July 17, 2009

Andrew's BEST OF 2009


July is that month when all the travel mags start unrolling their red carpets and donning out prizes. Perhaps summer is a slow news month, perhaps people are in the midst of making plans and payments for vacations present and future. Whatever the case, and despite my repulsion of rating travel and making lists, I am compiling my own--for my own sake and for any out there who may be curious. Contrary to real magazines that claim to have surveyed thousands of customers and applied reliable quantitative methods, my list is 100% personal and subjective. I've compiled my judgments based on my own experiences of the past 12 months; "NEW" denotes new for me. So here's my list (Links included where applicable):

DESTINATIONS
  • Best New Country: MALDIVES
  • Best New City: Valparaiso, CHILE
  • Best Small Town: L'Anse St. Jean, QC, CANADA
  • Best Island: Grimsey, ICELAND
  • Best Shopping: Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
  • Best Suntan: Kalahari Desert, BOTSWANA
  • Best New Art Museum: Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, USA
  • Best Guided Tour: Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, WALES
  • Best Nightlife: Reykjavik, ICELAND
  • Best-looking natives: INDIA & ARGENTINA (impossible tie)
TRANSPORTATION
HOTELS
ROOMS
SPA & HEALTH
CUSTOMER SERVICE
  • Best telephone customer service: ZipCar, USA
  • Best Hotel Staff: &Beyond, worldwide
  • Best Waitstaff: CityZen, Washington, DC, USA
  • Best Wi-Fi: anywhere in DENMARK
  • Best Border Guards: Canadian Immigration, Trudeau International Airport, Montreal, QC, CANADA
NATURE
FOOD & DINING
MEDIA & BOOKS
TRAVEL RECORDS 2009
  • Longest nonstop flight: Johannesburg, South Africa to Washington, DC, USA (18 hours)
  • Most expensive manicure: $60
  • Longest wait for baggage claim: London Heathrow Terminal 4 (1 hour 20 minutes).
  • Longest layover: Dubai, UAE (8 hours)
  • Most lost luggage: American Airlines, USA
  • Closest near death experience: zip-lining, Argentine Military Base, Igauzu, ARGENTINA

1 comment:

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