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The Procrastinator's Guide To Planning A Quick Getaway

Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park

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. 

KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley has these three tips:

1. Be Flexible 

Everyone has space in August, but it’s scattered — two nights here, three nights there. A lot of mid-week reservations are available.

2. Be Creative 

Blend traditional lodging with other accommodations.

“I couldn’t get more than three nights in one place, at the Cox Resort on the beach,” he said. “So I went to Airbnb, and I picked up another three nights in the town of Tofino, at a cabin. That’s a great way to go.”

3. Check In Frequently For Cancellations

“They’re busy; this is their high season. I wouldn’t count on them calling you back," Brumley said. So it's up to you to keep asking. You could also book in the general area, and if your first choice comes open in the meantime, you can cancel your reservation at the place you initially booked It’s not ideal, especially from the hotel’s perspective, so don't use it as your first option, and make sure you know — and respect — the hotel’s cancelation policy.

Don't Know Where To Go? Suggested Destinations

Those are good tips once you've picked your destination. If you're not even that far, here are some of Brumley's favorite places, with links:

Washington Coast

Moclips or Ocean Shores in Grays Harbor County

La Push 

San Juan Islands

Lake Chelan (Go to Stehekin Lodge and ride the “Lady of the Lake” boat)

Whidbey Island and Langley 

National Parks

North Cascades National Park

Olympic National Park

Oregon Coast

Cannon Beach

Manzanita Beach (“One of my favorite places in the world,” said Brumley.)

British Columbia



Salt Spring Island


Matthew Brumley is the founder of Earthbound Expeditions, which organizes group travel to destinations around the world for various clients, including KPLU. "Going Places" explores all aspects of getting from Point A to Point B, what to do once there, and in between. 


Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.
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