In most of the United States, January is a cold, rainy month that can’t seem to go by fast enough, but though it has the disadvantage of following the hectic holiday travel season, it can actually be a great month to travel for a bargain. If you find that you have some vacation time and extra cash on hand when January rolls around, these destinations are great places to go to escape the wrath of winter.
January may be the coldest month to visit the UAE, but the weather is exceptionally pleasant compared to visiting Dubai in the summer. The nice temperatures and lack of humidity make January a popular month to visit Dubai, so expect to see plenty visitors that want to take advantage of the excellent weather and the popular Dubai Shopping Festival held every January.
Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, Thailand
With the rainy season long gone, January is a great month to visit the temples and attractions in Thailand, but skip hectic Bangkok and Phuket for Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai instead. Cycle through the towns, go ziplining, and get spiritual at the beautiful temples, and indulge in all of the cheap street food that makes Thailand one of the best culinary countries around.
Summers in Seville, Spain can be a scorcher, so much so that Seville is nicknamed “the frying pan” of Europe. The weather is pure bliss in January, so while you can expect Europeans to take advantage of the temperature, tourism will be at a low in January, and prices for rental cars, hotels, flights, and attractions will be a steal.
If you’re going to do winter, you mind as well do it in Iceland. Yes, it will be blistering cold in Iceland in January, but the Northern Lights, smaller crowds, and affordable (for Iceland) prices for hotels will help make the trip a winter adventure. You’ll experience cold days and long periods of darkness, but if you want authentic Iceland, January is the time to go.
You’ll still need a jacket to visit Hong Kong in January, but even at its coldest, temperatures rarely dip below 55°. Couple that with affordable airfare, impeccable street food, and entertainment on nearly every street, and Hong Kong is the Asian city to visit in January. You’ll also catch a carnival and the Dragon and Lion Dance Extravaganza, so don’t worry about missing Chinese New Year in February.
If you’re looking to stay stateside, Hawaii has more than enough to offer travelers seeking to escape the rainy and snowy winter months. Skip the hustle of Oahu and the Big Island and slow things down with a beach vacation to Kauai. The peaceful, tranquil environment is a great place to relax after the holiday season and many of the Christmas and New Year’s travelers will have returned home by the middle of the month.