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Travel in January. Yes, January. Now January is not typically a month where anyone jumps for joy at the idea of traveling but let’s face the facts here; the holidays are exhausting. Our New Year resolution of losing weight hasn’t had a chance to come to fruition just yet, the temperatures are colder than we would like, and we tend to be in a state of grumpiness.

So here’s one easy New Year’s resolution: book a trip somewhere uplifting. It can change your life or just change your mood; the choice is yours. The weather is close to perfect in a lot of places, depending on what version of perfect you want to have. It is warm, dry and sunny in the tropics and Southern hemisphere; Europe is crisp and fresh; you’ll find that most places a little quieter (and a little cheaper) thanks to the holiday season coming to a close.

It’s a bit of a strange sensation to be eagerly awaiting January but go against the grain and embrace it. Here are my top 7 picks to travel to in January to beat the winter blues and start the New Year right.

1. NICARAGUA

January in Nicaragua
Ometepe, Nicaragua Credit: Ivana Cajina, Unsplash

Brace yourselves, because this is going to be a bold statement: this Central American country might just have it all. Yes, have it all. Tropical rainforests; untouched beaches where you lose all sense of time, captivated by cloud-capped volcanos. January has the added blessing of being the month with the best temperature and weather (hardly any daily rainfall). FIND FLIGHTS TO MANAGUA, NICARAGUA >>


2. THE COAST OF BRAZIL

January in Brazil
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Credit: Agustín Diaz, Unsplash

If you wanted to blast through all your annual leave in January, this is the place to do it in. Ring in the New year in Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo then hang for a couple more weeks, and head up the coast to any number of preposterously gorgeous beach havens. There are so many to choose from; Trancoso in Bahia (one of the best). Fernando de Noronha. Itacaré, Canavierias, Barra Grande (Surfers Paradise). Boipeba and Tinharé (no-car islands). Pick one or pick them all, the one thing you will not be is disappointed. FIND FLIGHTS TO BRAZIL >>


3. AUSTRALIA’S GOLD COAST

January in Australia
Princetown, Australia Credit: Stas Kulesh, Unsplash

You’ll get several bangs for your buck with this destination: kick off the New year in Sydney, quite possibly one of the best New Years Day parties in the world. Then head up the Gold Coast to Byron Bay or the Whitsundays, or the Great Barrier Reef, or anywhere else along the east coast- the good times keep rolling on! January is a great month to go because the December crowds will have just about left and the weather is hot, but not too hot. Kick off your New Year with this trip, and your feel-good endorphins will coast you right through winter. FIND FLIGHTS TO THE GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA >>


4. WHISTLER, BC

January in Whistler, BC
Whistler Mountain, BC Credit: Jacob L, Unsplash

Now I know what you’re thinking; Whistler will be cold and snowy. And you’re right; it will be. For those of you who are longing to have a quintessential winter experience, this one is for you! Whistler Blackcomb is one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Ski, snowboard, snowshoe, sled, and ski jumping at Olympic Park; the choice is yours. More of a sit indoors and look at the snow person? Eat and drink to your heart’s content within the emerging restaurant scene (Sidecut Modern Steak & Bar, Basalt Wine & Salumeria are not to be missed). FIND FLIGHTS TO WHISTLER >>


5. THAILAND

January in Thailand
Phang-nga, Thailand. Credit: Yap Chin Kuan, Unsplash

Thailand is absolutely heaven in January. Now January is their peak season for tourism but the bustle of the Holiday’s has left, and people come for the weather. Bangkok is just about as pleasant as it will ever be, and the islands on the south-western Andaman Coast are lovely; Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, and Koh Lanta. If the weather isn’t compelling enough to visit, the currency rate should be. If you want to travel like a rockstar without breaking the bank, Thailand is for you.  FIND FLIGHTS TO THAILAND >>


6. BRUGES

January in Bruges
Bruges, Belgium. Credit: Rudy Balasko, iStock

Why come to Bruges? Three simple reasons: snow, beer, and chips. This little Belgian city is as enticing in the dead of winter as it is in the summer. To quote the film In Bruges (which is all the research you need), “beautiful f**king fairytale stuff.” The snow is an excellent reason for holding up somewhere because this city has just as many reasons to stay inside as it does to be out. Intriguing interiors, welcoming taverns full of good cheer and Belgian beer, antique and junk shops to poke around in, candlelit restaurants & bars, and charming old guesthouses on the canal. FIND FLIGHTS TO BRUGES >>


7. MEXICO

January in Mexico
Mazatlan, Mexico. Credit: Daniel Apodaca, Unsplash

Mexico in January is filled with everything that London is not: exoticism, exuberant, light, and filled with color. Yoga under the palm trees, swim in a cenote, lounging on the beach. Fall head-over-heels in love with the haciendas on the Riviera Maya; the little barefoot island of Isla Holbox; surfy Sayulita on the west coast. Regardless of if you are on the Atlantic or the Pacific coast in January, the weather will be fantastic; hot but not too hot. FIND FLIGHTS TO MEXICO >>


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