Students in Seattle, Tacoma and elsewhere in western Washington head back to school next week. Chances are at least some of them will spend time talking to friends about what they did over their summer vacations.
Instead of bringing us souvenirs (as it turns out, you can have too many Big Ben”shot glasses), he brought back three tips for easier travel:
1. Use Google to find hotels. The search engine has a tool that makes it easier to shop around. Before, you’d put in something like “Hotels in Taormina,” and get a list of websites that could help you find what you need. You still get that, but Google also includes a map of the city with prices pinned to different locations.
2. Always pay in local currency. When you use a credit card at a restaurant, for example, you might get asked whether you’d like to pay in the local currency or in U.S. dollars. Always pay locally. Credit card companies tend to be better about accurate exchange rates – and can save you from paying more than is necessary.
3. You can wait to book a side trip. So you’ve flown to London, but you want to see some place on the European continent, too? No problem. Low-cost airlines will often slash prices a week out. That lets you be flexible and pay attention to factors such as weather conditions. As Brumley almost found out, if you book too far in advance, you might end up walking around the Colosseum in 100-degree heat, rather than relaxing on an 85-degree beach.
"Going Places" is 88.5's weekly exploration of travel. Our travel expert, Matthew Brumley, is co-founder of Earthbound Expeditions on Bainbridge Island, which provides small group travel to clients including KNKX. Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Going Places with iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.