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 that you should do it too:
1.) 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.
3.) 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 Centigrade / 44 Fahrenheit
- 11 days of rain
Colombo, Sri Lanka –
- 31 Centigrade / 80 Fahrenheit
- 5 days of rain
Bangkok, Thailand –
- 32.5 Centigrade / 90 Fahrenheit
- 2 days of rain
Cape Town, South Africa –
- 20 Centigrade / 69 Fahrenheit
- 5 days of rain
Where would you rather be waiting for a bus!?
4.) 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!
Plus, the planes are much emptier so you may even get a seat or three next to you. That’s four seats for the price of one!
5.) 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.
The Best Places To Visit In January
Warm dry weather persists through out 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 8 years ago and it will steal yours too!
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 degree, but head further south and you are looking at rain free days of 30 degrees.
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.
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.
Penguins may make you think of a chilly holiday in the Antarctic but how does watching those cute little fellas in 30 degree 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 ice cubes and explore one of the most fascinating cities in SA.
OK, so if you are one of the aforementioned “winter people” you can also save a packet on 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.