Travel in January is always exciting because you can fight the post-Christmas blues by jumping on a plane! Find the best places to travel in January here and start the year off in style!
Whether you stick to the northern hemisphere and embrace the biting cold, or you flock down south and head to the beach, planning to travel in January is a fantastic New Year’s Resolution!
We’ve teamed up with some expert travel bloggers to find out the best places to travel to in January. Don’t forget to check out their blogs too – they all have some excellent tips, advice and information about these incredible destinations.
The Best Places To Travel In January
Chiang Mai – Travel Breathe Repeat
Chiang Mai is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand.
With beautiful temples and delicious food pretty much around every corner, you could easily spend all your time in the city temple-hopping and eating.
We enjoyed a week in the city last January doing just that and, between the spicy food and the zen surroundings, were in a delightfully blissed out state the whole time.
We also spent a day at the incredible Elephant Nature Park, where we fed, bathed, and actually got close enough to touch(!) rescued elephants. If you’re an elephant lover, Chiang Mai’s proximity to the park is reason enough to visit.
Chiang Mai is quite popular with digital nomad types. It offers great value for money: accommodation standards are excellent, wifi is top notch, and workspaces are plentiful and full of other travelers.
Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s best places to travel in January. The heat is bearable, with highs only in the low 30s C (high 80s F). But most importantly (for anyone who wants to breathe easily), the burning season won’t have started yet (it typically starts in February and gets worse in March).
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A year round tropical destination, Cuba is somewhere to seriously consider visiting soon. January brings an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius – perfect for sipping Mojitos and smoking your freshly rolled cigars on the beach!
It’s also the dry season which means you won’t get caught in any tropical storms so water sports are definitely a must!
January does fall in Cuba’s high season but unlike many other destinations, it is the tourists that bring a certain type of buzz to the country. There is a feeling of excitement in the air as everyone enjoys the energy bouncing off each other!
Ride in a classic car, eat gorgeous and cheap street food, wander around the city markets and of course, drink rum on the pristine beaches!
Malta – A World to Travel
If I had to pick a way of uncovering all the beauty of Mediterranean islands, whether they are the Balearic islands, Greek islands or others, it needs to be avoiding the high seasons.
As they get really crowded from late-Spring to early-Autumn, Winter is usually the best season of the year to uncover all they have to offer enjoying cheaper prices, welcoming locals not sick of tourists and overall pretty nice weather.
A few years ago, during winter, I travelled around the Maltese islands for a few days. I won’t lie. Weather could have been better – as there was daily storms and strong wind – but nonetheless, I really enjoyed it and the weather made me feel so alive!
Once the Christmas holidays are over, the main avenues in La Valletta are less crowded, but still really picturesque and Instagrammable if that’s even a thing.
You can’t go wrong with this extremely affordable destination in winter, trust me! Malta truly is one of the best places to travel in January, with its quieter vibe and relatively mild temperatures.
Koh Phi Phi – The Opposite Travellers
Looking for a heavenly escape to treat those January blues? Thailand is absolute paradise at this time of year.
Koh Phi Phi in particular is an island that really shines above the rest in January. At this time, the sunshine hours are long and the temperatures are pleasantly hot.
The emerald waters are also wonderfully calm in January, which means that you are in for some incredible snorkelling and diving experiences.
The nightlife in Koh Phi Phi is also amazing at this time of the year. Just at the start of the peak season and right after the chaos of the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations have subsided the island is buzzing, but not annoyingly overcrowded.
January is also a great time to take in all of the beautiful scenery of Koh Phi Phi. You will enjoy uninterrupted views of the scenic beaches, never-ending aquamarine sea, and the impressive limestone karsts as January marks the start of the dry season.
Koh Phi Phi conveniently misses the wetter conditions that other islands like Koh Samui and Koh Phangan experience at this time of year.
The north may still have lower temperatures than you’d expect for a country in Southeast Asia, but Vietnam is still one of the best places to travel in January.
Hanoi is cool and has the perfect weather for exploring a city on foot. Take a light raincoat just in case but remember that the average temperature is 17 degrees!
Travel further south and follow the sun to Nha Trang, Dalat, Ho Chi Minh and Phu Quoc. It won’t be too busy in January either as most tourists tend to favour the summer months.
Vietnam has plenty to do on a budget too, so you can spend more time in the country and explore the different cities and regions.
Go scuba diving, drink cheap beer and learn about the country’s fascinating history – all with the friendly locals!
Mexico – German Backpacker
Mexico is a wonderful country to visit and it’s definitely one of the best places to travel in January!
Since it is winter, temperatures are not too hot, making it a perfect climate to travel the country. This is also dry season, so you can expect to have no rain, but blue skies and lots of sunshine.
Just make sure to take a light jacket if you make it further north (e.g. to Mexico City and beyond). It might cool down a bit in the evening.
Spend some time at the beaches of the Riviera Maya, visit Maya ruins and indigenous communities in the southern state of Chiapas and get to know the Mexican culture in Mexico City.
Mexico is huge, diverse and a wonderful place to explore. You certainly won’t get bored!
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Visiting Australia at any time of the year is going to guarantee you some sort of good climate, atmosphere and adventure. Starting off the New Year with a bang in Sydney is one of the best ways to do it!
January falls in Australia’s summer, and brings average temperatures of around 26 degrees Celsius. Don’t be completely fooled – that’s an average so do be prepared for days of 40 degrees! Luckily, Sydney has some amazing beaches so you’ll be able to join in the locals with their surfing!
Take part in January’s Australia Day celebrations – Australians are world renowned for throwing a good party!
Enjoy a barbecue on the beach, go wine tasting or even be brave and climb the iconic Harbour Bridge.
Sri Lanka – Adventure Travel Family
With stretches of golden sands, emerald-green tea plantations and ancient fortresses to explore, Sri Lanka is the perfect sunshine getaway for those who want a blend of adventure travel and holiday relaxation.
Hop on a boat for a whale watching trip and spot pods of dolphins, pilot whales and even the great blue whale. Jump in a jeep and head out on safari to find the elusive leopard. See crocs in their native habitat and see brightly coloured peacocks strutting in the wild.
Spend the day with rescued elephants, try your hand at paddle boarding or put on a chef’s hat for a typical Sri Lankan cookery lesson.
Finally take a train through vivid tea plantations and explore the ancient and colonial architecture of the tropical island.
Sri Lanka is one of the best places to travel in January. The south coast and its beaches are beautifully sunny, whilst the mountains are cool enough to hike without stopping every 5 minutes for a break!
Where are you travelling to this January? What other destinations would you class as the best places to travel in January? Are there any other amazing destinations you’d recommend at this time of year? Let us know in the comments below!
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