Miserable weather, a bulging waistline and a month’s worth of hangovers... Seems like January is a month most of us dread. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Why not swap the grey skies and dreaded detox for tropical beaches and sun-soaked cities?
January holidays are the cure to your post-Christmas comedown, but best of all, holidays in January are super cheap. The lull between the festive season and Valentine’s Day means far-flung places suddenly become accessible, leaving you with plenty of dosh to spoil yourself with when there. Maybe the season of giving (to yourself) doesn't have to end in December!
So where is good to go on holiday in January?
Warm January Holiday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The stuff of futuristic fairy-tales, Dubai is a clash of high-tech skyscrapers and arid desert. A place where nature and manmade meet, the gleaming city against the golden sands is a sight to behold. And that’s not even mentioning the huge palm-shaped island that’s visible from space. Furthermore, 8 hours of sunshine a day, minimal rainfall and a low-20 degree climate makes Dubai one of the most popular destinations for holidays in January.
Image credit: Pixabay
What can I do there? How about sandboarding across the stark desert? Or why not treat yourself to a spot of retail therapy inside shopping malls that rival the grandeur of Las Vegas hotels? Whatever your activity, Dubai is a thrilling place to visit.
For an out of this world experience, stay at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. This luxurious Arab-style retreat is situated in Dubai’s moon-like desert. Dine in its open-air desert restaurant for a January you'll never forget or unwind in the blissful Satori spa. Finally, adrenaline junkies will love the camel rides and dune bashing excursions.
Go With: Tumi's 19 Degree Aluminium Extra Large Worldwide Trip Packing Case
This sci-fi silver case blends in beautifully with the sparkling Dubai skyline. £1195, Tumi.
Go Humpback Whale Watching in the Dominican Republic
Crystal clear waters, coconut trees, and chic colonial architecture, the Dominican Republic is a romantic New Year escape. Enjoying balmy mid-20 temps, this Caribbean island is sure to warm your cockles come January.
Image credit: Pixabay
Think the DC is all about cheap, all-inclusive deals? Yes, it is one of the least expensive islands in the Caribbean but it’s also enjoyed a luxury renaissance over the past decade. Hotels such as the Amanera (£1,742pn), which boasts a beach club, spa and a dramatic cliff-side golf course, are attracting the glitterati. Likewise, the Casas del XVI (£224pn) offer a lavish home away from home in the atmospheric Old City of Santo Domingo.
Aside from lounging on the pearly white sands, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in the Dominican. If you choose to visit for your January holidays, it’s the perfect time for humpback whale watching. Other highlights include exploring the old colonial cities of Santa Domingo, Puerto Plata and Santiago. Their beautiful monasteries, cobblestone streets and crumbling architecture will take your breath away. In contrast, if you’re feeling adventurous, take a hike up the majestic Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain.
Go With: Cosmolite Extra Large Suitcase in Midnight Blue
With its aquatic, shell-inspired design, the Cosmolite is made for Caribbean adventures. £445.00, Samsonite
The Hidden Gems of Lanzarote on Canary Islands
Lanzarote? Really? Yes. Just steer clear of the tacky mega-resorts and a bohemian, cool Lanzarote will reveal itself. Shun the party crowds (who wants to party in January anyway?) and stay at the secluded Finca Malvasia's quaint cottages. Nestled in the island’s rugged countryside, this British-run retreat is surrounded by volcanoes and vineyards. A truly stylish retreat to refresh yourself for the New Year.
Image credit: Pixabay
What can I do there? Head to the Timanfaya National Park to explore a rainbow-hued volcanic landscape. Alternatively, combine adventure and culture with a dive at the Museo Atlántico – an underwater ‘art park’. Maybe you fancy a more relaxing pursuit? Head to the Papagayo reserve, home to five of the most secluded beaches, and take a dip in the warm Mediterranean Sea. Consequently, with temperatures floating between the high teens and low-20s, Lanzarote is one of the most pleasant places for your January holidays.
Go With: Flux Large Expandable Spinner in Navy Blue
Pack more and travel light with the sprightly Flux. Perfect for a two-week getaway. £189.00, Samsonite.
A Good January Holiday Idea Is Also Tulum, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
Sunrise yoga, hammock hanging and soul food, Tulum is the hipster hangover cure to the festive season. The epitome of laidback luxe, this slice of Mexican bohemia is where all the cool kids flock to ‘find themselves’. Because a diet of parsley water, fresh coconut and morning meditations is enough to cleanse anyone souls.
Image credit: Casa Malca
It’s not all beach shacks and beach bums, however. Tulum has a serious boho-luxe vibe which is a magnet for celebrities, Manhattanites and models. First of all, Arca, a lantern-lit restaurant offers a micro-seasonal menu derived from the jungle paradise it sits within. Likewise, the Yäan Wellness Spa, refreshes your mind, body and soul due to its indigenous treatments. Take part in the Moon Temazcal Ceremonies, or bathe in purified crystalline water pools. But above all, the flower baths in copper tubs are the ultimate indulgence.
Why not continue the extravagance by staying at the Casa Malca (£380pn)? This eccentric hacienda was once home to Pablo Escobar and is now owned by art dealer Lio Malca. With curtains made from antique Mexican wedding dresses and a ceiling that’s literally raining with chandeliers – would you expect anything else?
Go With: Topas Extra Large E-TAG Suitcase in Silver
Rimowa is coveted by cool wanderlusters the world over. Impress Tulum’s hip kids by rocking up with the brand’s iconic Topas E-Tag Suitcase. £859.00, Rimowa.
A Warm Holiday in January in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Colourful carnivals, famous beaches and shiny, happy people – Rio in January is everything Britain is not. With temperatures lingering around the mid-20s, Brazil’s most iconic city is an alluring bolthole for the New Year.
Image credit: Pixabay
A decadent and party-loving city, Rio is perfect for those who roll their eyes at the word detox. As a result, those with a sweet tooth simply must check out ChocolateQ for stylish, artisan chocolate. Made by cocoa grown on the Cacao Coast, this family-run establishment is as close to authentic chocolate heaven you’ll ever get. Of course, you can’t visit Rio without sampling the Caipirinhas. Head to the Rio Scenarium, a club, restaurant and antique warehouse rolled into one. Knock back the cocktails, tuck into authentic Brazilian fare and dance the Samba in the most opulent of surroundings. Because the detox starts in February, OK?
Aside from sampling Rio’s hedonistic vibe, it would be a crime not to stroll along the iconic beaches of Copacabana or Ipanema. First of all, before you grab a refreshing água de côco and flaunt that booty, make sure you purchase a bikini from Salinas. This swimwear mecca is the most covetable bikini label in Rio and a must if you want to strut your stuff like a local. Beach posing not for you? Head to the top of Corcovado, a 750m mountain peak for jaw-dropping views over Rio. Oh, and Christ the Redeemer also lives there, so you might want to take a peek at him.
Go With: Salsa Air Extra Large Suitcase in Guards Red
Playful, bold and light, what better way to channel Rio’s spirit than with Rimowa’s Salsa Air? £449.00, Rimowa
Is that excitement we feel for January now? Do you know what else is exciting? Treating yourself to a new luxury suitcase for your January holidays. An extra-large design is best for a two-week exotic escape, check them out here.