Going Places

Going Places
5:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

The Procrastinator's Guide To Planning A Quick Getaway

Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park
Zengame Flickr

Don't be ashamed. We all procrastinate. The car needs an oil change. The living room needs to be vacuumed. And you still haven't planned your summer vacation.

We can't help you with the first two, but if you're still looking for a getaway this summer and finding no available reservations, read on. 

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu July 3, 2014

The Dent-Free Guide To Renting And Driving A Car Abroad

Driving on the left, as seen on this road in Tokyo, is often the toughest adjustment for American drivers. Expect to deal with it in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, India and southcentral Asia, southeastern Africa, and Japan, among other places.
Ed Ronco

Matthew Brumley had researched his rental car in advance, found a good deal and booked early. Then he got to the counter in Cabo San Lucas, and the clerk asked him if he had insurance. He told her he did, but she insisted he needed extra coverage.

“That slapped on another $30 a day,” said Brumley, KPLU's travel expert. “Then there were taxes and VAT charges.”

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Ireland No Longer The Land Of 'Boiled Potatoes And Overcooked Meat'

Potatoes are seen being sold out of a van in Bantry, Ireland.
Ed Ronco

When you drop below the clouds as you fly into Ireland, it’s as if you’re looking down at a great rock draped in a velvet green blanket. The Emerald Isle is famous for those rich green hues, as well as music, poetry and whiskey.

But Ireland has a newer claim to fame, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley: its food.

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Going Places
7:12 am
Thu June 19, 2014

How To Pack Lightly And Still Have What You Need

How much stuff do you really need when you go on vacation? Not that much, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.
Justin Steyer KPLU

As a tour organizer, Matthew Brumley routinely arrives at a destination a day or so before his clients, and then meets them at the airport. Recently, he was in Johannesburg to greet an arriving flight.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

To Enjoy A Place, 'Take Your Nose Out Of The Guide Book'

Yes, you should see the big sights. But pausing just to look at the everyday things nearby — like this evening gathering near a river in Kyoto, Japan — can add a lot to your sense of a new place.
Ed Ronco KPLU

Here’s how not to do it: 8 a.m.: breakfast, 9 a.m.: Eiffel Tower, 10 a.m.: Arc de Triomphe, 12 p.m.: lunch in nearby café, 12:30 p.m.: Louvre, 3 p.m.: Notre Dame, and so on.

That's too much, too fast, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

“We approach everything with our giant list, and we feel we’ve had a successful day if we’ve checked everything off,” he said. “We become trophy hunters.”

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

When In Rome: The Value Of Blending In On Vacation

The Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere is at the focal point of the Piazza di Santa Maria. A good place to see Rome as the Romans do, says Matthew Brumley.
Zione Flickr

Yes, it might be a cliché by now: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." But the old proverb is true, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley. When visiting the Italian capital, the best way to experience it is to blend in.

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Going Places
5:01 am
Thu May 29, 2014

How To Prepare For A Hospital Stay Abroad — Just In Case

Nobody plans to ride in a Tokyo ambulance. But you can be prepared, should the need arise.
youkaine Flickr

Mandy Evans was just two days into her three-week vacation in the United Kingdom when it happened: searing pain in her abdomen at 10 o’clock on a Saturday night.

She stuck it out as long as she could, but by 5 a.m., the front desk of her hotel put her in a cab to St. Thomas’ Hospital in Central London. She was diagnosed with a gallbladder infection, and admitted to a ninth floor room.

“On the plus side, I ended up with views of Parliament and the London Eye (ferris wheel),” Evans said.

It was an inauspicious start to a long-planned holiday, and it’s an experience shared by countless travelers around the globe.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu May 22, 2014

As Berlin Faces Its Difficult History Head-On, 'Hard Not To Be Stunned' As A Visitor

You'll need to arrange your visit in advance if you want to go inside the Reichstag.
Matthias Leibing Flickr

Germany's capital city of Berlin is one of the most international cities in Europe.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Former Yugoslavia Is A 'Painfully Gorgeous' Vacation Spot

Lake Bled, in Solvenia's Julian Alps, is a beautiful stop on your trip.
Lemsipmatt Flickr

Bring up the former Yugoslavia in conversation, and most people won’t picture sunshine, beautiful seaside towns and great food. But KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says that’s exactly what you’ll find.

“The Adriatic (Sea) and the rocky coastline that goes from the top, by Trieste, all the way south to Dubrovnik, is so breathtaking it’s painfully gorgeous,” Brumley said.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

5 Reasons To Consider A Vacation In B.C.

The Cape Mudge lighthouse guards the entrance to Discovery Channel on Quadra Island, British Columbia.
David Stanley flickr

We could probably write a whole book on things to see and do in British Columbia. And many have. But KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says the reasons you should consider a trip to B.C. can be boiled down to five points:

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Avoiding The Beaten Path In Italy

Positano, on the Amalfi coast, offers beaches and small village life you won't find in crowded Rome, Florence and Venice.
Tano Pecoraro AP

Italy is crowded these days, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

"From May through early October, it can be packed," he said. "Especially in those cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence."

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

What Your Phone Does On Vacation While You’re Not Looking Can Cost You

If your phone roams for data on a trip outside the United States, it could cost you big.
Ed Ronco KPLU

Imagine getting a $700 phone bill. It happened once to KPLU travel expert and tour guide Matthew Brumley.

“I was stuck in Capetown in a cable car, heading up to Table Mountain. And I had some things I needed to get done, and I had to call the office back in the United States,” he said.

What Brumley didn’t realize is that even though he wasn’t actively using his phone, it was still sending and receiving data.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Going On A Cruise? Try The Smaller Boats

The Lindblad Expeditions ships National Geographic Sea Lion or Sea Bird operate in Baja and Southeast Alaska. They offer a more intimate, hands-on cruise experience than the big mainline companies.
Michael S. Nolan www.wildlifeimages.net

If you want to kick back and relax without thinking too hard about your itinerary, your destinations or dinner, your best bet is a cruise aboard one of the big mainline cruise ships, no question. They all offer reasonably priced, all-inclusive getaways aboard a giant floating resort.

But if your style is to get active, get educated or get away from the crowds, then you might want to consider a smaller cruise line, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley. 

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

No Limes, And A Sense Of Perspective In The Air

Don't be this guy. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says a sense of perspective is important when flying.
Ed Ronco KPLU

A shortage of limes is causing trouble for some airlines, according to a report by the Associated Press. Many carriers announced they would temporarily stop using limes during drink service aboard their aircraft. That includes Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, which estimates it goes through 900 limes a day. 

Some bloggers reacted to the news as though they'd just eaten a lemon instead.

"Diet Coke without lime is like Bert without Ernie," wrote Ben Schlappig, on the BoardingArea blog.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Five Tips On Getting The Best Hotel Room For Your Money

AP Photo/Millennium Hotels and Resort

One of the most intimating parts about travel is booking the hotel. So many choices — where to begin, and how to find a deal?

Follow these five easy steps, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley, and you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

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