spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Disney T-A-G, and a personal bag

on May 1, 2016

It’s been a rough time for me emotionally, though of course my suffering is infinitesimal compared to those who actually died/were injured/are missing in the Earthquake.  No new (safe) donation opportunities haves popped up specifically for Hawaii.  I sent money to my cousin’s car service, and from what I understand, it was helpful.  I will continue to send aid in that manner.  It was really great to see that communities with lots of Ecuadorians (NY, Miami, etc), were getting together Facebook Groups to organize donation drives via the airlines or local travel agencies.  There have been lots of inspiring stories of rescues, international aid arriving, and huge quantities of donations from the less-hit areas of Ecuador.  The inevitable political sniping and accusations of favoritism are alive and well, too.  There is still along ways to go towards rebuilding, of course.  Time to put those donations to work and get on with it.  Ok, Disney time!

TAG logo

from Disney Parks Blog

I stumbled across something right up my alley, and it was too cute not to share.  Disney Parks Blog made this announcement in February, but I somehow missed it!  Watch the video…the TAG starts at 0:52.  I’ll wait.

I’m totally drooling.  SO far, I MUST HAVE:

  • those 2 coordinating luggage tags, 1 with Mickey on the airplane tail, and 1 with the monorail.  At 1:41 in the video.  The monorail design is also available on  a fleece blanket, according to the DISblog.
  • pretty much everything in this picture:

    tag stuff 2

    from Disney Parks Blog

Currently these items are only available in the Marketplace Co-Op store at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World.  However, many times select pieces from a given product launch show up later on the Shop Disney Parks app or DisneyStore.com.  I’ll be on the lookout!  Lots more pictures in this DPB post.

Speaking of shopping, I just recently spent 4 months online-stalking my perfect travel backpack and waiting for the perfect combination of sale price+cashback offer+coupon+free shipping, only to have it suddenly disappear from all websites.  I had been using my daughter’s cast-off Land’s End backpack, which really worked for me.  But I wanted a sturdier better water bottle pocket and the ability to slide it onto a suitcase.  It was this lovely beauty, the Lug Outfielder:

lug outfielder

Blue, of course.  This combination of colors also happens to match my current phone case exactly.  This was the perfect bag for several reasons: the water bottle holder that is big/strong enough for the Rubbermaid I like, the layer of clear plastic on the bottom that protects the bag from stains/moisture and makes for easy cleaning, the light-colored lining, the many organizational pockets, the little zipper pocket on the handle (can’t see it in the pics above), and finally, the luggage sleeve on the back that allows it to slide onto a suitcase handle.  Plus, it’s Lug brand, which you’ll recall is the maker of my day touring bag, the Shimmy:

lug shimmy

More blue.

The backpack’s retail price was over $100, which was too much.  However, it was available on eBags, which meant that I could bring that way down.  Often, there is an Amex offer for eBags, with a statement credit triggered by spending a certain amount.  Then, there might be an increased cashback offer from ebates.  Plus, as an eBags member, I had some rewards I could apply to the purchase.  I was greedy, and wanted all 3 of those discounts/rebates to apply, to my maximum benefit of course- my personal spending limit for this purchase was $60.  I kept getting 2 out of 3: the Amex offer would be live, but the initial price too high for me, even with the eBags rewards.  Or the ebates cashback percentage would increase above the standard 2%, but the Amex offer had expired.  I was waiting it out, and then the bag vanished from the eBags site, and the Lug site.  Side note: at one point the price was <$50 on the Lug site directly, but when I tried to price shipping to Hawaii, the site returned an error.  I reached out to them, and they emailed back that the shipping charge to Hawaii would be $66.14.  Hard pass.  It was still available on Amazon as a last resort, but for FULL retail price.

Crushed, I started looking for (and found) a near-identical replacement from another brand.  I was just starting to gear up my Never-Pay-Full-Price Machine™ for the 2nd choice backpack.  Last weekend I found the Kipling Micah Backpack at TJ Maxx, and it basically ticked all the boxes.  Decent water bottle pocket, luggage sleeve on the back, organizational pockets, lightweight material.  But it lacked the zipper pouch on the strap, and its base price was $119.00.  The one I found at TJ Maxx was $59.99, but it was this Blue Jay color.

micah blue jay

Lovely, but once I looked it up online and saw that True Blue was an option…I knew I would prefer that.

micah true blue

That’s more like it.  So, True Blue was available on Amazon, but for $124.  On the Kipling site, it was $119.  I was surprised that it was not available at Macy’s, since I know they have a huge Kipling section, and I could use those coupons I’m always getting in the mail- oh well.  Finally, this particular style was not listed on eBags.  What to do?  I decided to give it a few days to think about it- my next trip is not until November, after all.  Well, this past Thursday I decided to start looking for discounts, and started by checking to see if it had shown up on eBags.  It was not there, but guess what was?!  My Lug Outfielder!!!  At $77.99, including free 2-day shipping with the Shoprunner membership that is a benefit of my SPG Amex card.  I quickly checked ebates, and found that purchases from eBags were earing 6% cash back.  Finally, I hopped over to Amexoffers.com, and, YES!!!  $15 statement credit for any eBags purchase of $75 or more!  I quickly added the offer to my card.

I logged into ebates, then clicked through to eBags from there.  I logged into eBags and then Shoprunner from within the site.  I decided not to apply my eBags rewards because it would drop the amount of the transaction to below $75 and not trigger the Amex offer.  I made sure to pay with my SPG Amex, and that was it!  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Original retail price: $112.99
  • eBags sale price: $77.99
  • Amex offer $15 off $75: $62.99
  • ebates 6% cashback: $4.68
  • eBags rewards earned: $3.90
  • total out of pocket price: $54.41, for a savings of 52% off the original retail price, and $5.59 under my personal budget of $60

spock win

My new backpack will be here on Tuesday.  I’ll be waiting like this:

candace heart eyes.PNG

I’ll post pics!  See you soon!

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