Going Places

Matthew Brumley is the founder of Earthbound Expeditions, which organizes group travel to destinations around the world for various clients, including KPLU. "Going Places" is our new weekly travel segment exploring all aspects of getting from Point A to Point B.

KPLU is going to Cuba this winter! Our previous tour was so popular we are offering two different trips, departing Jan. 24 and Feb. 7. Discover music, culture, art and dance in beautiful Cuba! Don't delay spots will fill quickly.

Click here for the full itinerary and pricing.

Valentina_A / Flickr

The holidays are still a ways off, but if you’re thinking of heading out of town for Christmas — and not to a relative’s house — now is the time to plan.

KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley has spent about 10 holiday seasons outside the country. This year, he’s taking his family to Costa Rica, and they plan to exchange inexpensive gifts from the local crafts market.

Farm Stays And Urban Adventures In New Zealand

Aug 21, 2014
AP Photo/Tourism New Zealand

It could be argued that New Zealand bears at least a mild resemblance to the Pacific Northwest. It’s got rugged terrain, lush vegetation and, of course, plenty of water nearby. But that’s where the similarities end.

“When it’s dark and cold, and gray and depressing here, it’s absolutely stunning and sunny there,” said KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Its placement in the southern hemisphere makes Seattle’s winter the perfect opportunity to enjoy a New Zealand summer.

Andy Simonds / Flickr

We hate to say it, but the end of summer is near. But you know, autumn isn’t half bad around these parts, and there are plenty of places for quick, easy and affordable getaways. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley has some suggestions. 

Culture, Wildlife Await You In Diverse India

Aug 7, 2014
Molesworth II / Flickr

India is a natural wonderland and also host to some of the world’s busiest cities. Its 1.2 billion people make it the second most populous country on Earth, and it’s second only to the United States for the number of people who speak English.

Why You Should Take Your Hobbies With You On Vacation

Jul 31, 2014
AP Photo

Traveling, whether around the globe or across the state, doesn’t have to be all about food, lodging and tourist attractions. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says it also can be about trying familiar things in new places.

First of all, this advice isn’t for everybody. If you want to see the sights, lounge around the pool or the beach, or spend the day in museums, by all means, go for it. Those are great things to do on vacation.

But for travelers who enjoy blending in, and almost becoming a local, bringing your hobbies along on vacation can be worthwhile.

5 Tips For Using Your Frequent Flyer Miles

Jul 24, 2014
cheukiecfu / Flickr

If you get on a commercial airliner more than a few times of year, the chances are pretty good that you’re building up frequent flyer miles, either through your credit card or an airline, or an airline’s credit card. 

Whatever the case, when it comes time to redeem those miles, things can get tricky. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley has a few tips.

Ed Ronco / KPLU

A pod of orcas makes its way across Elliott Bay. A small seal basks in the sunlight. Children are sailing in Bainbridge Island’s Eagle Harbor, a cruise ship is pulling out of port, and over near Blake Island, the smell of wood smoke makes its way out over the water. Just another summer day in the Puget Sound.

Ours is an area surrounded by water, which not only provides great nature and excellent scenery, but serves as a big liquid highway to a variety of quick and easy getaways. Most of these locations are accessible by road, but our focus here is on using the water.

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. 

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.”

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.

How To Pack Lightly And Still Have What You Need

Jun 19, 2014
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.

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.”

When In Rome: The Value Of Blending In On Vacation

Jun 5, 2014
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.

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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