Reader Jeff asks a question that may be too subject for me to answer definitely, what do you think?
What is the best place in the world to live in to take advantage of not just miles/points, but to have relatively close access to great travel destinations?
— best proximity to desirable travel areas. I realize this is incredibly subjective, but, in general, most people would put Europe and SE Asia high on the list of desirable travel destinations.. Places with good climates, reasonably safe, etc.
— major hub for an airline alliance
— a nice place to live
He goes on to speculate that outside of New York and Washington DC (with Star Alliance hubs and short travel time to all of the Americas and Western Europe) you’d rule out both North and South America entirely.
I think you have to go with a city in or near Europe. Fankfurt? What about Istanbul? Europe at your doorstep, interesting Mid-East locations, and Southeast Asia is 10-11 hours away. Not close, but not extreme. Turkish gives you Star Alliance access. And Istanbul is a pretty cool city.
It’s a fun question but there’s so many subjective elements that goes into it, what started off as a best city for connecting started adding on other criteria.
I can answer best cities for connectivity, for fares, for award availability but once you layer on climate preferences, food preferences, etc. it becomes hard to offer an objective answer.
If you had to pick one place for non-stop convenience to the world it would probably be in the Middle East. I’d pick the UAE, which gives you access to Dubai and Abu Dhabi as hubs within driving distance of each other. There aren’t many places you can’t reach easily.
There are other reasons you might not want to live there. But from a pure flight convenience standpoint…
Los Angeles and San Francisco appeal to different sorts of folks but both offer great access to Asia. (I suppose LAX is reason enough to rule out Los Angeles, though, despite having become such a great food mecca.)
Chicago is good for Asia and Europe, but I’d hate to live there (cold). I’ve been happy for years in DC but I don’t like the cold even here, I do love the ethnic food though!
What’s the best place for a traveler to position themselves? And what criteria should be used? Certainly cost should factor in too, and that would rule out New York and even much of the U.S. I would think.
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