Going Places

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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Going Places
6:17 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Visiting The Parks: Avoid Campsite Loserdom

Old Faithful Inn is close to the famous geyser, but you should look to next summer if you want to stay here, says our travel expert.
Jim Peaco National Park Service

You know how it goes: You’re sitting around on a Wednesday afternoon, and you decide to take the family camping over the weekend. Maybe to a national park.

Well, here’s a confession from our own travel expert: He’s one of you.

“If you’re like me, you’re the dad who gets the Charlie Brown campsite,” Brumley said.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Central America Offers Something For Everyone

Tourists are seen at the Mayan ruins of Tikal, in Guatemala, in 2005. Nearly two decades after war, Guatemala is earning new fame as a top tourist destination.
Rodrigo Abd AP

There are seven countries in Central America, all smashed into a thousand miles of land between Mexico and Colombia. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says among those seven countries, you can find just about anything you want, from adventures in the wild to full-service resorts.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Knowing These Tips Can Save You Big Bucks On Airfare

File image
J. David Ake AP Photo

If you’re looking for plane tickets, you’ve probably spent time navigating various websites, wondering if there’s any rhyme or reason to how airfare is priced. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says there is, in fact, a method to the madness.

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Going Places
8:26 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Mexico Still Safe For Vacationers — If You Know Where To Go

Matthew Brumley

The recent arrest of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is the latest volley in Mexico’s war on drug cartels. It’s also a reminder that the country is dealing with problems, including those that could easily scare off visitors.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu February 27, 2014

How To Avoid Becoming A Victim While Traveling Overseas

Make sure your valuables are out of sight, and that you have control of your possessions at all times.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

One of the unpleasant but important facts about travel is that tourists are often victims of crime. A tourist can be an easy mark for pickpockets, con artists and thieves. The crimes often come in forms you wouldn’t expect. 

“I’ve been a victim three or four times," said KPLU travel expert Brumley.

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Going Places
5:01 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Sochi Has Us Dreaming Of A Trip To Russia

This June 4, 2012 photo shows the Mostovaya Bashnya tower which once housed archers guarding the approach to the Czar’s Country Estate on Silver Island in northern Moscow.
Jim Heintz AP Photo

The Winter Olympics come to a close this weekend in Sochi, Russia. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley spent the games reflecting on his time in Russia. 

Brumley, who was once an exchange student in Moscow and worked on the the Trans-Siberian Railroad in the 1980s, says you should consider making the trip.

“It’s a time capsule,” Brumley said. “When you travel through Siberia, it’s as if someone set the clock back a hundred years.”

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Going Places
5:01 am
Thu February 13, 2014

10 Tips On Understanding French Culture

Relax, be humble, learn a few words in French, and don't squeeze the produce. That, and a few other tips, will keep you happy in France.
Courtesy of Matthew Brumley

French President Francois Hollande's visit to the U.S. this week included mentions of the two countries' long-standing friendship, one that dates back to the American Revolution. But citizens of the two countries sometimes find themselves at odds.

KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley lived and worked in France early in his career. He says the French aren’t being rude. In fact, as a culture, they’re extremely polite. Knowing that before you get on the flight to Paris can make all the difference, and there are 10 easy tips to make sure things go well. But first, a story.

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Going Places
5:00 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Traveling To Cuba Is Easier Than You Think

San Cristobal Catedral, with the Plaza de la Catedral in the foreground.
Matthew Brumley Photo provided

Colder temperatures this week might have you thinking about warmer places than here. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley just got back from Cuba, and says going to Havana is easy and completely worthwhile.

Cuba Is Opening Up

It's true, Cuba is opening up, but it’s not completely open yet, says Brumley. You’ll need either a missionary license or people-to-people license, usually available through organized tour groups. Once you’re legal, though, the rest is easy.

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Going Places
9:20 am
Thu January 30, 2014

What's In It For Your Tour Guide? Too Much, Maybe

This Jan. 5, 2012 photo shows tourists lining up to view Waimea Canyon on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The natural wonder has been dubbed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
Joe Kafka AP Photo

So you go on vacation and your guide says he knows the best place to get leather jackets in Madrid. Or the best restaurant in all of London. Or maybe he’s getting a kickback from the business in exchange for shepherding tourists through the front door, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

What’s Wrong With That?

Two things, says Brumley say.  The stores they’re taking you to could have inflated prices. Also they’re wasting your time.

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Going Places
9:33 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Brumley: When You Go, Go Responsibly

Offsetting the carbon from your flight is one way to travel responsibly, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley. In this 2008 file photo, a jet plane prepares to land at San Francisco International Airport.
Noah Berger AP File Photo

The tourism industry is one of the largest in the world. According to the United Nations, one out of every 11 jobs worldwide is related to tourism.

“When you travel, it has real implications for the people you’re visiting,” said KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley. “There are two sides to this: there’s the environmental side, and there’s the socioeconomic side that has to do with the people themselves.”

So how do you travel responsibly? Here are some tips from KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

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Going Places
5:01 am
Thu January 16, 2014

5 Tips For A Good Family Vacation

Matthew Brumley and family on vacation.
Courtesy of Matthew Brumley

Travel with the whole family doesn't have to be a chore.

So, you're planning the next big family vacation. There are lots of questions to consider: Where to go, what to do, who to invite. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley has these five tips for families looking to travel together.

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