Thanks to my friends over at Travelzoo I was notified about an AMAZING deal from Emirates.

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In a sale ending Sunday, Emirates — named the world’s No. 1 airline by Skytrax — is discounting companion fares to global destinations.

Depart from New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., or Dallas for the following prices for two people flying together (roundtrip, including tax).

Milan, Italy (from New York City only) … $899 for two
Dubai, UAE … $1249 for two
Beijing or Shanghai, China … $1599 for two
Cape Town, South Africa … $1749 for two
Sydney, Australia … $2399 for two
Flights from Chicago, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas are also on sale.

What to know:

Fares require two people flying together
A minimum three-night or Sunday-night stay is required
Available for select dates Jan. 9 – May 15 and Aug. 1 – Oct. 14 (Milan departures are select Sundays-Wednesdays and returns are Tuesdays-Fridays)
Excludes travel April 11-19 and Aug. 1-31 for Milan only, and inbound U.S. flights Aug. 1 – Sept. 6 for all routes
Business-class fares are also discounted for two people flying together
All destinations included in the sale are listed under the terms and conditions on Emirates’ website.

Emirates is known for its spacious seats, wine selection and the World’s Best Inflight Entertainment (per Skytrax) with over 2,500 stations. Other standout amenities include power outlets at every seat, Wi-Fi and air mobile services that allow for SMS and data while in flight.

The sale ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 27.

Book by Nov. 27.

Black Friday is approaching and while that means scooping up the newest Lego set, TV or gaming system for some – I, as well as many other Wanderlusters, are anxiously waiting to find out if their will be any good travel deals.

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While traveling is amazing and I highly encourage it for EVERYONE – it can be pricey, so I am always on the look out for great flight specials. Last year I scored a stay via Expedia‘s Cyber Monday sale at the amazing Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan for 1/2 price and was able to use a $75 off Thanksgiving coupon on top of that by booking through their app.

This year it looks as Black Friday/Cyber Monday came early. Thanks to Secret Flying I was informed about a MAJOR flight sale between the US & Europe. I’m talking Round Trip flights for $400-$500 to multiple European destinations!

Check about Secret Flying’s article HERE and then go search the airlines website directly! (Delta, AA etc.)

Just an FYI: it seems as United as jumped on the bandwagon because I just scored a non stop RT flight from Newark to my beloved Paris for $418! This same flight was over $700 just a few days ago and normally that flight would be about $1,000.

If you take advantage of this sale, let me know where you booked and if you need any recommendations on where you should head to – shoot me an e-mail.

HAPPY TRAVELING!

Walt Disney World – The happiest place on earth!

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When Disney reached out to me to attend the Royal Welcoming of the First Latina Princess, Elena of Avalor, I screamed YES with no hesitation. I’ve been to Disney twice, once with my madrina and Tio Danny when I was about 7 years old and another time in High School when I had the opportunity to play in a Disney softball tournament. This was my first trip as an adult and I felt like I could really soak in this experience. I knew I was only going to be in town for about 30 hours so I was looking forward to making the best of it.

We stayed at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

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The property is absolutely beautiful and filled with charm. The staff was so friendly and very accommodating.

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Upon checking in, I received my Disney MagicBand and went on to explore my room as well as the property until it was time to meet up with some of the ladies to have dinner + dessert at Epcot.

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After checking into Epcot, we dined at La Hacienda de San Angel which served an authentic Mexican cuisine and killer margaritas. The best part of dinner had to be getting to know all the girls, great conversation and a ton of laughs. When we were done we headed to the Italy Pavilion for a private dessert party where we had front row seats to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, which is an incredible show that features fireworks, pyrotechnics, laser lights, fountains, and fire to create a visual production on the park’s World Showcase Lagoon. It’s an absolute must see!

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The next day I was up bright and early because I was so excited to get together with the group again and head to the Magic Kingdom for the Royal Welcoming for Princess Elena.

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Cinderella and Prince Charming appear on the stage of the castle, dándole la bienvenida (giving a welcome) to everyone to this magical kingdom and introducing their special guest from Avalor. Princess Elena arrives accompanied by a troupe of regal banner carriers and musicians and when asked to share her historia, Elena
picks up a guitarra and joins her musicians in a performance of the song “My Time,” recounting her magical adventures and triumphant return to Avalor.

It was truly magically to witness this and as a Latina, made me super proud! After the Royal Welcoming we headed to a Disney luncheon where we got to meet and interview all the important people behind Elena of Avalor and even got to meet the princess herself.

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This trip, while short, was an incredible experience and I’m so glad that so many of you followed along with me on Instastories (@pearls_and_paris) and Snapchat (pearlsandparis). THANK YOU Disney for a magical time.

As many of you know, my son is turning ONE in just a few weeks and so we have planned a Family Disney trip for mid October!!!! Make sure you stay tuned as I will be sharing every step of the way with you guys while there.

Barcelona is where my love affair with Europe began.

I remember my excitement from the time I planned and booked everything to stepping foot off the plane. There’s something so liberating about your first international trip. You tend to want to learn more about everything you’re seeing and know the history of it all. Till this day, I carry that desire to learn and see it all during my travels.

I actually took a cruise while in Barcelona (more about that in a later post) so I stood at 2 separate hotels, one prior to my cruise and then one when I returned and we also mixed up price points by doing a budget and then a luxury hotel. Even though they were opposite, we had incredible experiences at both and I highly recommend them.

Check them out — Hotel Curious // Hotel 1898

There is no shortage of great restaurants in this vibrant city but if I had to chose one to recommend, I would say book (far in advance) a reservation at Tickets Bar. I can’t really put into words the experience you get from this place. The food is literally a work of art. I promise you that your dining experience here will be the best visual and delicious 2 hours ever! Click HERE to see my review on TripAdvisor.

While in Barcelona you will want to see it all. I highly recommend focusing on Guadi. The Sagrada Familia is an absolute MUST! Do not leave Barcelona without going inside of this masterpiece. Park Guell is another major Guadi work that is not to be missed. Explore Las Ramblas, La Boqueria, the Magic Fountain, eat tapas until you can’t walk, drink a ton of wine and just get lost (while keeping alert because those pickpocketers are no joke in Barcelona) – sometimes you discover the most amazing things by just walking around town and exploring.

Here’s a look at my trip through my photos:

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If you have any specific questions – feel free to send me an email // pearlsandparis@yahoo.com

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I have always been an over packer.

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The problem with over packers is it’s hard for us to admit it. If anyone made a comment about how many shoes or jeans I was bringing, I always had an excuse on why I absolutely needed every single item in my suitcase. There were numerous times my suitcase went over the 50b limit but I always just blamed it on certain items being heavy. It wasn’t until I was on my 2nd European vacation that I accepted this title and was pretty embarrassed by it. My husband and I were on a train going from Prague to Berlin. We ended up sitting with a business man from Germany and he took one look at the size of my suit case and goes… American? He then proceeded to talk to us about how he’s noticed a lot of American travelers over pack, and well, he’s right! That trip I didn’t use 50% of what I packed. Since then I have really tried to pack ‘Smart’ regardless of my final destination. Here are some of my top tips when packaging for vacation.

1. Use the proper luggage size – Don’t pack a 30″ suitcase if you’re going away for a short weekend or only for a few days. When you pull out a bag that is oversized, you will always find a way to fill it.

2. Roll, don’t fold – There’s always an exception to the rule but for the most part, rolling vs folding your clothes will give you more space when packing. I even go the extra mile and will use large ziplock bags to compress the clothing which makes everything even more organized.

3. Make a list & stick to it – Make a list of everything you need down to your toothbrush, check it twice. Sticking to the list will make sure you don’t bring additional items as well as making sure that you aren’t forgetting anything important.

4. Pack clothing that is versatile – This is a big one! You don’t need 5 pairs of jeans, 2 sneakers, 3 heels and an endless amount of leggings. Pack clothing that can go from day to night easily and can be reused more than once. Pack only the essentials when it comes to footwear. Try to stick to neutral colors and think about comfort.

5. Leave behind basic toiletries  – Unless you’re traveling to space, your final destination will more than likely have a place that you can purchase all your toiletries and all those other items that not only take up room but add extra weight. Also, your hotel may provide many of these things, including a blow dryer and iron! If you must pack it – think travel sized instead of full-sized.

6. Make use of those extra spaces – Filling your shoes can free up some extra space. It’s the perfect spot for your rolled underwear, socks and even chargers.

Do you have any additional tips that help you pack smart? Leave a comment letting me know what they are!

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