Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

As More People Travel, Crowds Grow At Popular Destinations

Ed Ronco
Some destinations will always be busy, like this popular shopping district in Tokyo. But KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley has some advice to ease the effect of the congestion.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley had a busy summer. He was in Switzerland, England, Croatia and Solvenia, just to name a few places. And everywhere he went, it seemed the crowds were bigger than he's seen, even with 30 years experience as a travel guide.

Sometimes there's just no avoiding the crowd, of course. Popular destinations are, well, popular, and will always attract lots of people. But there are a few things you can do to make the experience better, if only slightly.

Pick the shoulder season. Learn when the places are busiest, and then try and travel at different times of year. Think of the difference between visiting Pike Place Market in February, versus a visit on a Saturday in July.

It's a trade-off. You might not get a warm sunny day, but you might not have to fight for a restaurant table, either.

Choose adjacent destinations. Staying in cities adjacent to your destination can sometimes pay off. Very often the rooms are cheaper, the cities are just as nice to visit, and far less congested, and in many places you'll find easy transportation options into and out of the big city you want to see. 

Brumley recently made his first visits to Zagreb, Croatia, and to Lyon, France -- two places that might not be the main event for travelers to those two countries, but which he found just as fun and beautiful.


"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 iTunesGoogle Play or Stitcher.

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