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Best January holiday destinations: Where's hot this January

Once the effects of New Year's Eve have faded away, it's time to get excited about all the potential travel you could experience in the first month of the New Year. After all, January is the time of new beginnings - and extremely cheap travel deals!

Whether you're looking for a cosy city break somewhere in Europe, a winter sun adventure or an activity-packed staycation in the UK, you may be surprised by how many cheap deals are available, as well as how much choice you have when it comes to finding the perfect destination

No matter which type of trip you end up choosing, you're guaranteed to have an unforgettable January holiday. And, if you're not quite sure where you'd like to go yet, you've come to the right place for some January destination inspiration. Check out our travel calendar for the best destinations for every month of the year.

The best warm-weather destinations for a January holiday

Feel like the UK winter is never going to end? Ahem, same - but if you're also getting fed up with the cold and wet, you'll be relieved to hear that there are plenty of warmer places to seek out in January.

While many of these do require you to venture on a long-haul flight to Asia or the Caribbean, there are some warm destinations a lot closer to home too. So, enough with all those layers of clothing already - head somewhere hotter this January instead.

1. Australia

🌡️ Average temperature in January: 22-36°C

Looking to book the trip of a lifetime? Australia is such a vast place that temperatures in January range from warm and pleasant on the coast to scorching hot in the interior. That makes January a peak time to experience all that Australia has to offer.

You could take a road trip along the country's famous east coast from Sydney to Cairns; you’ll never be far from the ocean and you can make stops at mesmerising spots like the Blue Mountains, Fraser Island and, of course, the famous Whitehaven Beach.

2. Tenerife

🌡️ Average temperature in January: 22°C

Want to experience sunshine but don't want to travel half the world to get there? The island of Tenerife may be your perfect choice. The largest of Spain's world-renowned Canary Islands, Tenerife is home to a famous volcano (don't worry - it's dormant), lovely beaches and family-friendly attractions.

With a flight time of just over four hours, it's also easy to get to. Playa de las Americas is the island's largest holiday destination but, if you’re looking for something quieter, Los Gigantes is a great place to stay. In January, you can even experience temperatures as high as 28°C! Sign us up.

3. Colombia

🌡️ Average temperature in January: 29°C

How about a visit to Colombia’s Caribbean coast this January? This month is part of the country’s dry season and, with glorious highs of 31°C, the historical seaside city of Cartagena is an ideal holiday destination for those looking for somewhere different to visit.

To truly experience a tropical paradise, why not visit the nearby Rosario Islands with their crystal-clear water, Caribbean food and laidback island lifestyle? You can even get a direct 11-hour flight from London to Bogota. Once there, check out the capital city before hopping on a cheap domestic flight up to Cartagena.

4. Lanzarote

🌡️ Average temperature in January: 20°C

Yes, we're back in the Canary Islands - but for good reason! Lanzarote enjoys pleasant temperatures of low- to mid-20°C throughout January, making it an excellent place to visit during this month. Playa Blanca is the most popular resort area here, with a vibrant town and three huge sandy beaches.

Book a boat trip from here to see the magnificent volcanic landscape of Lanzarote or you can visit Timanfaya National Park to see an active volcano up close and personal. No matter the time of year, though, the sea is quite cool so we'd recommend booking a hotel that has a heated swimming pool!

5. Cambodia

🌡️ Average temperature in January: 26°C

Fancy a trip out to Asia? January is an ideal time to visit Cambodia, which enjoys dry weather and consistent temperatures that reach 30°C and above. A two-week trip allows you to see the country's most popular sights. Visit Siem Reap to see the sunrise at the world’s largest religious complex, Angkor Wat.

From here, you can travel to the beautiful jungle islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, before moving on to the sleepy riverside city of Kampot. We would recommend finishing your trip in historical Phnom Penh, where you can take a boat trip down the world-famous Mekong River.

6. Barbados

🌡️ Average temperature in January: 29°C

With highs of 29°C, January is part of the dry season for Barbados, so there is very little chance of rain. Even better, the humidity will be low, so you won’t be walking around feeling sweaty either! These conditions make Barbados one of the very best options for a warm-weather January getaway.

Head for Freshwater Bay to swim (or snorkel) in the calm Caribbean Sea, which is an average 24°C at this time of year - taking a dip here will feel more like a bath! Remember that this is peak travel season in Barbados, so make sure that you book your hotel and flights as early as possible.

7. Cape Verde

🌡️ Average temperature in January: 25°C

With a flight that takes about six hours, Cape Verde is another great choice for a warm-weather holiday this January. Never heard of it? Located off the west coast of Africa, Cape Verde consists of a chain of 10 volcanic islands; it's a fascinating destination to visit at any time of year!

Make for the island of Sal; the town of Santa Maria experiences an average temperature of 25°C (although it has been known to get as high as 30°C)! Here you’ll be able to visit wide sandy beaches, try out a range of watersports and enjoy the lively Cape Verde nightlife!

8. Mexico

🌡️ Average temperature in January: 27°C

Have you always wanted to visit Mexico? Well, with temperatures that consistently stray into the high 20°Cs, January is an ideal time to visit this spectacular destination. For the ultimate sunny experience, stay in Playa del Carmen to relax on the Mayan Riviera’s endless sandy beaches.

When you're ready to take a dip, the crystal-clear sea water here is a balmy 26°C at this time of year. And, if you're open to stepping away from the beach (we don't blame you if not), you can easily visit the incredible ancient Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá from here, as well as the beautiful walled city of Tulum.

9. Indonesia

🌡️ Average temperature in January: 26°C

This may be another holiday destination that's a bit further away, but choosing Indonesia for your January holiday means that you'll have guaranteed hot weather. While January is officially still part of the country’s wet season, showers tend to be short-lived, usually just for an hour at a time.

You’ll definitely still be able to enjoy some beach time - we would recommend visiting the Gili Islands for some incredible food and snorkelling. After this, spend a few days in the relaxing countryside of Ubud or head for Canggu if you’re looking for a few fun nights out!

10. South Africa

🌡️ Average temperature in January: 25°C

When in doubt, head south - and nothing could be better than a January trip to sunny South Africa! This is when the country's summer is in full swing, and you can expect highs of 30°C and above. While it may not be the optimal time for a safari due to the hot weather, it's the ideal time to head to the coast.

Go to Cape Town for a truly unforgettable January. Hop on the cable car up Table Mountain, check out the markets and shops at V&A Waterfront or take a boat trip out to Duiker Island to see a massive seal colony. Later, enjoy the sunset with a cocktail or two at a beachside bar in Camps Bay.

The best bucket-list destinations for an unforgettable January holiday

What could be better than kickstarting the New Year by ticking off one of the destinations on your travel bucket list? We can't think of anything either! January is a great time to fit in a real adventure thanks to some of the surprisingly cheap travel deals you can find at this time.

Whether you want to get out of your winter funk with a trip somewhere warm and sunny or face the cold head on with an epic ski holiday in a snowy locale like Chamonix, we’ve got plenty of destinations just waiting to inspire you.

Check out our top choices for a bucket-list-worthy January holiday.

Death Valley, California

A great choice for a trip to America, Death Valley’s infamously high summer temperatures (it will reach up to 48°C at its peak) make way for mild and much more hiking-friendly weather in January (15°C on average).

Walk through this Martian landscape and admire the gradually shifting colours of the peaks and valleys of one of America's coolest national parks. For a unique experience, book a multi-day guided hiking tour that takes you deep into the park, letting you sleep under an ultra-bright canopy of stars.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

January in Argentina means peak summer, so you can shed your winter coat and break out those sunnies instead for a wander through the ever-changing metropolis of Buenos Aires.

The city's neighbourhoods are perfect for exploration; duck into open-air cafes to sip mate and snack on empanadas or stroll through the sprawling Bosques de Palermo park. For a fascinating excursion, check out the La Recoleta Cemetery with its towering mausoleums to notable Argentines like Eva Perón.

Chamonix, France

For some truly upscale skiing, head straight to the world-famous Chamonix, a top French getaway for Europeans (and just about everyone else) looking to hit the slopes this winter.

Even if skiing isn’t really your thing, you can always try your hand at other winter activities like hiking or snowshoeing to better immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Mont Blanc mountains. After your day out in the cold, unwind and warm up with some traditional winter French fare like raclette or pot-au-feu.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Yep, guilty - we've included Cambodia twice. But it's worth it, as January is the best time to visit Cambodia’s most well-known attraction, Angkor Wat. Easily accessible from Siem Reap, you'll want to spend a few days exploring the temples here.

After taking some lengthy stops at otherworldly places like Ta Prohm and Bayon, end off a long day of temple exploration by having a stroll through the streets of Siem Reap to sample traditional Cambodian street food like a num-pang sandwich or sweet sticky rice.