By Jessica Russo
Let's face it - the holidays are over, you're sick of being stuck inside, and hey - you just got your holiday bonus (hint, hint - nudge, nudge). Sounds to us like it's time to pack on your bags and take a much needed vacay.
While us North Americans only associate January with frigid wintry weather, January actually means sunny sizzle to a large part of the world. Relax on a beach in Thailand or venture out on safari in South Africa! So, what are you waiting for? Make this year the year of dream-come-trues.
It's no secret that this eye-widening wonderland is a spectacle all-year-round, but it just might be at its most beautiful in January. With temperatures floating in the low-70s(F), you'll be able to experience all of Torres del Paine's dreamlike scenery without a jacket!
What a coincidence: January just so happens to fall right in the middle of Costa Rica’s sunny dry season! Go white-water rafting or zip-lining, tip-toe along a hanging bridge, or discover the magic of a hidden waterfall. Take a quick flight to this rainforest retreat, where the trees are filled with cute lil' monkeys and toucans.
South Africa is filled with safari adventure, but it's also packed with so much more! Think: world-renowned beaches, stunning mountainscapes, colorful culture, and culinary innovation. From the vibrant streets of Cape Town to the bright blue coasts of Cape Point, South Africa is, indeed, a spectacle. January is actually SA's summer - the perfect time to soak up some sun on the beach! I know what you're thinking: Africa in the summer? No way Because South Africa is on the southern tip of the continent, it doesn't get nearly as hot as some of its more northern neighbors. A dry, sunny, 85 degrees? Yes please.
Hot and dry, Myanmar is a delight in January. With a very low chance of rain, you'll be able to visit the bustling city of Yangon or the dreamlike ancient world of Bagan without ever thinking "ugh, I hope the weather's nice. Because, guess what? It will be. Immerse yourself in tradition, culture, and eye-widening beauty in the whimsical temple-filled world of Myanmar.
Believe it or not, January actually falls in Thailand's "cool season," however you're still looking at about an average of 75-80 degrees. With dry air and sunny skies, you'll have an amazing time exploring the unbelievable beaches of Phuket, the mesmerizing temples of Chiang Mai, and the floating markets of Bangkok. Visit a humane elephant sanctuary and try tons of street food! Thailand is all yours in January.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Okay, so this isn't exactly a beach getaway, but why not take advantage of Luxembourg's picture-perfect snowy scenery? This winter wonderland is like walking through a real-like snowglobe. In a city so filled with museums, pastry shops, cool restaurants, and beautiful theaters, you'll never be bored in-between outdoor photo-ops.
January means sunny skies for this charming, historic city! Be sure to pack lightweight clothing, as you can expect warm temps in the mid-high 80s. Feel like royalty as you visit impressive castles and palaces and stroll down colorful, cobblestone colonial streets. Looking for a little fun in the sun? Head to the beach or take a quick boat ride to the jaw-dropping Rosario Islands. Ready, set, Cartagena!
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai only knows two types of weather: hot and hotter. While January is considered the city's "coldest month," it boasts dry, sunny perfect beach days. Instead of melting in the (100 degree+) sweltering heat of July and August, January's beautiful weather allows you to comfortably see the city. Pack your sunblock and get ready for an urban-beach paradise!