spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Disneyland Paris Planning

So, I mentioned that we would only spend 1 day at the Disneyland Paris Resort on our upcoming European tour.  You all know how much I love Disney, but Paris has so much to offer that 1 theme park day was all I was willing to spare.  It follows then, that I had to plan an epic day, trying to hit all the Paris-exclusive rides and experiences available.  Yes, we are planning to open and close the Parks.  Here’s how I hope it will go… Read the rest of this entry »

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Award travel success so far, European hotels

Yeaaaaaaaaaaah buddy! We currently have 4 of 7 hotel nights needed covered with points, with 2 of the remaining 3 hopefully covered by certificates later this year.  I shall now regale you with my recent adventures in hotel booking.

Um, have you ever noticed that European hotels (even American chains) rarely sleep more than 2 people?  I’ve had quite a time setting up 4-person rooms in London, Paris, and Barcelona.  We are lucky to be able to stay with family or friends in our other 3 stops (North Carolina, Seville, and New Jersey).  My chart:

Location # of nights needed # of nights booked on points # of nights paying OOP % nights covered
North Carolina  3-4  3-4 sister points  0  100%
London 1
Paris 3
Seville 3  3 friend points  0  100%
Barcelona 3
New Jersey 2  2 daughter points  0  100%

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Travel deal FROM Honolulu! And DLP details :)

If ever I planned to fly in a westerly direction, I would totally take advantage of this deal from AirAsia.  Fly to Osaka from Honolulu for $129 one-way!  Here is just a sample of their fare deals, full chart at this AirAsia link.  As you can see, there are many other destinations available at reasonable prices.  Though it says “All-In Fare,” there are are some additional fees for transaction is US Dollars.  But the fare is so low that it won’t detract much from your savings.  Book by this Sunday, September 17th.

airasia honolulu

I took Japanese in college, and if I was in the position to take advantage of these kids of short-term deals, I would definitely jump on this one!

 

As far as my personal planning for trips I can go on, I’m waiting to be able to book hotels in Paris, Barcelona, and Seville over the holiday season.  I check every few weeks, and the calendars still don’t go out that far.  I’m wanting to use some rewards points, and the availability is understandably limited.  If I were just paying out-of-pocket, I might not reserve so far in advance, but they only release a certain amount of rewards-eligible rooms for that week of/after Christmas.

Since I’m in a holding pattern on hotels, I’m currently working on making the itinerary for Disneyland Paris.  We’re only spending the one day there, so I’ve looked at the attractions descriptions and maps for both Parks, and made a chart that highlights our must-do rides and such.  I am spending all of our time on stuff that is different  or unavailable in the US Parks.  Here’s a sneak peek:

dlp details

Looking at this list makes me so, so happy.

candace heart eyes

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Hey, I’m learnin’ here: Disneyland Paris

In a unique position here: planning my first trip to a Disney Park!  One specific Disney Park, to be exact: Disneyland Paris.  My sister went once, but that was in the Dark Ages when it was called Euro Disney Resort.  Of course I will take any info she can provide, but I’m essentially starting from scratch.  Here’s what I know about Disneyland Paris: Read the rest of this entry »

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2017 trip…what to do?

 Warning: This is a very first-world problem.

I’ve been putting all of my organizing energy into my daughter’s Quinceañera coming up later this year.  I set up the flights: outbound, and return.  I was able to use IHG points (accumulated from good-old credit card spend and a recent bonus promo) to book 4 nights at a hotel near the venue for us so that visiting family from Ecuador could use my parents’ guest room.  I redeemed my husband’s last Barclay Arrival + points* for a $100 gift certificate for Budget Rental Car, and will be combining the cert with a great price I got from Costco Travel, which has historically been my go-to place for low rental car deals.  I recently booked a fabulous DJ/emcee/lighting service, and my next project is to firm up the invitation design.  Still lots to do after that, too! Read the rest of this entry »

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