A Decade in Travel: 2010–2019

I started my travel-heavy position at my job in 2009, so the 2010s were the first decade where I really frequently traveled throughout the decade.

Since then, I started tracking my flights in a spreadsheet, then eventually wrote an entire flight logging database website. I learned how to extract history from GPS navigation devices and started logging my driving. I also started tracking hotel stays and a myriad of other travel activities as well.

As a result, I have quite a lot of data built up on my travels over the last decade. For the past seven years, I’ve put together annual end-of-year travel summaries. With the turning of the decade, it seemed to be a good time to make myself a decade travel summary. While there’s a small overlap between the decade and annual summaries, I’ve generally tried to focus the decade summary more on areas that make more sense on a 10-year scale, so even readers of my previous summaries should see some new statistics!

In the Air

From 2010 through 2019, I flew on 824 flights, with a total distance of 555 874 miles (894 590 km).

A map of all my flights during the 2010s decade.

My flights, 2010–2019, worldwide.

Map generated by Paul Bogard using the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz

My first international trip of the decade was a business trip to Germany in February 2010, and I finished my international travel with a Nordic vacation in August 2019. In between, I picked another multi-country Europe trip, as well as travel to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

A map of all my North America flights during the 2010s decade.

My flights, 2010–2019, North America.

Map generated by Paul Bogard using the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz

Within the U.S., I’ve now been to every major hub airport, and a lot of minor airports as well.

A map of all my Europe flights during the 2010s decade.

My flights, 2010–2019, Europe.

Map generated by Paul Bogard using the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz

I somehow managed to visit four German airports (Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremberg, and Berlin Tegel) while visiting no more than one airport in any other European country.

Grid showing all new airports visited between 2010-2019, and highlighting the airports first visited each year. Visited 2010-2019: DAY CVG SFO ATL IND SEA ORD CLE JFK LGA STL DFW CLT CHM FRA SAV MCO. First visit 2010: SLC LAS PHX IAD BWI ABI. First visit 2011: AVP TOL DCA. First visit 2012: LAX HNL CHS OKC PHL EWR MSP RAP. First visit 2013: AUS BOS DTW DEN GRK ITO PDX TUL IAH MHT MDW. First visit 2014: ICT TUS FLG LAW SAN SJU. First visit 2015: LIT YVR YYZ SPS COS BNA. First visit 2016: AMA SAT MUC NUE TXL LHR CDG KEF ONT PWM DSM BUR RDU. First visit 2017: OAJ VPS BFL TPA PIA. First visit 2018: SYD PER MEL CHC DUD AKL LBB PVD. First visit 2019: NRT FLL FAY PIT BHM MCI HEL ARN MIA ILM.

I visited 93 airports this decade, 76 for the first time.

Chart with years 2010–2019 on the x-axis and Flights on the y-axis, showing number of flights each year for airlines with at least 20 flights.

When I’m flying for work, contracts with airlines for particular routes drive which airlines I can fly, which means my most-flown airlines change year to year. I started out the decade flying mostly American, ended up primarily United in the middle of the decade, then went back to American by the end.

Chart with years 2010–2019 on the x-axis and Flights on the y-axis, showing number of flights each year for aircraft families with at least 20 flights.

With Dayton as my primary airport, I fly on a lot of regional jets. At the start of the decade, the 50-seat ERJ-145 dominated my flights. By the end of the decade, I was mostly flying the larger 70–90 seat E-170/175/190 and CRJ-700/900 jets.

A directed graph with airports as nodes and flights as edges. Airport nodes are sized proportional to the number of visits.

Click for full-size image.

My most traveled routes were by far Dayton to Dallas/Fort Worth or Chicago O’Hare. Dayton requires a layover for most of my trips, and most of my flights were on American or United this decade. DFW is American’s largest hub, and ORD is a large hub for both airlines.

A map of all my flights within a single state during the 2010s decade.

My intrastate flights, 2010–2019.

Map generated by Paul Bogard using the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz

Directed graph of intrastate flights. In North Carolina, CLT connects to ILM, RDU, OAJ, and FAY. in Texas, DFW connects to AMA, SPS, AUS, GRK, ABI, and LBB. In California, LAX connects to SFO. In Hawaii, HNL connects to ITO. In Arizona, FLG connects to PHX. In Colorado, COS connects to DEN. In Illinois, PIA connects to ORD. In Ohio, CLE connects to DAY. In Georgia, ATL connects to SAV. In Florida, TPA connects to MIA.

My intrastate flights, 2010–2019.

Not counting my two flights that returned to the same airport, I had 42 flights (18 unique routes) between pairs of airports within in a single U.S. state.

On the Ground

I drove approximately 207 331 miles (333 667 km) this decade.

Personal cars 154 363 mi 248 423 km
Rental cars 52 968 mi 85 243 km
Total 207 331 mi 333 667 km
Chart of driving distance by year. 2013 has the lowest distance with about 13000 miles, and 2016 has the highest distance with just over 32000 miles.

2016 far exceeded all my other years for driving, mostly because of my summer project to visit every one of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Map showing my 2010-2019 driving routes in the United States and Canada.

My driving, 2010–2019, United States and Canada.

Map tiles © Mapbox © OpenStreetMap (Improve this map)

My driving in the U.S. has generally connected into two large clusters, with a bunch of smaller areas. The largest cluster is based in my home state of Ohio, and it largely extends to places I’ve driven to from home, although that started to overlap a few places I’ve flown to (particularly in the Carolinas). I also have a Texas-Oklahoma cluster, since I started the decade frequently traveling to Dallas and Abilene, Texas, and ended the decade with a lot of trips to Tulsa and Altus, Oklahoma.

Map showing my 2010-2019 driving routes in Europe.

My driving, 2010–2019, Europe.

Map tiles © Mapbox © OpenStreetMap (Improve this map)

Within Europe, though I’ve been to other countries, I’ve only driven in Germany and Iceland.

Map showing my 2010-2019 driving routes in Australia and New Zealand.

My driving, 2010–2019, Australia and New Zealand.

Map tiles © Mapbox © OpenStreetMap (Improve this map)

Likewise, I’ve visited other cities in Australia and New Zealand, but Perth and Dunedin were the only areas I drove in. Perth was my first experience driving on the left side of the road—I lived in the UK for three years as a child, but I was not old enough to drive.


Heatmap of the US and the world, showing overnight stays (excluding home) from 2010 to 2019. The ten hottest areas are Tulsa OK, Orlando FL, Altus OK, Seattle WA, Washington DC, St. Louis MO, Charleston SC, Abilene TX, Wichita KS, and Chicago IL.

I visited a good portion of the United States and some of the world, but quite a bit of my travel was focused in Oklahoma and northern Texas.

My top 10 metro areas (excluding home) by number of nights I’ve stayed there this past decade are as follows:

Rank Metropolitan Area Total Nights
#1 Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. 97
#2 Orlando, Florida, U.S. 96
#3 Altus, Oklahoma, U.S. 71
#4 Seattle, Washington, U.S. 60
#5 Washington, D.C., U.S. 55
#6 St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. 50
#7 Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. 41
#8 Abilene, Texas, U.S. 40
Wichita, Kansas, U.S. 40
#10 Chicago, Illinois, U.S. 36

For each year, my most visited metro area (by number of nights stayed):

Year Most Visited Metropolitan Area
2010 Washington, D.C., U.S.
2011 Washington, D.C., U.S.
2012 Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
2014 Orlando, Florida, U.S.
2015 Orlando, Florida, U.S.
2016 Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
2017 Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
2018 Altus, Oklahoma, U.S.
2019 Wichita, Kansas, U.S.
World map showing visited countries. First visit in 2010s: Austria, Iceland, France, Australia New Zealand, Japan, Sweden. Visited in 2010s: United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada. Home: United States.

I visited 11 countries this past decade, 7 for the first time. (I also had a layover in Finland this year, but since I did not leave the airport, it’s not counted as a visited country on this map.) Every country in the world that I have ever visited, I also visited at some point this decade.


My favorite airport restaurant (and the one I’ve eaten at the most) is Tortas Frontera, with three locations at Chicago O’Hare.

Chart of unexpected overnight stays, with six in 2014, one in 2015, and one in 2018.

I’ve generally been pretty lucky with avoiding major travel disruptions, but 2014 was not my lucky year—I got stuck overnight six times due to weather or other flight delays and cancellations. Three times were in Chicago, one was in Newark, one was in Orlando, and one was in Charlotte.

I also got stuck overnight in Little Rock in 2015 due to a thunderstorm. In 2018, a series of weather and mechanical delays caused me to miss my connection at DFW and spend the night in Dallas.

American Airlines app, showing AA flight 9289 from SPS to DFW, operated by 'A Bus.'

In 2015, I had a flight from Wichita Falls to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas which was cancelled, but the flight was a short enough distance that the airline had a taxi company transport us on a fleet of 10-passenger vans. I even received a boarding pass for that “flight.”