary that works with the client’s wants and needs. In most cases, it’s possible, but it doesn’t come without challenges.

For trips that I plan for myself, friends, and family, I admittedly spend way more time than I should trying to make it perfect. I’ll try to schedule an appropriate amount of time in the best lounges, find flights with great airlines but at an affordable price, and try to coordinate plans with multiple people and accounts.

A good example of this was when I flew my sister, wife, and two nieces back from Australia in November. I planned the trip back in February, before Australia had fully reopened its borders, so prices with Aeroplan were well within the domain of reason. 

There was plenty of eUpgrade space available on flights at the time, and the goal was to get five passengers in business class from Australia back to Canada as cheaply as possible. My wife has Aeroplan 50K status and I’m a Super Elite, so we were lucky to have enough eUpgrades available between our two accounts, as well as an eUpgrade nominee on my account.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a way for us to all be on the same flight on the same day, so we’d have to split up in the most reasonable way possible.

In the end, I flew from Sydney to Vancouver with…

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