The Travel Year in Review: 2012

- Joy Pecknold, Passport blog editor

An eventful 366 days (leap year, remember) it’s almost been. With big things, like Hurricane Sandy, and little things, like Beyoncé’s baby girl Blue Ivy. In our world of travel, many miles logged, Continental breakfasts eaten and Instagrams grammed. So for one hot minute, we put down our carry-ons and contemplate the year the was 2012. Cue the highlight reel.

We started the year off with a few travel resolutions, involving food and fitness. How’d you all do with those?

We had our correspondent in Park City, Utah, publicist Carine Redmond, sending in salacious “Dispatches from Sundance”.

I attempted to save Valentine’s Day for those who flopped with a no-fail itinerary for Whistler (“Whistler to Win Her Over”), wherein I found a way to reference the obscure XYZ Affair of 1798.

Not all all-inclusives are awful, we argued, culling a list worth your seven days and seven nights in “9 Luxury All-Inclusives to Help You Forget All the Not So Luxurious Ones.”

We got even greener, debuting our Eco Collection and landing tips to make our trips more eco-concious from Hitesh Mehta.

We stalked a few celebrities as they circumvented the globe. I followed in the food-steps of Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Gosling in the city travel guide “An LA Story of Cute Actors, Bourbon, Curated Wares and Whiskey.” We spent hours willingly reading blogs about the British Royals to find out where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Will and Kate, stayed in the South Pacific, and Prince Harry’s property stops in the Caribbean and South America for the Queen’s Jubilee (little did we know then that after staying at Half Moon Harry would flash a full moon at the Wynn for losing at strip billiards that August). And we also dove into the Spring Breaks of stars, including Jennifer Aniston’s fondness for Cabo and the litany of other big names that frequent Barbados, St. Barts and Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island.

We also asked famous folks forthright how they like to travel in our Proust Travel Questionnaire. Stylist Rachel Zoe, designers Nicola Formichetti and Sébastien Peigné of Mugler, model-philanthropist Petra Nemcova, writer Derek Blasberg, blogger Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller and more all submitted themselves for questioning.

London was popular the whole year through, which had a little something to do with the 2012 Summer Olympics taking place there. Our coverage included Daniel Szelényi’s series of “London Discoveries”, Rebecca Tay’s pre-Olympic guides (part one and two), my post-Olympic October trip and all those hotel openings.

May through July, we announced which hotels in the collection scored the highest grades, like an honor roll of hospitality, they comprised our “Top of the Class.”

Our own Megan Montenaro kept us abreast of the coolness in her town, New York City, with a photo essay on the High Line, taking a “Foods of the Lower East Side” tour, checking out the art at Andaz and signing up for immersive theater experience Sleep No More. But she also went further afield to cross a biggie off her personal travel bucket list, that being Belize.

Two legendary hotels made headlines. The Beverly Hills Hotel celebrated a century while the Ritz Paris closed for renos.

Through the words and digital cameras of our other contributors, we saw a lot more of the world. Heidi Atwal’s trip to Amsterdam allowed us to use an ample amount of alliteration. Meg Nesterov took us shopping outside Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Nicole Savini showed us around Crotia’s Hvar Island. Sean Horlor took us to Thailand, both bustling Bangkok and the beaches of Koh Phangan.

And as we will on New Year’s Eve, we raised our glass to a few good drinks. Both some cool summer cocktails to shake up ourselves and those warming concoctions we’ll let cozy hotel bars make us all winter long. With that, cheers to 2012!

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