The Best Vacation Destinations in January

The 10 Best Vacation Destinations in January

A new year is an excellent excuse to make new plans and step outside your comfort zone. If you’ve always wanted to travel and see the world, there’s no better time to jump in at the deep end and turn your plans into reality.

January, with its crisp winter chill in some places and warm, sunny days in others, provides a diverse canvas of destinations to explore. From snowcapped alpine wonders to tropical paradises, this month offers a tantalizing mix of experiences, whatever type of vacation you’re seeking.

As many people spend this month planning vacations, January is the perfect time to beat the crowds and explore parts of the world you’ve never visited before. Our top picks for January vacation destinations are: Zermatt, Los Glaciares National Park, Whistler Blackcomb, Railay Beach, Aspen, Tasman National Park, Tamarindo Beach, St. Kitts & Nevis, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Serengeti National Park.

To help you plan the ultimate New Year escape, we’ve put together a list of the best places to visit in January. From the lush rainforests of Costa Rica to the awe-inspiring wilderness of Tanzania, you’re guaranteed to find your perfect getaway here.

Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 10 Best Vacation Destinations in January

The 10 Best Places to Visit in January

1. Zermatt, Switzerland

Best Cities to Visit in January: Zermatt, Switzerland

When it comes to dramatic views, Zermatt in Switzerland is one of the best places to visit in January. With its wooden lodges, horse-drawn carriages, and mountain backdrop, the resort town is beautiful enough on its own. But for the most stunning panoramas, hop on the cable car and ride to the top of the Matterhorn.

From the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (the highest mountain station in Europe), you can breathe in the purest mountain air, feel the icy cold chill on your face, and take in staggering vistas that span over three countries. If you can tear your eyes away from the view, make sure you visit the Glacier Palace, home to fascinating ice sculptures and even an ice slide. 

2. Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia

Best Places to Visit in January: Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia

If you’re looking for somewhere warm to spend the first month of the year, Patagonia is one of the top places to visit in January. The start of the year brings some of the warmest temperatures and the highest number of daylight hours to the Argentinian part of the region, making it a great chance to get outdoors.

At this time of year, the conditions are perfect for kayaking in Los Glaciares National Park. From a kayak, you’ll be in the ideal position to admire the giant glaciers, shimmering lakes, and rugged mountain landscapes that make up the park. If that’s not really your scene, you can always take a boat cruise to Perito Moreno Glacier in the national park instead. 

3. Whistler Blackcomb, Canada

What Places to Visit in January: Whistler Blackcomb Canada

Turn your dream of zooming down snowy slopes into reality by spending your first vacation of the year in Whistler Blackcomb. One of the best places to travel in January for winter sports, this hugely popular resort covers a whopping 8,100 acres of land and experiences around 40 feet of snowfall each year, with approximately 74 inches of it falling in January. 

There’s so much to do in Whistler Blackcomb that it can feel overwhelming. From world-class skiing and snowboarding, family-friendly tobogganing, and 200+ shops to elegant boutique hotels, 200+ dining venues, and some of the best après ski bars in the world, you’ll need a vacation to get over your time in Whistler Blackcomb! 

4. Railay Beach, Thailand

What Places have Shoulder Season in January: Railay Beach, Thailand

Still recovering from the stress of Christmas? Then make plans to visit the laid-back shores of Railay Beach in Thailand. One of the best places to go in January when you just want to get away from it all, Railay Beach enjoys clear blue skies, oodles of sunshine, and blissfully warm temperatures of up to 90°F (32°C) during this month.

This small peninsula boasts dazzling golden bays lapped by warm, aquamarine waters where you can let your cares drift away. As this part of the country is cut off from the mainland and only accessible by boat, you definitely won’t have to worry about crowds. If you ever get tired of relaxing, you’ll find a number of excellent rock-climbing opportunities in the area. 

5. Aspen, Colorado, USA

Where to Vacation in January: X Games in Colorado, USA

If you’re planning to travel at the end of the month, you’re just in time to catch Aspen‘s annual X Games. The extreme sports event gives you the chance to watch top athletes compete in a huge number of sports, including skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and motocross. After watching the experts show off their skills during the day, you can immerse yourself in Aspen’s epic après ski scene at night. 

As well as watching the X Games, there are plenty of other things to do in Aspen, too. From exciting winter sports, fabulous shopping opportunities, and intriguing museums to funky art galleries, dynamic festivals, and an incredible food scene, Aspen will truly spoil you!

6. Tasman National Park, Australia

Must-Visit Places in January: Tasman National Park, Australia

For glorious weather and outdoor adventure, Tasmania is one of the top places to travel in January. At this time of year, the temperatures sit in the low 70s (20s), creating the ideal conditions for exploring the seemingly never-ending number of national parks in the state. 

The Tasman National Park boasts some of the most stunning coastal landscapes in Australia. The rugged cliffs, sea stacks, and breathtaking viewpoints offer a feast for the eyes and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the raw beauty of nature. While you’re there, keep an eye out for Tasmanian wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and a variety of bird species.

7. Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica

Best Cities to Visit in January: Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica

Love surfing or eager to try it out for the first time? Then Costa Rica should be at the top of your January holiday destinations list. During this month, the conditions are ideal for expert surfers looking to ride mid-size waves, as well as complete beginners keen to get started on the smaller swells.

Tamarindo Beach is well-known for its consistent and approachable waves, making it a great place for surfers of all levels. The only drawback is that because the surfing conditions are so ideal, the beach can get busy at this time of year. Avoid the crowds by going early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

8. St. Kitts & Nevis

Best Places to Visit in January: St. Kitts Nevis

For guaranteed sunshine, St. Kitts & Nevis is one of the best holiday destinations in January. The two-island nation boasts fantastic sailing conditions at this time of year, plus crystal-clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling. 

When you head below the water’s surface, you’ll have the chance to spot all kinds of magnificent wonders, from colorful coral reefs, fascinating tropical fish, and sea turtles to lobsters, eagle rays, and moray eels.

If you’d rather stay on dry land, you’ve still got plenty of choice. There are lush forests teeming with walking trails, plus imposing volcanoes that reward everyone who reaches the summit with spectacular views.

9. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, USA

What Places to Visit in January: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

When it comes to living on the edge, Hawaii is definitely one of the best places to vacation in January. This dazzling island is home to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you’ll find two of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Drive (or hike, if you’re feeling up to it) along Crater Rim Drive for the chance to check out sensational views of the Kilauea caldera. 

January marks Volcano Awareness Month in Hawaii, when the national park holds all kinds of programs and events to promote the respect and understanding of volcanoes. Check out the official website before your trip to find out what’s going on. 

10. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

What Places have Shoulder Season in January: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, plan to visit the Serengeti National Park for your January vacation. This is the time when the remarkable wildebeests breed as they’re migrating through the park. Make sure you bring some good binoculars – it’s a sight you definitely won’t want to miss! 

Even if you don’t witness this unique event, there are plenty of other things you’re bound to see in this massive game park. From hyenas cackling and elephants trumpeting to hippos splashing and lions roaring, you’ll see much more here than you ever could at any zoo!

Book a Serengeti Camping Safari

There you have it! The 10 best places to visit in January. What’s your favorite vacation destination in January?

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out our favorite travel books!



  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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