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.

Mark Stevens / Flickr

For an escape to the American Southwest -- with its open deserts, dark skies, and peaceful solitude -- begin in bright, noisy and busy Las Vegas.

That's the advice of KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley, but only because flights to the nightlife hotspot are relatively inexpensive. You can stay if you want, of course, or you can strike out into the countryside for some of the most beautiful scenery available in the United States.

5 Things To Expect If You Ever Go To North Korea

Mar 5, 2015
Jon Chol Jin / AP

For Americans, an independent trip to North Korea can be a risky venture.

A Lynnwood man was just returned to the United States after being imprisoned there for more than a year. And the U.S. State Department strongly urges Americans not to go to North Korea. But it’s not off limits. Tour groups have been able to visit.

Ed Ronco / KPLU

Editor's Note: KPLU's Ed Ronco and travel expert Matthew Brumley spent a week in Cuba, along with approximately 30 KPLU listeners, at the beginning of February. This week's "Going Places" is a reflection on that trip, written by Ed Ronco.

The view from the north-facing windows of Havana's Hotel Nacional looks at Cuba's most famous sidewalk, the Malecon. Here, joggers dodge crashing waves from the Atlantic Ocean on stormy afternoons, and young couples walk quietly, hand-in-hand, during the breezy night. On the weekends, it's busy with people of all ages drinking rum, smoking cigars, talking, singing, laughing and dancing. It stretches five miles along the shore of this country's capital city.

5 Tips For Americans On Visiting Iran

Feb 19, 2015
Mohammadali F. / Flickr

Iran has long been on KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley's list of places to visit. He consulted tour guide Martin Klimenta of MIR Corporation about the value of traveling to the enormous Middle Eastern nation. 

Martin Sojka / Flickr

Editor's note: This week on Going Places, KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley sends a special guest in his place. 

Some 53 million people live in Myanmar (or, if you’re looking at an older map, “Burma”), in big cities and small towns, in the mountains and on the coast. The government is loosening its economic controls, and that has resulted in an influx of foreign money spent by visitors traveling from Asia, Europe and, more and more, North America.

5 Things To See In Chile And Argentina

Feb 5, 2015
alobos Life / Flickr

Travelers from the United States spend a lot of time abroad, mostly in Europe. Far fewer head to South America. You can get there from Seattle on American (via Dallas) or Delta (via Atlanta).

KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley has five things everyone should see and do in two South American countries: Chile and Argentina:

Nove foto de Firenze

Travelers to places outside the United States go for any number of reasons: To see a new culture, meet different people, speak another language, or even blend in to a new place far from home. Our travel expert Matthew Brumley says in most countries, there’s a way to do all of those things at once: Go to a sporting event.

Ed Ronco/KPLU

The website Skiplagged.com seems to offer a sure-fire way to find cheap airfare. But it’s also the target of a lawsuit, with claims that it creates unfair competition for airlines and other travel websites.

Ralph Daily / Flickr

The holidays are over and winter isn’t going away anytime soon. Naturally, it’s time to think about spring break, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Where you go is up to you. But whether you’re traveling to the Caribbean, or just to the other side of the Cascades, the same advice holds.

Visit Southeast Alaska For Nature, History

Jan 8, 2015
Ed Ronco / KPLU

On the ferry ride into Alaska, the on-board interpreter will point out fjords and islands, whales, seals and plenty of statistics about the 49th state.

"If Alaska was cut in half," they're fond of saying, "Texas would be the third-largest state."

It could be a good year to travel abroad for two reasons.

First, the U.S. dollar is stronger against the Euro than at any time in the last four years. And it's climbing against other foreign currencies, too.

 

“As an American dollar holder, when you travel overseas, you're going to get a bigger bang for your buck,” said KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley. “I was just in Europe a week ago, and everything seems a little less expensive than it did a year or two ago.”

 

The other factor is dropping fuel prices, which hopefully will help ease airfares slightly.

Franklin Reyes / AP Photo

As U.S. moves to restore ties with Cuba, Americans will shed some of the travel restrictions that effectively put the country out of reach for 50 years, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Emiliano/Flickr

Last week, we traveled along the Rhine River with KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley. We're farther downstream this week, in the Alsace region of France along the German border.

Owing to various conflicts and annexations through the years (including World War II), Alsatians have been under both French and German rule throughout history.

The German Christmas, Whether You're There Or Here

Dec 4, 2014
Nordthy/Flickr

The Rhine River flows out of the Swiss Alps and through Germany before emptying into the North Sea in the Netherlands. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley is cruising along the Rhine in a riverboat. This week, he’s in the small German city of Rudesheim.

The Christmas Market

White lights are strung above narrow streets as families mill through stalls selling crafts, sausages, cheese and spiced wine.

“It’s only 28 degrees here, but the atmosphere is so incredibly warm,” Brumley said.

A Moment Of Gratitude For Those Who Help Us Travel

Nov 27, 2014
Faungg/Flickr

Nationally, this is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. With so many people flocking from point A to point B, this week we thought we’d focus on the people who help us get to where we need to be.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Thanksgiving week marks the opening of the holiday travel rush. And foolishly, Ed booked a flight to Michigan on the day before Thanksgiving.

“Don’t do that,” said KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

Days Off: In Defense Of Taking Your Vacation Time

Nov 13, 2014
Petros Karadjias / AP Photo

This week, KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley offers a small treatise on the value of vacation.

Caitriana Nicholson/Flickr

Bavaria, in the German south, is known for beer, music and its proximity to the Alps. It’s also a good home base for exploring central Europe, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

In Munich

Chris Yunker/Flickr

It’s known for its coffee culture. Many famous musicians got their start here. And you don’t have to travel too far out of town to get into the mountains.

We’re not talking about Seattle, but rather Vienna, the largest city in Austria.

iwona_kellie / Flickr

With autumn in full swing, it’s already time to start planning winter getaways. Here are a few options from KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley:

Tips On Staying Healthy While You Travel

Oct 16, 2014
Teresa Crawford / AP Photo

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the cases that have popped up elsewhere on the planet have put new scrutiny on travel. Health officials have been quick to assure the public that catching the disease on a plane or at an airport is unlikely. But staying healthy while traveling is a major concern for many people, even before the outbreak.

An important note before we keep going: We are not medical experts. And we’re not going to address Ebola specifically. For information on that, look to the resources linked at the end of this article.

What we can tell you is what KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley does to stay healthy while he travels.

mout1234/Flickr

The south of France is a vacation destination for Europeans as well as those coming from outside. That’s in large part because of its sunny and warm Mediterranean climate. Our travel advice this week comes from Danna Brumley, wife of KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley. She’s the Francophile in the family, having lived and studied in France in her early adulthood.

“I studied the language. I worked at EuroDisney. I did everything I could to stay in the country,” she said.

Arstuce/Flickr

The Spanish city of Barcelona sits on the Mediterranean coast, just a couple hours’ drive from the French border. More than 1.6 million people call it home, and it’s the capital city of Catalonia, an autonomous region that, lately, has been pushing for independence from Spain.

KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says it’s also worth your time as a vacation destination.

J Pat Carter / AP Photo

Most of us can neither fix nor fly airplanes. So when a flight is delayed or canceled, there's very little most passengers can do about it.

Alessandra Tarantino / AP Photo

Credit cards are essential travel tools for many. But they’re also targets for thieves and also easy to lose. KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says the most important thing is not to panic. 

Nick Kenrick / Flickr

A fax arrived at KPLU not too long ago, claiming to be from the “HR Department.” Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.

How Many Of These 50 Must-See Cities Have You Seen?

Sep 4, 2014
Nathan Nelson / Flickr

Have you been to New York? How about Lalibela, Ethiopia? Or Siem Reap, Cambodia? Those are three of the cities on a list titled “50 Cities To See In Your Lifetime.”

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.

Pages