TPG Staff Picks: The Best Places We Traveled in 2017

Dec 31, 2017

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In 2017, TPG staffers traveled near and far for everything from airline mileage runs to hotel reviews to exciting vacations. And as the year comes to an end, we’re taking a moment to think back on the best places we visited this year. With some exciting new destinations and a few classics thrown in, here are the spots that stood out in 2017.

Likoma Island, Malawi 

“This year I visited Likoma Island, Malawi and I enjoyed every second of my trip, from the breathtaking scenery to the friendly and welcoming locals. Now I see why Malawi was considered one of best places to visit in 2017.”  — Brian Kelly, The Points Guy

San Francisco, California

I finally had the chance to visit San Francisco this year and I absolutely loved it. I was lucky enough to hang out with my best friend who lives there, and also take an amazing flight on United Polaris with some of the TPG team. The best part was the burritos I ate — lots and lots of burritos.” — Samantha Rosen, Social Media Editor 

Bali, Indonesia

Bali was definitely the most luxurious place I visited in 2017 — and I got to leave with a story I’ll never forget. I visited the island for the PeaceJam conference with TPG and I was pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous weather, picturesque beaches and relaxing stay at the Ritz Carlton Bali. At the end of the trip, however, my flight was canceled because of the Bali volcano eruption. Beside my hectic two-day evacuation, my trip was great.” — Becca Denenberg, Marketing & Events Manager 

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New Zealand

“Although I visited  New Zealand before, we really blew it out in 2017, exploring much of both islands and going on some incredible hikes. I especially like the South Island, but there’s plenty to see in the north as well, especially if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan. If you’re torn between Australia and New Zealand, I’d say NZ all the way.” — Zach Honig, Editor-at-Large

Japan

“Since living on the road, I’ve visited 19 countries in 2017. But there’s one place I’d go back in a heartbeat: Japan. I love the country and culture: the fast, efficient transportation, excellent food, wonderful shrines and temples, and a unique culture that emphasis excellence in all tasks.” — JT Genter, Points and Miles Writer 

Los Angeles, California

I’ve had a couple cool trips this year (including our awesome trip to SFO and NorCal for United Family Day), but my favorite was actually a different trip to California. A good friend and I jetted out to Los Angeles on Virgin America to visit another friend living out there. We spent the days roaming the beach towns, biking up the Strand, cruising around the city and, of course, relaxing in Malibu. In the future, I’ll avoid going to LA in June (June Gloom is real!), but I loved my visit, and will no doubt be back soon. A certain rapper is emphatic about having no more parties in LA …. I, on the other hand, beg to differ.” — Wallace Cotton, Community Manager

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Cozumel, Mexico

“This year I checked Mexico off my bucket list and I went to Cozumel to celebrate my birthday. It was the final stop on my cruise. The island is surrounded by clear, warm water and dreamy white sand. The waterfront near the ship dock was surrounded by restaurant souvenir shops and of course the best tequila bars, which I enjoyed.” Alexa Noel, Editorial Intern

Ireland

“There are so many places I visited this year but the best for me was Ireland. Not only was it beautiful, but the people were so nice and helpful. I would highly suggest this amazing country to anyone who wants a quick, easy (and relatively cheap) European vacation.” — Jeff Preis, Editorial Intern

Scandinavia

“Every time I’ve visited Scandinavia, I’ve fallen more in love with the region. This January, I ventured up to Lapland, with the highlight being a stay at the Icehotel. Along the way, I made stops in Stockholm and Copenhagen and loved every minute of the trip. Even in the Arctic temperatures, there’s so much to love about the region — especially if you get to see the Northern Lights.” Emily McNutt, Associate Editor

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Jalisco, Guadalajara & Mexico City

“Earlier this year, I went to Jalisco (the birthplace of tequila) as well as Guadalajara and Mexico City — all of which made the case for non-beachy reasons to explore Mexico. The murals, the tamales, the Batanga … go go go!” Cindy Augustine, Lifestyle Editor

Paris, France

“I visited Paris for the first time this summer, and I’ve got to say, drinking rosè in the sun by the Seine is not too shabby. The best meal was the giant roasted cauliflower at Miznon in Le Marais and the best antiques shopping spot at Vanves Market.” — Isabelle Raphael, Photo Editor

Bergamasque Alps, Italy

“My father and I live 3,500 miles apart, but we make sure to set aside time every year for a hiking trip together. This year, we spent a few days in Italy’s Bergamasque Alps with friends. It was a wonderful re-discovery of our backyard mountains. They’re easy to reach from Milan yet off the beaten path, and exceptionally wild for something so close to a major city.”  — Alberto Riva, Managing Editor 

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Grand Junction, Colorado

“The highlight of my travels for 2017, hands down, was a visit to Grand Junction, Colorado. Sure, Denver and Boulder are great, but head west to find the real heart of the state. From hiking the Colorado National Monument which is Grand Canyon-level incredible, to biking your way around the wineries in Palisade, there’s no shortage of things to do — one of which has to be a stop at chef Josh Niernberg’s restaurant Bin 707, where there’s not a sub-par dish (or drink) on the menu.”  Jane Frye, Nights & Weekends Editor 

Cleveland, Ohio

“The best place I went this year was Cleveland, Ohio to visit my family. I just started my travel journey and I’m looking forward to all the places I will go in 2018.” — Jessica Rovniak, Video Editor

Featured Image by DeAgostini/Getty Images

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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