Following on from my 2016 Travel Summary where I visited 8 countries and 5 new countries, 2017 has been a really interesting year! I’ve launched this blog, tripled my Instagram following, started a Twitter account and managed to travel to 10 countries. All of which while working a 9-5 job and still managing to carry some holiday entitlement over to 2018! That counts as a successful year, right?
Unfortunately I didn’t beat the 5 new countries last year with only 3 in 2017! I didn’t travel in 4 months this year with me doing absolutely nothing travel wise in February and September, my August was completely taken up again by Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows and in December I took a road trip to see the Isle of Mull! Let’s have a look at my 2017 year in travels!
January – Berlin, Germany
The first trip of the year saw me return to Berlin in Germany. Berlin in January is cold. Very, very cold. I love Berlin, the city has everything and something for everyone. This trip however was purely to go to a football game in nearby Leipzig which turned out to be pretty poor but the visit to Berlin was still a good one. It did reinforce the need to find some warmer places to go to in winter 2018 though!
March – Dubai, United Arab Emirates – New Country
This was probably the best trip of the year for me. I used 30,000 Avios to get £300 off which made it really attractive. We spent around 5 days there fitting so much in, click here for 5 things to do in Dubai. We managed to go on a speedboat tour which looked at the amazing city skyline with the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab. We then went on a desert safari on a 4×4 which was brilliant! The only downside was I forgot to put sunscreen on that day… I was burnt. Badly. With a lot of vomiting and some panicking later, we finally got home! We’ll definitely be back though.
April – Milan, Italy
My visit to Milan and Lake Garda in April ticked one off the bucket list – the Milan Derby. Inter Milan v AC Milan in the San Siro. I was surprised just how easy it was to get these tickets given how big a game it is. The game ended with a 97th minute equaliser so we got a bit of drama too! We spent the day in Milan and mixing it up with a relaxing break in Lake Garda for the rest of the weekend.
May – Berlin, Germany
The second trip to Berlin in 5 months was in May for a friend’s stag do before his marriage in June. This was a long weekend which involved a bit of wandering about, a trip to another football game at the amazing Olympic Stadium and a fair bit of drinking. I’m not in a rush to travel back to Berlin for a year or two now!
June – Cardiff, Wales & Nice, France & Monaco – New Country
The start of June brought in a trip to Cardiff for another football related bucket list item – the Champions League Final. The final itself saw Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 and the event was definitely a spectacle! We stayed in nearby Bristol where we got to explore a bit more after some flight delays and some flight compensation which pretty much made the visit (excluding tickets) free!
Nice is a place I could definitely go back to. Here are my 5 reasons why you MUST visit Nice. Sipping champagne while taking in the views from Chateau Eza was a particular highlight. We also threw in a day trip to Monaco which was slightly underwhelming if I’m being honest but it’s still worth a visit. It also counts as a new country! Maybe next time I’ll get that UberCopter…
July – Charleroi, Belgium & Luxembourg & Lake Garda, Italy – New Country
The start of July was a busy month for me with a visit to Charleroi in Belgium, a train to Luxembourg and then a 12 hour flight delay (then cancellation) and then off back to Lake Garda for the weekend! All in the space of a week! The visit to Charleroi was the easiest way we could get to Luxembourg for a football match which involved a few early rises and a lot of travel. The football match definitely wasn’t worth the effort but it did tick off another new country! The trip to Lake Garda was much more relaxing with us going back to the same place we stayed in April to enjoy some sun!
October – New York, Orlando & Miami, United States
I used my Avios points and a 2 for 1 voucher to upgrade our flights to business class on BA going to New York City. I prepared a lot for this trip which I’d recommend doing by clicking here – planning for a trip to NYC. This was my first trip to the Big Apple and we crammed so much in! It was extremely impressive but it was nice as well to have a sunny holiday straight after to unwind. We headed off to Orlando where we visited the Disney parks and then on to Miami for our flight home where we took in a Miami Dolphins game.
It was such a great year with so many amazing places visited. If you get a chance to go to Dubai or Nice then jump at it! Next year I’ll be looking to do it all again with my attempts to visit 2 countries to crack the 30 countries under the age of 30 ‘challenge’. I’ll also try and visit at least 5 countries with 3 of those being new!
Where will 2018 take you? Let me know in the comments below!