The Best Places to Vacation in January


Feeling the post-vacation blues, or do you just need to shake off the winter chill? January is the perfect time to recharge. If you're buried under snow in the north, you might be dreaming of somewhere sunny and warm, where the days are laid-back and the dress code is beachy. Or maybe you're down south or out west, looking for a taste of winter's thrill — picture crisp air, fresh snow, and the rush of a downhill run.

If you’re wondering where to vacation in January, it’s the perfect time to choose your own adventure. Warm up, chill out, or find something totally new. With every kind of experience on the menu, get ready to start the year with a bang or a deep breath. Here are the best places to vacation in January.

What Are the Warm Vacation Spots in January?

January is the quintessential month for winter sun-seekers to find refuge in warmer destinations, away from the frosty grasp of colder regions. During this time, places like Argentina and Thailand become ideal havens, offering pleasant weather that is ideally suited for outdoor adventures and cultural exploration. Here’s why they’re some of our favorite January vacation ideas.

View of mountains from road in Patagonia

Argentina's cosmopolitan capital, Buenos Aires, is a lively playground perfect for soaking up the culture with its vibrant nightlife and rich history. Wine lovers? Mendoza's got your name on it with its world-class Malbecs — perfect for toasting to life's big moments. Or, if you're all about embracing the great outdoors at a more leisurely pace, Patagonia's glacial views are unmatched and serene enough to make anyone's heart sing.

Boats on the shore in Krabi, Thailand

Thailand is a playground for the curious and the seasoned, a mosaic of experiences ripe for those who bring a sense of adventure to their family vacations. Chiang Mai in the north is a sweet spot when January rolls in cooler air, clear skies, and a splash of culture that's just right for curious souls. Or if you're aiming for peace and quiet, the southern sands of Krabi are like a slice of paradise to recharge those batteries and let the world's hustle and bustle fade away.

Where Are the Best Skiing Vacations in January?

Craving that fresh snow before everyone else gets their skis on it? January is your golden ticket to the slopes. It's that sweet spot before the February rush, where you get the exclusive dibs on trails and the luxury of shorter lift lines. Picture it: you and your friends or family, getting the first laugh down the mountainside, enjoying the peace before the peak season buzz. And when the sun dips, you'll practically have the après-ski scene. So, if you're looking to up the ante on your winter fun with a touch of exclusivity and have the best January vacation, stay tuned. We've scoped out the prime spots for your pre-peak skiing spree.

Courchevel 1850

France is all about Chamonix and Courchevel in January. These spots are magnets for skiing some of the best terrain. Chamonix sits at the foot of Mont Blanc, offering some serious runs and a town that never sleeps. Courchevel, part of the vast Three Valleys ski area, combines luxury with the thrill of the slopes. The nightlife is as diverse as the skiing, with spots to clink glasses and share stories of the day's adventures.

Ventina slope in Cervinia Italy

When you're in the Italian Alps, Cortina d'Ampezzo and Val Gardena are the places to be. Cortina reigns with its sunny slopes for daytime skiing and an array of exquisite dining options to explore after dark. It's where adrenaline meets art, and every turn offers a view worth pausing for. Val Gardena presents a serene retreat with breathtaking trails and welcoming spots to enjoy South Tyrolean wine and hearty local dishes. In these Italian ski paradises, every ski run and every meal is an opportunity to create unforgettable memories with pals.

What Are the Best Destinations for New Year Vacations?

As the clock ticks towards midnight on December 31st, the promise of a fresh start beckons. A New Year vacation is more than just a change of scenery; it's about finding the perfect backdrop to inspire the year ahead. Whether it's the awe-inspiring landscapes that leave you breathless or the vibrant celebrations that light up the night sky, choosing the right destination to toast to new beginnings is as important as the company you decide to celebrate with. These are the best spots for a New Year's vacation; you decide who to bring along.

Cathedral in Mexico City

Mexico offers a vibrant mix of festive celebrations and tranquil retreats to ring in the New Year. In Mexico City, the energy is palpable as locals and visitors alike gather in the Zocalo for concerts and fireworks. Meanwhile, for those seeking a quieter but equally enriching experience, the serene beaches of Cabo San Lucas provide a perfect backdrop for reflection and resolutions, with the bonus of whale-watching excursions. And for the culturally curious, Tulum's rich Mayan heritage and gorgeous beachside setting present a chance to start the year immersed in historical wonder and natural beauty.

Cabin in Swedish Lapland covered in snow

Sweden's New Year's charm lies in its variety of experiences suited to all tastes. Stockholm's fireworks illuminate the old town, making it a picturesque place to celebrate with family and enjoy the festivities. For a more intimate and serene vacation, the town of Kiruna in the Arctic Circle offers a snowy wonderland with the chance to see the Northern Lights — an unforgettable way to welcome the New Year. Gothenburg offers a family-friendly vibe with its festive amusement park, providing fun for all ages.

Paris skyline

France is synonymous with style, and for a New Year's celebration, it doesn't disappoint. Paris is the ultimate destination for those who enjoy the high life, with its iconic landmarks and bustling avenues offering a feast of visual and culinary delights. The Riviera caters to those seeking a milder climate and upscale parties by the sea. For those drawn to the mountains, the French Alps present the thrill of skiing combined with luxurious resorts, where the après-ski culture ensures that the New Year starts with an elegant and adventurous spirit.

Where Are the Best Beach Vacations in January?

Ready to swap out the cold for some sun and sand this January? These idyllic beach spots will do more than just thaw you out. We're talking about those hidden gems that are not your average hot vacation hangouts. Think less crowded, more pristine beaches where you can lounge undisturbed. So, if you're up for starting the year with a beachy bang or a quiet corner under the sun, these are the best tropical vacations in January.

White sandy beach in Anguilla

Anguilla in January is a slice of Caribbean heaven with its tranquil, powder-white beaches and clear, warm waters, making it perfect for those celebrating a new union or bringing together loved ones of all ages. The island's laid-back vibe is complemented by luxurious resorts and villas that cater to those who appreciate the finer things in life. Shoal Bay East offers a picturesque beach day with opportunities for snorkeling and dining at beachfront restaurants. At the same time, Rendezvous Bay presents a calm shore ideal for family gatherings and sunset walks.

Masai Mara, Kenya

Kenya may be renowned for its wildlife adventures, but it also boasts some of the most stunning beaches, rivaling island destinations like the Seychelles. January is the ideal time to visit, as it's one of the warmest months, perfect for honeymooners or those seeking a peaceful retreat. Diani Beach, with its inviting stretch of white sand and kite surfing, offers a vibrant getaway, while the quieter Watamu area provides seclusion and world-class snorkeling. These coastal spots serve as a serene counterpoint to the thrilling safari experiences inland.

Where Are the Best Family Vacations in January?

Thinking of sneaking in a family vacation in January? Smart move. It's the perfect time to beat the crowds and snag some family time. Whether it's a quick escape over the MLK weekend or a longer trip with the grown-up kids, these destinations are the best spots for family fun when the rest of the world is busy with the new year rush.

Sphynx and Pyramids of Giza

Egypt in January is a storyteller's dream, perfect for families eager to delve into the rich tapestry of ancient history and young adults looking to broaden their horizons. With cooler temperatures and thinner crowds, it's a prime time to explore the Pyramids of Giza or take a captivating cruise down the Nile River. The inherent adventure ensures that every day is packed with discovery and awe-inspiring sights.

Gion district in Kyoto in the evening

Japan offers an intriguing blend of ultra-modern cities and timeless landscapes that captivate families. The pleasant January weather makes it ideal for exploring outdoor attractions like the snow monkeys of Nagano or the serene temples of Kyoto. It's a cultural journey and exhilarating, with the added bonus of experiencing winter festivals and the country's famed hospitality.

Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico

For families looking for a quick getaway or young ones' first adventure abroad, Mexico is a treasure chest of fun just a short flight away. January is a time of celebration with the festive aftermath of the vacation season, and the climate is perfect for beach days and historical excursions. From Tulum's Mayan ruins to Cancun's child-friendly resorts, Mexico offers a warm welcome with activities suited for every age and interest.

Explore the Best January Vacations with Scott Dunn

January is the perfect month for a new adventure, and Scott Dunn is here to make it happen. With our expertise in crafting customized getaways and our wealth of knowledge across diverse destinations, we're ready to design your best January vacation. Whether it's a family trip, a romantic getaway, or a solo expedition, we have insider tips to elevate your travel experience.

So why wait? Take the first step towards your next unforgettable journey with us by filling out our online inquiry form, and let the planning begin!

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