Travel Planning 2015

Right now Justin and are going to Orlando in November, and Europe in December. We're trying to keep our trips as cheap as possible by using points where we can and credit card bonuses to cheapen the cost.To keep you (and me) up to date with my 2015 travel plans, I have decided to keep a check list. As it turns out, planning trips can be a bit more complicated than a person might think!

Here's what we've accomplished so far:

For Orlando –
1/29  • Port Orleans Riverside reserved for Thurs.–Sun. on Travelocity ($100 discount).
2/17  • Wedding gift purchased @ 50% off.
7/26  • Bought dress to wear to the wedding.
9/26  • Flights booked on Delta from ATL to MCO.
10/4  • Signed up for MouseSaver to receive coupons.
     • Contacted travel agent to see if I could get a better price. (She couldn't.)
10/11  • Decided against cancelling PO reservations and getting reservations through Costco at a cheaper price.
10/13  • Coronado Springs reserved for Sun.–Mon.
     • Signed up for Disney credit card that would give us $200 off the trip cost and 10% back on every $50 Disney purchase made with the card. Plus it has Cinderella's castle on it!!! :) (It doesn't take much to excite me…)
10/15  • Two hopper tickets bought for Disney Parks with $62 in discounts using Undercover Tourist, Amex, and MouseSaver newsletter. (Amex promotion details here.)
     • Travel confirmed on Disney's Magical Express shuttle for arrival and departure from airport.
     • Colors for MagicBands chosen.
     • Hotels/tickets/shuttle connected to MagicBands.
10/17  • Texted sister-in-law about meeting up/going to WDW together.
     • MagicBand set 1 received. Colors chosen for set 2.
10/19  • Emailed hotel about luggage.
10/20  • Ordered supplies to decorate MagicBands. :)
10/22  • MagicBand set 2 arrived.
     • Disney credit card received.
10/25  • Received decoration supplies for MagicBands.
     • Asked brother about meeting up/going to WDW together.
11/2  • Decorated MagicBands.
11/7  • Car rented.
     • Wedding gift wrapped.
11/9  • $200 statement credit on Disney credit card for spending $500 in 3 months!

For Europe –
9/4  • Flights booked on Delta from JFK to CDG (Paris).
    • Got Delta Amex card to save $50 on trip and received 50,000 miles (that will be used to fly to NYC for free).
9/5  • Re-confirmation that friends were available.
9/19  • Signed up for Google Fi (phone service) to use overseas.
9/26  • Flights booked on Delta to NYC from ATL on points (flying in LGA and out EWR).
     • Waldorf Astoria booked for 1/3 of nights in NYC.
9/30  • Accepted to Google Fi program.
10/13  • Bought a dress for New Year's Eve! *squee!* (It's the little things, really.)
10/20 • Hyatt Regency Jersey City reserved for 2/3 nights in NYC on points!
     • The Standard Highline booked for 3/3 nights in NYC through Visa Signature Luxury Collection which includes an upgradable room, $40 for a restaurant and a $25 food/beverage credit at the hotel! Yay!
10/21  • Signed up for Muchopoints to see how far we can make our points go in Europe.
10/22  • Emailed friends.
10/26  • Booked Regent Petite France & Spa (with breakfast) for our time in Strasbourg at 3x the points with Chase Sapphire.
11/1    • Staying at The Westin – Vendome for 1/3 nights in Paris.
     • Signed up for SPG.
     • Reservation for 2/3 Paris nights made at Intercontinental Paris – Le Grand for points + $$.
11/4  • 6PM concert tickets for St. Chapelle in Paris purchased.
11/15  • 3 sweaters ordered @ Macy's using coupons and Discover portal for 40% off.
11/16  • Bought Justin new jeans @ through portal with Discover card for 15% off.
11/17  • Coat bought off of etsy through UPromise portal for 10% back + 2% with Venture.
11/20  • Bought sweaters for me from Free People for 20% off plus went through portal and used Discover for at least 1% back but hopefully 10%.
     • Contacted Hyatt about Diamond upgrade.
11/21  • Jacket, under layers, and sweaters bought for Justin using Venture for 2% back and going through a portal for an additional 10% back on some of the things. Also called to get a coupon applied.
     • Called Macy's to get a 20% price adjustment on my purchase from 11/15.
11/25  • Email 2 sent. #WaitingGame #FriendsFTW
     • Shoes bought from Anthropologie.
11/27  • More shoes bought from Neiman Marcus Last Call @ 50% off & DSW 30% off. Thermal layers bought @ REI.
11/28  • More Shoes bought @ Academy Sports + hat for Justin, thermal leggings for me.
     • Justin's iphone replaced.
     • 3 camera micro SD cards bought @ 50% off from Adorama.
11/29  • Brighton Hotel booked marking 3/3 hotels for Paris! Used $75 off $300 Expedia coupon.
     • New iphone for me.
     • Nexus 6 to use with Project Fi bought with Amazon credit.
     • Train ticket from Paris to Strasbourg bought with help from Rome2Rio and Loco2.
     • 25% price match @ Anthropologie. ($77 refund!)
11/30  • Email 3.
12/2  • TripIt downloaded to help keep me organized.
     • Also the TPG app.
12/3  • Emails 4 & 5
12/4  • Angelo Hotel in Prague booked for 2 nights with TripAdvisor.
     • Chat to clear up confusion.
     • Platinum status upgrade received with Hyatt.
12/5  • Sweater and gloves bought. One pair of boots returned. Warm clothes ftw!
12/6  • Nexus 6 received!
     • Diamond status upgrade received with Hilton.
12/8  • Coat received!
12/9  • Email 6 - Dresden hotels researched.
     • Nexus 6 case bought on Amazon for $3! (Thanks slickdeals!)
12/11  • Train ticket from Strasbourg to Stuttgart booked.
     • Nexus 6 case received.
12/13  • Project Fi sim card ordered.
12/15  • Trakdot ordered.
12/16  • Project Fi sim card received.
12/17  • Jawbone and Fitbit ordered.
     • Email 7.
12/18  • Last of clothes ordered.
     • Fitbit received.
12/19  • NYC Christmas lights tour booked.
     • Shoes returned.
     • Shoes received. Camera card holder received.
12/20  • Westin Bellevue booked for Dresden stay.
     • Jawbone received.
12/21  • Traveler's insurance bought (health, weather, etc…).
     • Renter's insurance paid for (to protect camera, cell phones, electronics).
12/22  • Socks bought. (Woo.)

Still need to –
• Confirm plans with family in NJ.
• Reserve return train tickets from Stuttgart to Paris.
• Decide what to do in Germany/Czech Republic.
• Call debit cards to let them know of our plans.
• Print everything and also place it on Dropbox just in case.

Useful websites for planning:
The Points Guy talks European Christmas Markets.
• The Points Guy on what to do in Prague + Prague pictures.
• Nomadic Matt explores Prague.
• Where to find Christmas lights in NYC.
• That Backpacker: 50 Things to Do in Prague.

Read my first blog post about the planning experience here and my second one here. I know all of this planning will be worth it in the end, but, honestly, right now I'm just stressed. I'll get everything done though; I always do. :)