Many think about winding down in January after seeing family and friends during the festive season. But that means the new year can actually be one of the best times to go away on holiday, with resorts, cities and towns generally quieter than any other time of year. If you’re thinking about planning a trip to beat the January blues, you’re in luck. We’ve put this list together of the best getaways to visit at the beginning of the year.
Silver Lake, Los Angeles 🇺🇸
For anyone looking to experience Los Angeles away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood, Silver Lake is the place to go. Sure, there’s no beach, but it’s a chilled-out neighbourhood with nothing but vibes. Wander the palm-lined boulevards and pop in and out of vintage T-shirt and vinyl stores. Or spend some time at the farmers’ markets, street murals and food trucks. Even in January, Silver Lake is an effortlessly cool, sun-soaked place to visit, with mild temperatures of around 21c.
Galle, Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
Over the years, Sri Lanka has become an increasingly popular tourist destination. And the city of Galle offers an abundance of culture and history with a rich heritage dating back to the time of the Dutch and Portuguese empires. Visit in January and experience the many festivals, such as the Galle Literary Festival, or enjoy the soft sands and embrace the winter sun with average temperatures of 30c. If you’re after a quiet trip to the beach, head to Hikkaduwa, which is just 10 miles from Galle.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia 🇭🇷
Not every getaway in January needs to be a warm holiday under the sun. If you’re still in the mood for wintery delights, head to Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. It’s the most visited national park in the country and is famous for its 16 interconnected lakes and stunning cascades. During the summer, the park is packed with tourists. But a winter visit means you might even get the park to yourself to enjoy snow-covered areas that look magical at this time of year.
The Dolomites, Italy 🇮🇹
Stay away from the crowds in the Alps with its glitzy ski towns and instead take a trip to the Dolomites. There’s an 86-mile drive known as Great Dolomites Road, and it just so happens to be one of the best alpine drives around. It’s also a great place to enjoy a spot of skiing, though you certainly don’t have to visit here just to hit the slopes. Whatever your reasons for going to the Dolomites, rest assured there’s a magical area waiting for you with quaint villages and spectacular mountain views.
Montreal, Canada 🇨🇦
Sub-zero temperatures have never felt as good as they do in Montreal. This Canadian city is a great place to visit in January, thanks to its French chateau architecture (which looks even better when frosted over) and friendly locals ready to make your trip memorable. Go snowshoeing up Mount Royal and take in excellent views of the city before trying one of the many great restaurants where you can sample everything from North American food to delectable French cuisine.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 🇻🇳
Head to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and partake in the Vietnamese lunar New Year celebration, featuring festive, floral decorations and firecrackers. Or, if you fancy something more low key, skip the celebrations and visit some tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, such as the Cu Chi Tunnels or Independence Palace. Even better, the temperature is mild and dry at this time of the year, meaning you can escape the cold for average temps of around 24c. Not bad for a winter getaway if you ask us.
Bruges, Belgium 🇧🇪
Bruges offers a different type of charm during the new year, thanks to its cobbled streets, beautiful architecture and frozen canals. Go for a walk and feel the crisp winter air while visiting the chocolatiers and quaint restaurants before heading back to your cosy boutique hotel. And if you’re sightseeing, try one of the 470 local castles while enjoying a virtually tourist-free town in January and February.
A staycation 🇬🇧
Sometimes the best January trips happen on these very shores. And If you’re looking to save a few pennies after an expensive Christmas, a staycation could be a great way to beat the blues. Areas like the Peak District offer scenic getaways where you can take in local nature, while cities like Manchester and London are typically quieter than at other times of the year. Other attractive places worth a January visit include the Cotswolds, New Forest and even seaside locations like Bournemouth and Cornwall. Oh, and just about anywhere in Scotland, especially if you’re heading to Edinburgh or the Shetland Islands.
Getaways to beat the January blues
Once the festive season is over, pack your bags and escape somewhere different. Whether you’re visiting the sunny climates of countries like Sri Lanka and Los Angeles or frosty locations in Croatia and Canada, there’s a trip waiting for you. So start the new year with a bang and beat the January blues by treating yourself to a holiday adventure.