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5 Reasons to Book a January Holiday, and Where To Go

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Have you ever heard someone living in the UK, USA or Europe say that they love January? I don’t think I ever have. Unless you have a birthday to celebrate, there’s not a vast amount going on in the first month of the year. That is why I have started a tradition over the last few years and made sure I have a holiday booked for the second half of the month. Here’s 5 reasons to book a January holiday, and where to go;

Afternoon silhouettes of people on Ipanema Beach, with Sugarloaf Mountain in the background, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Christmas Is Over

So it might fill your heart with glad tidings that the Christmas music is gone from the radio and shops. You may be overjoyed that overly long, tear jerking Christmas adverts are gone from the TV. But, I think it’s a shame that the twinkling lights have all been taken down by the 6th of January. Pretty shop window displays are replaced by white and red sale signs that leave us totally uninspired. There is a sense that the magic is gone and so you need to create some of your own.


Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real issue for some people. When the world gets dark at 4:00 in the afternoon, it can cause depression to set in. I think the Christmas season eases it a little but once bleak January kicks in as there’s no sparkling displays to lighten up the dark evenings. Blue Monday, usually the third Monday of January is meant to be the most depressing day of the year. Think how much better Blue Monday would be on the other side of the world.

Floyd's Pelican Bar - a wooden floating bar with palm roof in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica
Propping up a bar here doesn’t seem so bad

The Weather

Here in the UK, January is cold. It is cold, and windy, and rainy. I know there are “winter people” out there but give me t-shirt weather any day!! Just a flight away, there is a world of sunshine. Not only would a dose of sunshine top up your depleted vitamin D reserves, but it’ll leave you hair and skin looking just a little sun kissed.

Sure, it’s fun to run around on a beach in July, but everyone else is too and you might miss out on the only nice weather of that summer back at home. Book for January and you can guarantee that you aren’t missing out on anything like nice weather.

Average daily mean temperature and rainfall in January –

London, England – 6.8°Celsius / 44°Fahrenheit and 11 days of rain

Colombo, Sri Lanka – 31°Celsius / 80°Fahrenheit and 5 days of rain

Bangkok, Thailand – 32.5°Celsius / 90°Fahrenheit and 2 days of rain

Cape Town, South Africa – 20°Celsius / 69°Fahrenheit and 5 days of rain

Where would you rather be waiting for a bus!?

Flight Prices Go Down

Obviously I understand that if you have children, you can only travel within the school holidays. However, if you don’t have kids, you can save an absolute bundle by travelling in January AFTER the Christmas holidays are over. It could be half the price!

The front of a British Airways Boeing 747 plane on stand at London Heathrow Airport
Check out for your January holiday bargains

Plus, the planes are much emptier so you may even get a seat or two next to you. That’s three seats for the price of one!

January Sales (for early birds and last minute lassies)

The high street is not the only place to pick up a January bargain. Airlines, tour operators and hotel chains all have their own sales. You can book flights just under one year in advance so you could get yourself a super deal for either the following year, or a great last minute deal.

Those are your 5 reasons to book a january holiday, now let’s look at where to go;

The Best Places To Visit In January

South-East Asia

Warm dry weather persists throughout the region. You can stretch out on a beach, surrounded by bath-warm turquoise water in Thailand or trek through rice paddies in Vietnam. There is bags and bags of culture to explore as well. You can spend all day visiting the most beautiful temples you have ever seen, and spend all evening eating the most delicious food. South-East Asia stole my heart many years ago and it will steal yours too!

Read about our travels around Thailand

a white sandy beach and blue sky dotted with clouds in Thailand

The Caribbean

If you would rather relax and do nothing, then head to a Caribbean island. The Caribbean hits its tourist peak over Christmas and New Year. The prices soar over Christmas and New Year, but plummet almost as soon as January really sets in. The sand is white, the seas are clear and blue skies abound. The Northern-most islands have highs of 20°Celsius, but head further south and you are looking at rain free days of 30°Celsius.

Read about our travels in the Caribbean including Antigua, Barbados & Jamaica

Australia and New Zealand

The joy of heading south of the equator is that the seasons flip from winter to summer. Take a road trip up the gold coast, stopping off to take on the rolling surf.  You can expect beautiful calm weather, getting slightly wetter the closer to Queensland you get. Alternatively, go to New Zealand and work off that Christmas weight by taking some of the world’s most beautiful hikes.

South America

Another south of the equator adventure, South America is full of amazing bucket list experiences. You’ll want avoid Peru in January, as it is a bit rainy, but other areas like Brazil and Argentina are on top form. Partying on the beach in Rio or spotting blue-footed boobys in the Galapagos islands, you will find warm temperatures and clearer skies.

a red and white colourful parade float in the Sambadrome, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Read all about our travels in Brazil for Carnival

South Africa

Penguins may make you think of a chilly holiday in the Antarctic but how does watching those cute little birds in 30°Celsius heat strike you? Take a trip down south to Cape Town and you can see penguins, swim with great white sharks, sip on a wine glass full of local flavours and explore one of the most fascinating cities in SA.

a beach with Table Mountain in the background, Cape Town, South Africa

Read about our travels in South Africa including Cape Town, Johannesburg and The Blue Train


OK, so if you are one of the aforementioned “winter people” you can also save a packet on January holiday to Northern lights hunting in locations like Finland, Norway and Iceland. Prices in these locations also dip post-Christmas. You may not get a vitamin D boost but a healthy dollop of Hygge could be just as good for the soul. If you need to stay closer to home, why not check out things to do in the UK. Let us know where you’re planning to go on your January holiday!

Rosie xx

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18 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Book a January Holiday, and Where To Go

  1. As a Australian citizen I have been blessed with the beautiful summer during the months of December -February. It is beautiful along the coast but can get hot. We now live in Tasmania which is perfect during these months. We are planning a trip to New Zealand next month, February, which is also perfect as you say for the winter months of the Northern Hemisphere.

  2. I’m also a fan of January flights, prices tend to be low. I think you’re right about the depression stuff in January, I’ve been feeling all sleazy this month and I wonder where those who keep resolutions get their energies from. I’m more excited to travel too this period. And South Africa is funny enough for January.

  3. Sadly there are not January offers from the Southern Hemisphere. These tend to happen a bit later in the year. The cold doesn’t bother me at all . When I lived in England I made the most of the offers. I have the northenr lights as a bucket list item, so that would be my first choice!

  4. We’re lucky enough to live in the southern hemisphere so January is summer, but if I lived in the northern hemisphere I would absolutely want to get some travel time in January. I know my daughter wants to go to South America at the moment though so maybe January is just the season for travel bugs no matter where you live.

  5. I have availed January flight offers. They ease the budget a bit. I live in tropical region and have always craved for snow. But I guess too much of it is bad. I am reading about SAD too often. One must holiday during this period to get rid of winter blues.

  6. I’m living in Edinburgh, so this definitely makes sense to me. I thnk it’s supposed to be snowing here next week. As much as I actually enjoy the weather here, some warmth is sometimes nice. Last year I spent January in Malaysia and Thailand. I don’t have plans for this year, but next year I’d be more than happy to be in Patagonia or New Zealand.

  7. I totally agree with you and that’s what I did in January last year. I planed a holiday in south east Asia and it was great. Indeed, airline tickets are cheaper at this time.

  8. And the Middle East (especially Dubai). We have awesome weather in Dubai in January and also the annual Dubai Shopping festival. Super beaches for swimming, sunny skies almost every single day of the month, so much to do and see! Apart from this, I think you’re pretty much listed everywhere else that you can enjoy good weather in January 🙂

  9. I’m spending my January in Southeast Asia this year, and it is indeed a great place to be! 🙂 I’m from a relatively warm country (Malta) so being back home is not so bad, but still very happy to be enjoying the beaches here in Asia! 🙂 And its so nice to have an exciting trip booked for just after Christmas!

  10. You are right, January for me is always a month of rest after the full December month. It might be a great idea to go travelling since there will be less tourists and prices will definitely be lower than any other month.

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