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Bah! Humbug: Plan Now If You Want To Escape The Holiday Bustle

If you want to travel for the holidays, KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says you'd better book soon.

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.

Credit Rene Schwietzke / Flickr
Many places in Europe host traditional holiday markets, like this one in Jena, Germany.

“I’m not anti-holiday; I’m anti the commercialization of the holidays,” he said. “There’s a back-to-basics idea in other parts of the world.”

And while it might be fun to travel far afield, you can also find a peaceful holiday getaway near home, too.

1. Be Flexible On The Destination

You’ll save big money if you aren’t set on a particular place for the holidays. Look for deals and be willing to try something new, rather than trying to head to a specific location.

2. Travel Near — But Not On — The Holidays

Traditional Christmas markets in many European countries go up early in December. You can get out of the country for about a third less money, if you’re willing to travel outside the peak dates. Look between Dec. 1 and Dec. 12.

3. Look Nearby

If you don’t have the time to leave the country, look for a cabin in the mountains of western Washington (search for vacation rentals online). Cannon Beach is also a good location, as is Moclips on the Washington coast.


"Going Places" is KPLU’s weekly exploration of travel, near and far. It’s co-hosted by KPLU’s Ed Ronco and travel expert Matthew Brumley, founder ofEarthbound Expeditionson Bainbridge Island. It airs Thursdays during KPLU’s "Morning Edition," with repeat broadcasts during "All Things Considered" and "Weekend Edition Saturday." Leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

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