5 Simple Things You Can Do to Take Your Vacation to the Next Level

Making the most of your vacation is the goal of every traveler that I work with.  As a professional travel advisor, I see countless itineraries for travel all over the globe and I often see the same mistakes made over and over again.  Sometimes it’s the little things that, if done right, can have a huge impact on the overall experience.  

Private cooking class in Florence with a local chef

Private cooking class in Florence with a local chef

Private Experiences

Private guides and local experiences are usually expensive and therefore many people prefer group activities or exploring an area on your own.  I’m here to tell you that even for the budget traveler, spending money on the RIGHT experiences is a worthwhile addition to your trip.  Think private sunset cruises along the Amalfi Coast, cooking classes with a Tuscan chief, wine tasting in the private cellars of the French countryside.  These are the things you and your traveling partners will remember fondly for years to come.

Pre-arranged Airport Transfers

The first thing crossed off any itinerary proposal by clients is the “costly” airport transfers.  These can make the difference between a relaxing arrival and a trip from hell.  For most people arriving in a foreign country means walking out of the airport to throngs of people, all trying to get your money.  Even if you do make it to the correct cab line are you sure the driver is taking you the most direct way? Are you sure they know where you are going?? Compare that to the smart traveler who, for a few dollars more, pre-reserved a driver and car who is waiting for them upon arrival and who already knows where they are going. 

Don’t over-schedule

Not over-scheduling means more time relaxing

Not over-scheduling means more time relaxing

I often hear from clients who want to try and see everything in a major city like Paris, Rome or Tokyo in 3 nights, or hop from city to city with huge wish lists.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of over-scheduling, but traveling on these itineraries feels more like checking things off a list and living through your camera lens. By slowing down, spending more time in each location, and accepting that you will not see everything you actually get the chance to relax and truly experience the destination.   

Book Direct Flights

As a travel advisor one of the most surprising things is watching how easily travelers disregard the value of their time when booking air travel.  When looking at air options it's important to recognize the many downsides and risks associated with connecting flights.  First, it usually adds at least 3 to 4 hours onto a trip.  Second, it greatly increases your chances of missing a flight due to delays.  Last but not least, it may subject you to additional screening / customs depending on your itinerary.  If direct flight options exist for your itinerary, think long and hard about the hassle-free experiences and time savings that spending a little more money can offer.

Use a Professional Travel Advisor

No matter where you are in your travel planning, consulting an expert to review and offer suggestions will get the most out of every trip.  Even if you don’t have the destination in mind, Travel Advisors can use your budget and preferences to select the perfect spot. It’s never too late to make sure you get the most of your well-earned time off.  Nick Running Travel is here to help you accomplish your travel goals. Reach out to us today to get started on your next adventure!.

Never flown International First/Business Class? Here are 4 of the best reasons to give it a try


For many people airfare is a means to an end, something you deal with to get to your final destination.  Regardless of whether you are traveling for work or for pleasure there are many reasons to pay the premium on an upgraded air experience.  Below are our top reasons to book, and be sure to reach out to Nick Running Travel before your next business or personal trip.  We have access to non-public rates (prices you can’t find online), and every trip comes with a personal consultation to ensure we pick the flights right for you.

1.       Lie Flat Seats
Why spend your hard earned money on a vacation only to sleepwalk through the first few days.  Don’t walk into an important business meeting still trying to recover from your time zone change.  Almost all flights these days have lie flat seats that allow you to properly adjust to your time zone change.  Many First Class seats even have expensive mattress pads that mimic a bed in a hotel room.  There is nothing better than waking up fully rested to hit the ground running.


2.       Upgraded Airport Experience
Customers receive expedited security, lounge access and other perks to help make the airport experience more luxurious. Lounges often offer free food and alcohol and are usually a much better place to spend time at the airport.  Some airlines offer completely separate terminals for first class passengers and Michelin star restaurants.

3.       Enhanced onboard food and beverage
No more choosing between unknown red or white wines and microwave dinners.  Business cabins usually offer 4-5 wine options that can retail for as high as $50 a bottle. Food is also served restaurant style, plated and normally in courses.  Some airlines even go as far to have chiefs onboard cooking meals.  Many first class offering included rare and high end wines retailing over $400 a bottle.



4.       Higher Service Standard
Premium cabins offer much higher service levels than economy.  There are many more crew members per passenger and they often go out of their way to make sure you have a good experience.  From someone to hang your jacket upon boarding, to personal delivery of pre-departure champagne, anyone who prefers a personal level of service would see value in being attended to for a long flight.

10 Reasons you NEED a Travel Adviser

Today I'm proud to officially kick off Nick Running Travel, however many of you may be wondering why you would even need a travel adviser / agent in the first place...   While booking a trip yourself seems freeing and exciting, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. There are nearly 400 MILLION results when you google “hotel in Paris.”  Who has time to sift through the results, find properties within your budget, figure out which ones are in the prime location, and then check for availability? Add researching restaurants, scheduling guides, and arranging transfers, and you might as well make planning travel your full time job. Here are 10 perks you can expect with Nick Running Travel.

1. Insider Access
Nick Running Travel has preferred supplier relations to make sure your experience is special.  No more waiting in lines, we can arrange private experiences that allow you to make the most of your precious vacation time.

2. Complementary Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start your day right! When you book with Nick Running Travel, you get complimentary breakfast at more than 1000 hotels and resorts around the world. 

Free Breakfast provided by kivotos hotel in mykonos

Free Breakfast provided by kivotos hotel in mykonos

3. Hotel Credit
Another perk that we receive at our partner hotels is $100 (or equivalent in foreign currency) hotel credit for food and beverage or spa.  These credits are available at the same hotel rate that can be found online.  Why would you turn down $100?

4. Upgrades
Who doesn't love upgrades!!?!  Our partner hotels confirm upgrades at the time of booking or upon arrival at the hotel.  Don't get stuck with a room that faces the parking lot or loading dock, with Nick Running Travel that room could turn into an Ocean View!

Upgraded ocean front room at Four Seasons Punta Mita.

Upgraded ocean front room at Four Seasons Punta Mita.

5. Special Occasions
Nick Running Travel works with hotels in advance for all your special occasions.  Anniversary, Honeymoon, Birthdays..... we make sure the hotel is prepared in advance and knows all the details they need to make the stay special.  You could try doing this on your own, but we have personal contacts with many hotels who want to make sure our clients keep coming back.

Surprise procecco and cake awaiting in our room upon check-in at the Four Seasons Florence.  Happy Honeymoon!

Surprise procecco and cake awaiting in our room upon check-in at the Four Seasons Florence.  Happy Honeymoon!

6. Free experiences
Many of our hotel partners offer complimentary experiences to our clients, like a martini class, museum tickets, bicycle tour, or picnic in a park. Just a little something to make a trip even better!

7. VIP Status
You won’t be just any reservation when you book with Nick Running Travel. We make sure our partners know who you are and are aware of your unique preferences. You’ll feel like a VIP — just don’t blame us when you can't go back to booking on your own.

Private 5 course cooking lesson with the head chef in Florence.

Private 5 course cooking lesson with the head chef in Florence.

8. Authentic Experiences
Would you rather see a destination as a tourist or experience it like a local? Our on-the-ground partners aren’t just familiar with a destination. They live, eat, and breathe it. They know the markets where the locals go and can guide you through it. They can arrange for you to visit a local home or learn a craft from an artisan.

Your vacation starts when you walk down the Jetway!  Nick Running Travel has access to discounted first and business class airfare, so you can beat jet-lag with lay flat beds while enjoying premium wine and food.  Best of all, no matter what class of service, we tie in your airfare with your other reservations so once you hit the ground everything is seamless.


10. Peace of Mind
We’ve all read the travel horror stories. Someone getting booked in a creepy hotel, being turned away at security because your passport expires in two months, costly trip disruptions beyond the traveler’s control, and so on. There’s no need to worry your vacation will be a newspaper headline when you book with Nick Running Travel. We know that your hotel is safe and clean. Your tour guide has been vetted and verified by our trusted partners. And if anything does happen, we are your advocate and only a call away to get the issue sorted out quickly and efficiently.

Enjoy drinks by the pool stress free!

Enjoy drinks by the pool stress free!