Best places to travel in February
5 holiday destinations that will cool you down this February.
You only need to step out of your air conditioned home and into the blistering heat to realised that summer is officially here. If the beating sun and the muggy weather has you making plans to live in your freezer for the rest of the month, there are better places to hightail it of to this month.
Say, for example these top 5 cool-as-a-cucumber destinations around the world. We've even thrown in a few romantic getaways to share with your loved one on Valentine's Day.
Best places to travel in February
Best budget destination: Venice
Being winter, Venice might not be on your radar for February, but it should be.
One of the biggest dates on the Venetian calendar is Carnevale. It’s a 2.5 weeks long festival of colour, masks and parades through the pedestrianised streets and gondola-filled canals of the city. This year it runs from 11–28 February. Being one of the most romantic cities in the world so you can double-down and surprise your other half for Valentine's Day with this chance to wander cobblestoned streets in spectacular fashion.
- February weather: 7–9℃, winter.
- Top February events: Carnival of Venice.
- Best for: Fun, festivals, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, romance.
Best city to go to: New Orleans
If you only visit New Orleans once, make it for Mardi Gras.
The weather is cool, celebrations are in full swing and colourful plastic necklaces pour out of stores. It can only be Mardi Gras. Heralded as one of the best – if not the best – Mardi Gras in the world this year's festival is on 28 February so you've still got time to organise rooms and flights. Want to explore the city? Visit earlier in the month as many sites close during Mardi Gras to enjoy the celebrations or escape the crowds. Fair call.
- February weather: 9–19℃, winter.
- Top February events: Mardi Gras.
- Best for: Festivals, music, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Best local escape: Hobart
While the rest of the nation is sweating it out, Hobart's looking pleasantly warm this February.
Hobart has so much going for it this month it's not funny. Summers are mild with top temperatures of 17–26℃ throughout the month and while days are cloudy, the chance of rainfall is minimal. For those searching out that perfect Valentine's getaway, it's also the type of destination that can be experienced over a short weekend so you can surprise her with a trip without cashing in on your annual leave.
- February weather: 17–26℃, summer.
- Top February events: Festivale, Australian Wooden Boat Festival and Evandale Village Fair.
- Best for: Unwinding, weekend breaks, wineries.
Best event to attend: Sapporo Snow Festival
Snow bunnies will get more than pristine powder near Sapporo in February. They city’s display of ice sculptures comes to life this month, too.
February is peak ski season in Japan and if you're planning to head up to the ski resorts of Niseko or Furano spare some days for a side trip to Sapporo. From 1–12 February artistic sculptors chip at the ice to form creations beyond imagination in the annual Sapporo Snow Festival. Now in its 68th year, the city sparkles in lights and mammoth creations that need to be seen to be believed.
- February weather: -1–3℃, winter.
- Top February events: Lake Shikotsu Snow Festival, Sapporo Snow Festival and Otaru Snow Light Path.
- Best for: Snow trips, culture.
Best surprise destination: New Zealand
Cross the ditch to the home of Hobbits, wineries and adventure for a thrilling start to the year.
New Zealand is so close, it’d be a crime to give this destination a miss. Not only is the flight short with sale fares cropping up constantly, it is also a great place to chill with a wine in hand and your other half by your side or to push your adrenaline limits with some extreme sports. This month is the beginning of harvest so you can catch the grapes on the vines and watch pickers at work.
- February weather: 16–21℃, summer.
- Top February events: Splore, Auckland Summer, NZ International Tattoo and Art Festival, Tropfest, Milford Vive La France Festival and Market Day, and Auckland Drum Fest.
- Best for: Adventure, romance, unwinding, road trips.
When is the best time in February to take a holiday?
February is low season for many destinations as it’s outside the December/January holiday season. That being said, large celebrations such as Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, Carnival and Mardi Gras tend to occur in February so if you’d prefer to avoid the crowds and peak prices, give these cities a miss or drop in outside the event dates.