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.

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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.

Matthias Leibing / Flickr

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

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.

5 Reasons To Consider A Vacation In B.C.

May 8, 2014
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:

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."

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.

Going On A Cruise? Try The Smaller Boats

Apr 17, 2014
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. 

No Limes, And A Sense Of Perspective In The Air

Apr 10, 2014
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.

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.

Visiting The Parks: Avoid Campsite Loserdom

Mar 27, 2014
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.

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.

Knowing These Tips Can Save You Big Bucks On Airfare

Mar 13, 2014
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.

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.

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.

Sochi Has Us Dreaming Of A Trip To Russia

Feb 20, 2014
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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