Best places to travel to in January

Start the new year off on the right foot with a well-deserved holiday in one of these hot locations.

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Still on a high from your Christmas break? Wish it could last longer? Got some spare January days you can tap into for a getaway? Yeah, you know where we’re going with this.

If this year you've resolved to cash in on more "me" time then it's never too early to start pampering yourself with a getaway.

January is one of the best months to explore as people are still on a post-Christmas wind-down and the school holiday breakers are beginning to return.

Plus, there's the Australia Day public holiday at the end of the month so you can make a long-weekend of it without dipping into your annual leave. Much.

Feeling inspired? Here’s are our hit picks for January destinations that won’t be flooded with school kids.


Best for relaxation: Tasmania

An underrated contender to cure those January blues.

While sun worshippers will be flocking to the Gold Coast or Central Coast to get their tans, for a quieter break with a view, look to Tasmania.

The island swells with outdoor activities such as hikes, beachcombing and wine tasting and in January the weather is ideal as it's not blistering hot.

  • January weather: 22-34℃, summer.
  • Top January events: Taste of Tasmania, Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, KFC T20 Big Bash, Hobart International, MONA FOMA (Festival of Music and Art) and Tamar Valley Folk Festival.
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Brighton bathing boxes and Melbourne skyline

Best for sports: Melbourne

It truly is a summer of fun.

Tennis addict? Every year Melbourne host the Australian Open, bringing with it the biggest and brightest stars of the tennis world. This tends to start in January though sometimes rolls into February.

It's not the only game/set/match in town. Throughout the month Melbourne A-League games and the WTA, too.

  • January weather: 16-26℃, summer.
  • Top January events: Australian Open, Melbourne Music Week, Moonlight Cinemas, Sidney Myer Free Concerts, WTA 500 Melbourne.
  • Best for: Food, culture and short breaks.
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Cityscape of Sydney

Best for events: Sydney

Home of some of the biggest events and festivals in the nation.

If you've come in for the famous New Year's Eve fireworks, it's worth sticking around Sydney for a bit.

January is a hotbed of festival entertainment including the Sydney Festival which runs from 6-26 January 2021.

  • January weather: 21-30℃, summer.
  • Top January events: Sydney Festival, Flickerfest, St Jerome's Laneway Festival, outdoor cinemas.
  • Best for: Icons, tourist attractions and culture.
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clare valley

Best surprise destination: The Clare Valley

For when all you want is a peaceful getaway.

Unwind and cool down in The Clare Valley, sipping on its best wines and experiencing slightly cooler weather in January than the rest of the state.

  • January weather: 21-41℃, summer.
  • Top January events: Knappstein Twillight Series.
  • Best for: Wine, local food, romance.
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The best of the rest

While we can't travel internationally at the moment, we can still dream of where we'll be next January. Here are a few top picks to put on your list for when international travel returns.

Algarve, aerial view in the morning.

Best places to visit in January in Europe

  • Greece. The Mediterranean stays relatively warm throughout the year - even during winter. Some islands will be closed but you can still explore the mainland's beauties including Athens and Meterora.
  • Algarve. One of the more off-the-beaten track destinations, The Algarve region of Portugal is blessed with beach bliss and hot-dry weather that peaks at 16°C.
  • Iceland. The Christmas crowds have moved on but the spectacular Northern Lights have not. What more could you as for?
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A snow capped Buachaille Etive Mòr reflected in a pool of water at the head of Glencoe.

Best places to visit in the UK in January

  • Longleat Safari Park. The sun might not be out quite as much as you'd like but to make the most of the darkness Longleat hosts a Festival of Light. Similar to Vivid Sydney's Taronga Zoo the park welcomes animal shaped lanterns in one magical experience.
  • London. Christmas might be over but the festivities run into January in London. Head to Southbank for its markets or if you're quick head to Hyde Park to catch Winter Wonderland. It generally ends after the first week of January.
  • Glencoe, Scotland. After a bit of powder? Scotland has heaps dressed on its peaks. Glencoe is the place to hit the slopes with 20 runs waiting for you and your boards/skis.
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Palmtrees against a colourful sunset sky at Miami South Beach

Warm places to visit in January in the USA

  • Florida. When the call for warm weather arises the place to be is sunny Florida. While you're there don't forget to pay a visit to Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center.
  • Hawaii. If you're searching for summer outside of Australian shores, Hawaii is always a good idea. It's also the closest American destination to get to so you won't have to spend too long in transit.
  • San Diego. Generally the further south you go down the mainland the warmer it's going to be. If you've exhausted Los Angeles and San Francisco, try San Diego for size. It's got incredible Mexican food, a world-famous zoo and temperatures that peak at 20°C in January.
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  • Auckland
  • Cambodia
  • Canada (Ski + Northern Lights)
  • Caribbean
  • Dubai
  • Hobart
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Phuket
  • Patagonia
  • Sri Lanka

Follow the festival: Top January events to attend

  • Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, Harbin, China: China's snow sculpture festival is an impressive display of sky high ice and sculptures, winter sports and music. Throughout December-January, Harbin.
  • World Buskers Festival, Christchurch, New Zealand: Buskers from around the world take over the streets of New Zealand to entertain and delight over 10 fun-filled days. Christchurch.
  • Australia Day, across Australia: For anyone staying closer to home this month, our national celebrates the its discovery by the western world on 26 January. Events will be held throughout the country. Wear your colours with pride.
  • Quebec Winter Carnival, Quebec, Canada: Proving that Canadians are truly a crazy bunch, the Quebec Winter Carnival sees revellers brave the cold in a festival of snow baths, ice canoe races, sculptures and sleigh rides.

When is the best time in January to take a holiday?

The later in the month, the better. At the beginning of the month, Christmas and New Year's holidaymakers are still around and prices are still high. Families will still be around too, so if you want to avoid, get wind of when the school terms begins again and fly out around then.

Travelling around the Australia Day public holiday can mean you won’t have to use up annual leave, but others will likely be thinking the same. Weigh out your odds, but if you want to avoid peak prices and crowds, choose the weekend before to get away.

Need more inspiration? Visit our Flight Deals page for the best flights you can book right now.

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