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The 15 Best Places to Visit in January in 2023

The 15 Best Places to Visit in January in 2023

Let’s face it — most people don’t love the month of January. In many places, it’s cold, dark, and dull, but you can change that. There are plenty of excellent destinations to visit to kick off the new year in style.

15 of the Best Places to Visit in January

January is not a month most people look forward to. It’s the start of a new year, but most of the fun is on New Year’s Eve. Instead, it’s the end of the holiday season during one of the coldest parts of the year.

People often get seasonal depression when the new year comes around, so it can be challenging to stay motivated for work. With that in mind, January is a great time to take a vacation.

You can always go somewhere in the summer, but it’s already warm then. So, why not get some extra time in the Sun in the middle of the winter?

You can travel to any warm or tropical location to get some much-needed time away from the snow. Alternatively, you could take a vacation to some of the most beautiful cold-weather locations on the planet.

Regardless of where you choose, you have the most options for travel during the winter. You can pick a warm-weather vacation or a cold one. But where should you go?

That’s where we come in! Our travel experts have rounded up the 15 best places to visit in January, including what there is to do when you get to each one and a few things to consider before booking. Let us be your guide!

1. The Maldives

Rows of over-water bungalows above teal water in the Maldives, one of the best places to visit in January


If you are thinking about taking a warm-weather vacation during the heart of winter, consider visiting The Maldives. The Maldives has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, filled with crystal blue water and massive reefs.

Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities for tourists to enjoy a plethora of water sports. When you think about going to Maldives, you can go to several sections of the country.

Located southwest of India on a small island, there are few places more remote. Some popular destinations include Male, Maafushi, and Addu Atoll. There are direct and chartered flights to the island from Europe, China, Dubai, and Singapore.

Read Next: The Best Resorts in the Maldives in 2023

2. Phuket

Stunning view of the rock formation in Phuket, one of the best places to visit in January, with boats on the water


If you want to visit Southeast Asia, we recommend going to the city of Phuket. Located in Thailand, you can enjoy the golden beaches, local markets, and water sports like jet skiing and scuba diving.

There is also tremendous nightlife in the city with lots of restaurants and bars. It’s an extraordinarily popular honeymoon destination because of its beautiful landscape and water.

The only problem with traveling to Phuket is the process of getting there. There are no direct flights or trains to the city.

You can take a train from Bangkok to Singapore before getting off at Phun Phin station. From there, you must take a five-hour bus ride. We know this does not sound appealing, but it’ll be worth it when you get there.

3. Bali

Rice paddies surrounded by trees with the sun flowing in from the trees

Monika Vlageryte/Shutterstock

I have been here in January, and it. is. amazing. In fact, it’s one of the best places I’ve ever visited in January. Bali is a more practical destination than Phuket, but equally beautiful. January is a great month to visit because most tourists are gone by this time of year.

So, you’ll experience the city with quieter beaches and cheaper hotel rates. The vegetation is mesmerizing here, along with the always-warm water. Finally, you can easily travel to Bali via plane.

Read Next: Where to Stay in Bali in 2023

4. Norway

Green and teal northern lights pictured over Hamnoy in Norway, one of the best places to visit in January

Piotr Krzeslak/Shutterstock

Many of you might prefer somewhere warm, but traveling in January, there are plenty of cold-weather trips you could take. Norway is one of the most beautiful places to visit.

But it’s also freezing in January. Regardless, it’s worth the trip to see the Northern Lights. It’s also a more accessible and safe country than most warm-weather destinations.

5. Dubai

Sunset over the marina and beach in Dubai with the famous Ferris wheel in the background for a piece on the best places to visit in January


Not everyone enjoys relaxing by the beaches. Many people prefer to have active vacations in large cities. If you fall into that category, you can enjoy the warmth of Dubai while keeping yourself occupied.

Dubai is one of the most modern cities in the world and a great tourist destination. It has fantastic shopping malls, amusement parks, and even beaches. You can fly directly to Dubai International Airport.

6. Switzerland

Zermatt, Switzerland, pictured with the red train going above a gorge next to a waterfall


If you want to visit somewhere with winter activities, Switzerland is a fantastic option. Switzerland is renowned as one of the best skiing countries in the world.

The Swiss Alps are famous for having some of the best ski mountains. There is also plenty of delicious food, including their world-famous chocolate.

7. Sri Lanka

Elephant in the river in Sri Lanka, one of the best places to visit in January, with the sun setting over the lush green hillside


Sri Lanka is another warm place to visit in January. It’s an island off the coast of India, and it’s warm all year round. Additionally, it’s teeming with wildlife, so many tourists enjoy wildlife safaris and scuba diving on their trips. The best way to get to Sri Lanka is to fly there from India.

8. Los Angeles

The observatory in Los Angeles, one of the best places to visit in January, pictured from Griffith Park, with the downtown skyline in the background

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

If you live in America and cannot afford to travel overseas, you might be discouraged by the places we have looked at thus far. However, there are plenty of destinations in the United States to visit in January.

The USA is a big country, and many sections stay warm all year round. Los Angeles is one of those locations.

Even the coldest days in LA do not usually get below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. LA has many places for tourists to explore the city. You’ll want to check out Hollywood and its well-liked tourist locations.

However, you can also find enjoyment outside the city. The Santa Monica Mountains are suited to hikers. So, you can spend time in the city and nature.

Read Next: Where to Stay in Los Angeles in 2023

9. Barbados

Empty white sand beach of Bottom Bay in Barbados, one of the best places to visit in January

Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock

Barbados is one of the best warm-weather places to visit during the winter because you can expect temperatures of at least 30 degrees Celsius from December to April. Additionally, Barbados sailing week takes place during January. You are free to take part in or watch the festivities.

10. Australia

The Twelve Apostles in Australia, one of the best places to visit in January, pictured on a sunny day

Tero Hakala/Shutterstock

Since it’s in the Southern hemisphere, January is part of the Summer for Australia. So, when you visit, you should expect warm weather and clear skies. Some of the top tourist destinations in the county include the Great Barrier Reef and Kangaroo Island.

We recommend flying into Sydney and exploring the city. You can see a variety of attractions, including the stadiums built for the 2000 Summer Olympics.

If you have the time, we recommend heading out into the Australian Outback. Taking a guided tour will allow you to see the majestic and sometimes terrifying wildlife of Australia. We also love that it’s home to some of the best hikes in the world.

11. Costa Rica

Amazing volcano pictured in the background of a shot, framed by trees, in Costa Rica, one of our favorite places to visit in January

Kevin Wells Photography/Shutterstock

Costa Rica is an incredible warm-weather destination in the winter for travelers from the United States and Canada. Your flight there should be less than six or seven hours, depending on where you depart.

So, you can spend more time exploring the beautiful country in Central America. You can relax on the beaches with a drink or explore the inland. Notably, the inland has some of the longest zip lines in the world.

Read Next: The Best Places to Visit in Cost Rica in 2023

12. Morocco

Woman in a yellow dress walking through the medina city of Chefchaouen with blue walls on all the buildings


Morocco is a charming place to visit during the winter. It’s not a destination with beaches, but it’s still quite warm in the winter. You can visit ancient mosques, lively markets, and the highest mountain in North Africa.

If you want to spend some time in every continent before you die, Morocco is a great place to do so in Africa. Many people have safety concerns when traveling to African countries, but you do not have much to worry about in Morocco.

While it’s crucial to be cautious, you should not run into danger while exploring Morocco. Several airports in Europe have direct flights to Morocco, so you should not have any trouble getting there.

13. Kenya

Mount Kilimanjaro pictured in the back of a grassland for a piece on the best places to visit in January

Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock

Kenya is another fantastic place to visit during the winter if you want to go to Africa. In East Africa, Kenya has a beautiful coastline on the Indian Ocean.

It also has a vast topography, including savannahs, lakelands, mountain highlands, and the Great Rift Valley. There is also lots of stunning wildlife to see. As a result, we recommend that visitors explore the country as part of an African safari.

14. Hawaii

Idyllic coastline of Lanikai on Oahu pictured on a cloudy day with lush green volcanic hills towering over the ocean

Zoia Kostina/Shutterstock

If you are American and do not have a passport, your best option is to head to Hawaii. You’ll experience something that feels like a different country without leaving the USA.

You’ll feel close to mother nature thanks to the stunning beaches, wildlife, and two active volcanoes. However, there is no need to fear. These Volcanoes are not going to cause any trouble for residents.

Read Next: The Best Islands to Visit in Hawaii in 2023

15. Cancun

Sun setting above the ocean with a boat driving along the crystal-clear teal water in Cancun


The last destination we want to discuss for January trips is Cancun. Loathed on the Eastern coast of Mexico, Cancun is one of the most popular tourist destinations for North Americans. And it’s also one of my favorite places to visit.

I love Cancun (or the overall Riviera Maya/Costa Mujeres/Cancun area) so much that my wife and I try to get here in December or January of every year. It’s not too busy, the weather is perfect, and it breaks up the mid-winter lull of Nebraska.

The coast is peppered with resorts where you can stay in comfort and luxury. It’s far from the dangerous sections of Mexico, and it has beautiful beaches. You can travel to Cancun directly from most major cities in the United States and Canada.

Read Next: Where to Stay in Cancun in 2023

Things to Consider

When deciding which January vacation to go on, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, think about how busy you expect each travel destination to be in January.

Consider when other people take their vacations. More people travel in the summer than in January. As a result, you can likely head to a tropical destination without worrying about too many other tourists.

You should also consider how accessible a place is. It’s far more accessible to travel to Cancun or Hawaii than Southeast Asia.

The price of traveling to more accessible areas will be lower, and you will not have to worry about as long a flight time. Finally, think about what type of vacation you want.

Do you want to relax on a beach, go skiing, or explore a new city? What you want to do will affect the destinations you can choose. We recommend thinking about the objective of your trip before picking a destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

People looking at the ocean in Bali while standing under a rock


Here we will look at a few questions you might have about traveling in January:

Several regions in the world stay warm throughout the winter. Although they get a little colder, they remain relatively hot, especially compared to many sections of the United States. Regions that stay hot in January include Central America, South America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Is it cheaper to travel during the winter?

Yes, it’s typically cheaper to travel to warm-weather locations during the winter. Not as many people travel during January, so you can usually get better flight and hotel prices than you would in the summer. Prices for cold weather locations like Switzerland will be more expensive because many people want to ski in the winter.

Where can you travel on a low budget?

If you live in America and want to have a hot vacation on a low budget, it is possible. However, you must eliminate some locations from the options listed above.

With that in mind, you should not have trouble traveling to Central America, Thailand, Hawaii, and Cambodia on a reasonable budget.

Is it safe to travel to most warm-weather countries?

Safety is always something to consider when traveling, but you should not have many issues in most countries. If you stay at an all-inclusive resort, there is almost zero risk.

You should be more cautious exploring a third-world country outside of a resort, but it should not be an issue under most circumstances.

Can you have a warm-weather vacation in January in the United States?

If you want to stay in the United States, there are several warm-weather locations in January. Florida, Hawaii, California, and Texas all stay relatively warm in the winter.

So, What’s the Best Place to Visit in January?

It’s impossible to give a single answer unless we know what you want in a January trip. If you want somewhere affordable and hot, you should visit Central America or Hawaii.

Switzerland and Norway are great for cold-weather trips. Finally, Southeast Asia is great for staying warm and experiencing new cultures. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!