Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Where to Go in January: The Best Places to Travel

by Brook Wilkinson | December 17, 2018

Ring in the New Year at home, then get on a plane: Though prices are high through New Year’s, there are deals to be found starting later that first week in January. The skiing is prime closer to home, while tropical and Southern Hemisphere destinations work well for those needing a dose of sunshine. These are the best places to travel in January.

(Don’t miss the rest of our “Where to Go When” series on the best destinations for every month of the year. If you’re wondering when’s the best time to book your destination to get the best value for your dollar, see our “Where to Book Now” series.)

Rocky Mountains

Skiing in Vail. Photograph courtesy of Meg Austin

January to early February is the hands-down best time to ski in the Rocky Mountains. Especially between New Year’s and Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, you’ll get excellent snow, great value, and smaller crowds. Yes, it’s the coldest time of year, but that means the snow is dry enough for locals to call it “Champagne powder.”

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Skiing the Rocky Mountains, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Costa Rica

Monteverde Costa Rica

Monteverde, Costa Rica. Photo: Shutterstock

January is one of the nicest times of the year weatherwise for a winter escape, right in the middle of the Costa Rican dry season. It is often the only time in the high season that you can plan a last-minute trip and still have your first choice of the top properties.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Costa Rica Luxury Eco-Travel, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock

Florence, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock

Florence is at its least crowded in January—just be sure to go after “Befana,” which is the celebration of the Epiphany and the end of the holiday season in Italy (it falls on January 6, and things will not get back to usual until about January 10). January is a great time for getting to all the amazing museums and galleries and artisan shops without the hordes—and finding deals during the “January Sales”—but bring layers against what might be raw, rainy weather.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Italy Villa Vacations, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

British Columbia

two people watching the northern lights in british columbia canada

You’re likely to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights if you visit British Columbia in January. Photo: Cyndie Martinez

January and February have the most reliable snowfall, making it ideal for not just skiing, but also ice-fishing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. You also have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Those looking for an extra dose of adventure can even mush their own dogsled team from lodge to lodge—led by an expert guide, of course.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to British Columbia, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua mountains

Nicaragua. Photo: TPS Dave/Pixabay

In January, the country is lush and green, there is no rain, and the breezes keep temperatures in the high 80s during the day.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Nicaragua, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sugarloaf Mountain and Botafogo Neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro by Sunset with Full Moon in the Sky

Sugarloaf Mountain and Botafogo neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Shutterstock

January is the best time to visit Rio—assuming you don’t mind temperatures that regularly hit 105 degrees. It’s the height of summer, Cariocas (Rio residents) are at their most relaxed, and the nightlife is at its peak.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Rio de Janeiro, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Dubai

Burj Al Arab hotel and beach in Dubai

In January, Dubai is still warm enough for beaches, but also has a shopping festival. Photo: Pixabay

January is the cooler season—which in this part of the world means temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s. Designers descend upon the city for the Shopping Festival, when shops and boutiques offer discounts all month long.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Dubai, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Sydney, Australia

Bondi beach panorama Sydney Australia

Sydney’s summer (December–February) bring beach weather. Photo: Southern Crossings

Sydney’s summer months (December to February) bring beach weather, as well as festivals and harborside celebrations: After the world-renowned New Year’s Eve celebrations comes the Sydney Festival, a month-long celebration of the arts culminating with Australia Day. There are also outdoor movie screenings and concerts, and professional surfing, tennis, cricket, and rugby competitions throughout the season. (Remember that prices are also at their peak in summer, so book accommodations and tickets early, before they sell out.)

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Sydney, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Cinnamon Country

Sri Lanka’s Cinnamon Country. Photo: Sri Lanka In Style

The weather in January is delightful—spring-like temperatures and blue skies—and the holiday crowds have dispersed by January 10. It’s also when the Galle Literary Festival takes place, with luminaries such as Richard Dawkins and William Dalrymple in attendance. Things get busy again in February, when Chinese New Year and mid-term school breaks draw visitors from Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Dubai, and other parts of Asia.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Sri Lanka, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

 

Other Good Options This Month

Click on any of the destinations below to find out why January is a good time to go.

Abu Dhabi

Africa Cruises

Antarctica Cruises

Brazil: Salvador and Trancoso

Cambodia

China: Xishuangbanna’s tropical rainforests and rice paddies

Colombia: Cartagena

Cuba

Ecuador: Galapagos

Florida: Disney World, Orlando

France: Paris

France: Paris apartment rentals

Galapagos

Hawaii: Oahu

India

India: Mumbai

India: Rajasthan

Israel

Italy: Rome & Venice apartment rentals

Mexico City

Montana and Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park: winter activities

Myanmar’s tropical areas

Nepal’s lower elevations

New Zealand

New Zealand: Bay of Islands

New Zealand: Queenstown

Norway: winter activities

Panama

Papua New Guinea: diving in Milne Bay

Russia: Moscow

Russia: St. Petersburg

Southeast Asia, excluding Vietnam

Thailand

Wyoming: Jackson Hole & the Grand Tetons: winter activities

 

Be a smarter traveler: Read real travelers’ reviews of Wendy’s WOW List and use it to plan your next trip. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter @wendyperrin, and Instagram @wendyperrin, and sign up for her weekly newsletter to stay in the know.

Travel Tips

Romantic Vacation Ideas, No Valentine’s Day Required

by Billie Cohen | February 13, 2017

Travel Tips

Five Expensive Destinations That Will Be Cheaper in 2015

by Brook Wilkinson | January 7, 2015

Family Travel

How to Transform a Disney Trip from Average to Extraordinary

by Billie Cohen | January 6, 2015

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>