Last updated on January 30th, 2024 at 07:19 pm
My 2022 ended up being quite an eventful year. While I had a couple of planned trips, an unplanned one popped up, along with several unplanned staycations. And despite a lot of repeats, there were many new experiences too. So let’s go over my 2022 in review.
2022 was a year of many highs and lows. As I’ve heard from many others, the year was filled with devastating losses and fantastic highlights in a way that no other year in memory has been. So for me, travel has been kind of therapeutic, that is, when it isn’t a complete circus. However, despite my increased activity, I haven’t hit any points & miles milestones this year, probably because I spread things out a lot.
Change in Strategy
Initially, I was planning on traveling like I always have, which meant staying a lot with Marriott. But that’s not how things turned out. Instead, I spent quite a few nights (for me) with independent hotels and Hyatt. Marriott still got a decent amount of my business, but they went from capturing 90% of my stays to maybe about a third. And, as you’ll see, when I work my way through my reviews, that trend may stick.
In total, I spent 27 nights in hotels this past year, which breaks down to:
- Marriott: 25 EQNs – 7 actual nights + 18 credit card nights
- Hyatt: 20 EQNs – 12 actual nights + 8 credit card nights
- Hilton: 2 EQNs – 2 actual nights
- Independent Hotels: 6 nights
Even if I spent all of my nights in Marriotts this year, I still wouldn’t have hit the 75-night threshold to maintain Titanium Elite status – not even close. However, I did manage to burn all of my Suite Night Awards, often getting at least a Junior Suite for them, including at popular properties like the Waikiki Beach Marriott. And even if I didn’t use an SNA, they were still willing to upgrade me to at least an oceanfront room. Marriott remains good to me in this regard.
As far as Hyatt goes, I noticed that the award stays I booked this year automatically go into something higher than the base room category. Despite this, I did receive proactive upgrades to even higher category rooms on most of my stays with them. True to my published Explorist benefits, none were ever anything more than a premium view room, but it was still very much appreciated.
Hilton was a total fail this year.
My independent hotel stays were interesting. On both occasions, I was upgraded to either a suite or a premium view room, though I found the accommodations to be less than ideal.
Either way, you can see that not only did I not earn enough nights in any particular program to earn/maintain status, but I didn’t even earn enough Marriott nights to get a Choice Benefit, which is a first for me. However, I did earn a Hyatt brand explorer award, as well as the 20 nights Club Access Awards.
This year, I flew 10,820 miles across two trans-Pacific flights and two inter-island ones. That broke down as follows:
- Alaska Air: 4 segments between Honolulu, Seattle, and San Jose
- Hawaiian Airlines: 2 segments between Honolulu & Kahului
- Southwest Airlines: 2 segments between Honolulu and Hilo
I’d like to tell you that things always went smoothly, but I’d be lying if I did. My flights with Alaska & Hawaiian were plagued with delays and other issues, though some were caused by the airports rather than the airlines. Southwest was the only carrier that operated all my (inconsequential number of) flights on time.
2022 Car Rentals
I drove a total of 1,699 miles in rental cars this year. That’s probably the most miles I’ve ever driven in rental cars in a single year. Mind you; this occurred between just three rentals:
- Alamo Hilo Chevy Malibu
- Enterprise SEATAC Infiniti Q50
- Enterprise SJC Audi A4
You all know my feelings about the Chevy Malibu already, and my write-ups on the two Enterprise experiences are coming up! Though, spoiler alert, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with any of my cars this time around.
2022 was a year like none other for many reasons, including in my travels. Sure, I didn’t earn any statuses, but I diversified by hotel stays on purpose to wean myself off of Marriott. After all, Marriott Bonvoy is going to hell, and loyalty isn’t what it used to be, so getting used to being a free agent was important to me. Plus, Hyatt simply had better hotels where I was going than Marriott. Personally, I think it was worth giving up what I did.
On to 2023!