5 Places to Travel in 2019

Every January many of us sit down to plan out our goals, health and activities for the rest of the year.  Because of that, there is no better time to finalize your spring break travel, summer vacation or start thinking about your upcoming holiday travel.  Nick Running Travel wants to help you kick start your planning by giving you our 5 favorite destinations for this year.  Whatever your travel plans in 2019, reach out to us today so we can ensure it is rewarding, enriching and most of all, perfectly tailored to you.

Southern Italy


If you’ve “been there, and done that” when it comes to the major cities and regions in Italy, add Southern Italy and Puglia to your list. The region shows a completely different side of Italy.  Matera in the “arch” of the boot is built into the rock of a ravine.  Its famous for sassi or cave like dwellings, including cave hotels!! In 1993 UNESCO declared Matera a World Heritage Site, and it is the 2019 European Capitol of Culture so expect fun activities all year long. 



There is more to Portugal than Lisbon, Porto and the Douro Wine Valley. Portugal is filled with a vibrant culinary scene, beautiful landscapes and beautiful islands like the Azores or Madeira.  This year Madeira celebrates is 600th anniversary of discovery. It’s an island full of terraced vineyards, atmospheric fishing villages and pretty pebble beaches. Today, the “Island of Flowers” is luring a fresh set of adventure seekers with its warm year-round climes, dramatic landscapes and a 500-mile network of UNESCO-listed levadas, or irrigation channels, that serve as scenic hiking and mountain biking trails.

New Zealand


They say photos don’t do New Zealand justice, and it’s hard to believe this destination can be even more beautiful in real life, but somehow it is.  Air New Zealand’s new 787s have allowed them to expand service in US which means New Zealand is more accessible than ever.  Currently they fly direct from Auckland to Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Chicago.  Once there take in the beauty of the South Island where dramatic topographical features dominate the landscape. The South Island is known for its bungee jumping, skydiving, and amazing backcountry trekking trails.



Egypt is back and with waiting lists for many hotels and boat trips along the Nile, word has got out. Traveling here, more than 7000 years of history come to life before your eyes. Beyond the pyramids, you can experience the legendary Nile River, tranquil Red Sea spots, and vibrant cities.  In Cairo the brand new St. Regis will open in March as one of the top hotels in the city. 



It may take a while to reach the southernmost region of South America, but a trip to Patagonia is well worth it, especially if you love outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, and fly-fishing.  Adventurers are drawn to the vast emptiness of its desert and the drama of its Lake District, where the snow-capped Andes are reflected in the bright water.  Patagonia’s wine and food scenes are gathering pace as well. Río Negro’s fertile soils make for great farm produce and grapes as Patagonia now rivals Mendoza in producing Argentina’s best Malbec’s.

My Top Four Holiday Getaways for Procrastinators

Have you been thinking about planning a last minute getaway for the holidays? Did your excitement suddenly disappear after a few internet searches of your favorite hotels showed no availability or ridiculous prices with crazy 7 to 10 day minimum stays?  Nick Running Travel is here to help with our favorite last minute locations for travel over the holiday time period.


Ready to try something new this holiday season? Belmond’s amazing Grand Hotel Timeo, which normally closes prior to the holidays is open until January this year.  Because of its southern location Sicily offers a mild winter climate for those looking to escape the harsh winters and enjoy a new part of Italy.  Belmond’s hotel, the first hotel to be built in the city, gazes out across the coast towards Mount Etna.  Bask in manicured gardens, savour sensational cuisine and fuel your imagination with cocktails on the Literary Terrace—just like generations of celebrated guests before you.  As a preferred partner of Belmond, Nick Running Travel Clients get perks like upgrades, free breakfast, and up to $200 of resort credit.



What better place to go for the holidays than the city of lights!  They beauty of Paris is most often shown during the night hours so what better time to go then the shortest days of the year.  Ice Skating rinks and Christmas Markets also help you enjoy the holiday spirit.  My favorite hotel for this time of year may also be the best hotel in the city.  Four Seasons George V boasts one of the most famous decorative lobby displays in the world designed by the amazing Jeff Leatham.  Make sure you book your stay with Nick Running Travel for Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits.



While people are flocking to Hawaii or the Caribbean, Mexico remains a bargain for travelers who know where to look.  Many places in the tropics this time of year have 7 to 10 night minimum stays on top of astronomical room prices.  When paying high prices you might as well get your money’s worth with a top of the line all inclusive experience.  Grand Velas Riviera Maya only requires a 5 night minimum stay, and for the holiday time period kids ages 4-17 are free.  That’s a great value for families looking for a little sunshine.  Booking with Nick Running Travel gets you complementary one way airport transfers and $100 spa credit.


French Polynesia

While there may not be hotel availability in your favorite Caribbean or Hawaiian Island, maybe think a little bit farther away this year.  Below the equator in French Polynesia it’s currently “rainy season” which means no minimum stays over the holidays at the best resorts (like the Four Seasons Bora Bora).  While Nick Running Travel can’t guarantee weather, who cares if there is a few hours of showers while you lounge in your overwater bungalow.  Make sure you book your stay with Nick Running Travel for Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits, and if you are interested in other French Polynesia hotels make sure you reach out to take advantage of all the benefits we can provide for your preferred hotel.