January is a time for fresh starts. Whether you make a resolution or not, you’re probably looking for brighter horizons. Vacationing in January comes with perks: After the holiday hustle and bustle, it gets less expensive to fly and book hotels. Sure, there are cooler temperatures to contend with, but there are also shorter lines at top destinations, easier reservations, and having the place all to yourself.
So why don’t you go ahead and treat yourself? We’ve done some searching and found 10 places to travel in January that are ideal for getting your year off to a great start. From envy-inducing ski trips in Salt Lake City to dreamy beachy destinations in Costa Rica (and everywhere in between), we’ve found the spots that are right for you. Instead of trying to resolve to take something out of your routine, how about deciding to explore somewhere new?
If you’re looking to escape in nature, book a trip to Tamarindo, Costa Rica. With year-round good weather and close proximity to national parks, you’ll be able to hike, go to the beach and escape the snow. Tamarindo is also home to ample tourist facilities, so you won’t be roughing it too much.
Since it’s located in the southern hemisphere, winter in Sydney is opposite of that in the U.S., making January a prime time to visit. The city typically sees 340 sunny days a year, so the odds are good for exploring weather. Climb the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, or take a day trip into the bush or Great Barrier Reef. No matter what you decide, it’ll be leaps and bounds better than a January spent back in the cube.
While January hits in the middle of Bali, Indonesia’s rainy season, that’s no reason to reconsider your trip—the rain is quickly followed by sunshine. The year-round warm temperatures will make trips to the beach and exploring the lush scenery enjoyable, and the time of year makes it more affordable. So what’s stopping you?
For the ultimate ski trip that comes with winter offseason prices, visit Zurich, Switzerland, in January. Ski the Swiss Alps, visit one of Zurich’s more than 100 art galleries, or enjoy haute-couture shopping. One thing’s for sure, this top-notch excursion will help you start your year on the right foot.
Thanks to its enjoyable January weather, Fez, Morocco, is a stop worth making. The oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities, Fez is full of intricate historic architecture, often made new. Considered the spiritual and cultural hub of the country, you can buy a carpet, watch a belly-dancing show, or shop for pottery, among other activities.
Maui, Hawaii, in January is much like Maui during the rest of the year. Picturesque scenery, comfortable weather, and warm aloha. An added bonus for January? Humpback whales are nearby, as are big waves for surfers. While your co-workers are warming their feet with desk heaters, you can be working on your tan.
Embrace winter with a trip to Québec City, Québec, in January. Stay in an ice hotel, stroll through Old Québec’s winter wonderland, and take advantage of all the snow. Even if you’re not out to play in the snow, you can find something in the city that’s right for you, like shopping or enjoying the snow-dusted European-style architecture.
If you’re looking for warmth in the U.S., visit Tampa, Florida. There, you can enjoy warm sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico or sip espresso in Ybor City. While it may be cooler in Tampa in January than in the rest of the year, be sure to book your flights and hotel early, since January is a popular time for snowbirds to escape the cold there.
For prime snow activities in the U.S., visit Salt Lake City, Utah, in January. From skiing to tubing and snowmobiling, Salt Lake City is an exercise in embracing the cold. To take a break from the outdoors, enjoy the architecture of Temple Square, and eat your way through some hearty comfort food at the city’s vast array of eateries.
A January trip to Eugene, Oregon, is laid-back in the best possible way. With slightly cooler, but more temperate weather conditions, you’ll simply need to bundle up to enjoy some hiking or a waterfall-side picnic. Enjoy local fare, go wine-tasting, or enjoy a number of public natural spaces available.