Best places to travel in February
5 Australian holiday destinations for anyone suffering from those holiday blues.
With the Christmas holidays over and the kids back in school, you may be feeling like you need a break from your break.
We know the feeling.
Steal away for the weekend (or longer) and recharge those batteries at these fantastic spots. Not only is a February trip quieter than a January jetset, it's also the perfect time to add a touch of romance with Valentine's Day falling on the 14th.
Need ideas? We've got a few.
Best places to travel in February
Best budget destination: Gold Coast
Catch those last days of summer in the Sunshine State.
Basking in some 245 days of sunshine and boasting over 30 golden beaches, the Gold Coast is one of your best options for a relaxing beach getaway or romantic sunrise – whatever time of year you plan to visit.
By February, the water babies have moved off leaving you with enough space on the beach to put down your towel and then some.
Aim to be on the beach early February though as the rains start to fall closer to March.
- February weather: 21–28℃, summer.
- Top February events: Night Markets at NightQuarter, Sand Safari Arts Festival, Chinese New Year Celebration and the The Lights Water Fest.
- Best for: Unwinding, beach escapes, weekend breaks.
Best city to go to: Adelaide
Have you discovered "Radelaide" yet?
South Australia's capital heats up in more ways than one in February. For starters, this is the city's hottest month, though if you play your dates right and travel later in the month you could relish in warm mid-20 degree weather. It's also a hub of arts and sporting activities with the Adelaide Fringe landing this month as well as Adelaide United playing on home ground early in the month.
- February weather: 18-28℃, summer.
- Top February events: Adelaide Fringe, Brighton Jetty Classic, CBD & Vines Festival.
- Best for: Food and wine escapes, weekend and city breaks.
Best for a cool escape: Japan
Snow bunnies, prepare to kick up some of the most pristine powder in the world.
February is peak ski season in Japan and if you can't wait until mid-year to shred the slopes on our side of the world, Japan is your next best option.
With budget airlines such as Jetstar offering cheap seats to Tokyo you can have your pick of the nearby fields such as Nozawa Onsen and Shiga Kogen or branch further with an internal flight to Sapporo to explore Niseko and Furano.
- February weather: 5-12℃ (Tokyo), winter.
- Top February events: Bean Throwing Festival, World Valentine Festival, winter illuminations, Sapporo Snow Festival, Otaru Snow Light Path Festival and Chinese New Year.
- Best for: Snow trips, culture.
Best for events: Sydney
Colour your February at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
From 14 February until 1 March 2020 Australia's largest city will be overrun with song, dance and celebration as the Mardi Gras comes to town.
If you can only be in town for a short period, the time to arrive is 29 February 2020 for the iconic parade and party.
Don't forget your sparkles.
- February weather: 19–26℃, autumn.
- Other events: Lunar New Year, Twilight at Taronga Summer Concert Series, The Lights Water Fest, an Evening of Shark Discovery @ SEA LIFE Sydney.
- Best for: Culture, shopping, city break.
Best surprise destination: Auckland
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: 17–24℃, summer.
- Top February events: Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Fringe Festival, Friends from Around the World Open Air Festival and music festivals, including Shipwrecked Festival.
- 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 and Chinese New Year 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.
What's on in Australia in February?
Events, events, events. Even if you're not headed anywhere but around your own city this February these events and festivities are bound to keep you busy.
- Valentine's Day - 14 February: The most loved up day of the year and one where romantics can capitalise one. Scope out our Valentine's Day guide if you're stuck for ideas.
The best of the rest:
Best places to visit in February in Europe
- Venice, Italy. February is Carnival time when you can expect three weeks of masked debauchery, Baroque costumes, extravagant balls, sinful sweets and general overindulgence. Even if you've been before, you've never seen Venice like this and it's definitely worth a re-visit.
- St Petersburg, Russia. If you're willing to rug up a bit, St Petersburg offers up some truly beautiful winter scenery in February minus the hordes of tourists. Join the locals outside for ice-skating or in the much warmer bathhouses. Make sure you're there in the last week of the month for Maslenitsa, famous for its blini (pancakes), singing, dancing and bonfires.
- Canary Islands, Spain. Looking for some sun? Make a beeline for this Spanish archipelago which boasts highs of 22°C and nine hours of sun a day. The islands have also got their fair share of festivals this month including Carnival and a festival to celebrate the coming of spring and the blossoming of the almond trees.
Best places to go in Japan in February
- Hokkaido. If you're looking for some winter fun, then Hokkaido is an obvious choice. Besides the varied selection of snow sports, you'll also get to enjoy the largest winter festival in Japan, the Sapporo Snow Festival (pictured). Expect snow and ice sculptures, bob sliding and heaps of amazing street food and drinks. Further north is Asahikawa with its adorable show of marching penguins.
- Okinawa. Believe it or not, cherry blossoms actually reach their peak in early to mid-February in the south of Japan. Time it right and not only will you get to enjoy gorgeous spring-time temperatures but also see these beauties in full bloom.
- Gero. Located on rich underground currents of thermal waters, Gero is best known for its onsens (hot springs) and one of the best experiences is to soak up all that warm mineral goodness in an open-air onsen during winter.
Best places to visit in Thailand in February
- Ko Chang (pictured). If you're looking to avoid the crowds then Ko Chang is a pretty safe bet. Its peak season has passed so prices will start to get back to normal. It takes a bit of effort to get here but once you do you'll be rewarded with jungle-covered peaks and sweeping bays.
- Bangkok. This will be your last really cool month until winter comes around again so it's time to get outdoors and get sightseeing. If you're into hiking, schedule in time to venture outside of the city and visit Khao Sam Lan National Park and Khao Yai National Park.
- Kro Kradan. This small island is thought by many to have one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. It's ideal for travellers who want to just get away from it all for a few days of sun, sand and sea as there is neither village nor road here. Just a spattering of accommodation options and the Haad Chao Mai National Park that covers most of the island.
Best places to visit in Vietnam in February
- Hanoi. A vibrant capital city with mouthwatering cuisine options, Hanoi's weather in February is mild and comfortable, perfect for sightseeing. Take a day trip to nearby Lim Hill for the annual Lim Festival, when traditional songs are performed from boats and the Lim Pagoda.
- Hoi An (pictured). Enjoying relatively warm weather compared to further north, this ancient town is a delight in February. Head to a nearby beach for some sunbathing, indulge in some shrimp dumplings and wander through the grand architecture, tea houses and Chinese temples.
- Phu Quoc Island. For those looking for that postcard-perfect island getaway in Vietnam, Phu Quoc offers soft, white-sand beaches, low humidity and an average temperature of 27.5°C in February.