2021 started with my longest travel interruption in two decades. I boarded my first flight of the year in June 2021, 207 days after my last flight in 2020. A travel ban issued by the Belgian government due to the pandemic was the culprit. Despite a late start, I went on 13 trips this year visiting 12 countries of which 5 for the first time: Iraq 🇮🇶 Nigeria 🇳🇬 Pakistan 🇵🇰 Colombia 🇨🇴 and Peru 🇵🇪 . With 114 out of 193 UN countries done, I have 79 left to explore.
I reduced my exposure to future loyalty program devaluations by burning a significant part of my miles balances this year. I spent a total of 437.000 miles in 3 frequent flyer programs: Lufthansa Miles & More (338K) Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles (41.5K) and Iberia Plus Avios (57.5K) The use of miles greatly reduced the cost of my 14 business class and 30 economy class flights in 2021. Good for a total of 54.452 miles flown or 2.2 times around the earth and 135 hours up in the air.Read More
PROMO MARCH 2022 – 20.000 BONUS MILES WITH MILES & MORE
Brussels Airlines launched a new offer for their American Express credit card. You can get 20.000 Miles & More award miles when you sign up via the link below and spend a total of 1500€ with the card within the first 3 months.
The first 3 months the card is free. After the free period the card costs:
You can cancel the card at any time. Just keep in mind Miles & More miles expire 3 years after you have earned them if you don’t have the Brussels Airlines American Express card.
American Express cards have a high conversion fee (2,5%) for non-euro payments. Use your Brussels Airlines American Express cards for euro payments only. For non-euro payments, I recommend Revolut. (0% conversion fee and 200€/month of free ATM withdrawals in non-euro countries)
I’m not yet a Miles and More member, where do I sign-up?
You can enroll at the Miles and More website.
Questions? Email me at email@example.com or leave a comment below.
Despite a global pandemic raging around the world, I managed to visit 20 countries in 2020 of which 11 for the first time: Antigua and Barbuda 🇦🇬 Barbados 🇧🇧 Burundi 🇧🇮 Democratic Republic of the Congo 🇨🇩 Dominica 🇩🇲 Grenada 🇬🇩 Rwanda 🇷🇼 Saint Kitts and Nevis 🇰🇳 Saint Lucia 🇱🇨 Saint Vincent & The Grenadines 🇻🇨 Trinidad and Tobago 🇹🇹. It was also the year I hit the milestone of visiting 100 UN countries. I have now been to 109 UN countries!
With just 46 flights, the past year has been a low point in my aviation hobby. 39 economy flights, 7 business class flights (limited to Lufthansa and Ethiopian Airlines) good for a total of 44,555 miles flown, 1.8x around the Earth, 115 hours up in the air. My Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles Elite status (Star Alliance Gold) was extended till February 2023 and British Airways Executive Club Silver status (Oneworld Sapphire) till December 2021 as a courtesy by the airlines due to the pandemic.Read More
These are my favourite sites to keep track of flight details departing from the Benelux:
For Business & First Class deals, the best site is You Have Been Upgraded. If you’re looking for a particular flight deal, set an email alert via Google Flights to keep track of flight fares. Don’t forget to also check Momondo as they tend to regularly find cheaper or alternative fares.
In 2019, I visited 33 countries of which 19 for the first time: Albania 🇦🇱 Andorra 🇦🇩 Bahrain 🇧🇭 Bosnia and Herzegovina 🇧🇦 Cyprus 🇨🇾 Estonia 🇪🇪 Ethiopia 🇪🇹 Liechtenstein 🇱🇮 Moldova 🇲🇩 Montenegro 🇲🇪 North Korea 🇰🇵 North Macedonia 🇲🇰 Oman 🇴🇲 San Marino 🇸🇲 Syria 🇸🇾 Tanzania 🇹🇿 Tunisia 🇹🇳 Turkmenistan 🇹🇲 Yemen 🇾🇪. It was also the year I decided to visit every country in the world by 2025. At the end of 2019, I had visited 98 out of 193 UN countries. Below are some of my favourite travel experiences of the past year. I hope they inspire you for an awesome travel year 2020.
Gitgit waterfall (Jan 2019)
In January, I finally explored ‘the other side of Bali’. On previous visits I had never wandered up more North than Ubud. It turned out to be a stunning destination with an authentic culture and pristine nature with tranquil, rural surroundings. Check my Instagram Stories for the Northern Bali trip report.