The Getaway
Where to Go This Winter: Best International Destinations in January

More and more people are choosing to travel abroad and get away from it all in the winter months. The holidays might be over, but your vacation is just beginning! From skiing in Canada to escaping the cold weather on the beaches of Phuket, finding some of the best international destinations in January is a breeze. Whether you want to soak up some sun in the southern hemisphere or enjoy the snow closer to home, the colder months of the year are the perfect time to get away.


01 Venice, Italy

January is one of the quietest times for tourism in Venice. Although you won’t necessarily be escaping the winter weather with a trip to Italy, you will get the chance to see a version of Venice that few tourists get to enjoy. The streets are quiet, and the city is often covered in a soft fog that rolls in from the Venetian Lagoon. Walk the ancient roads, cross the historic bridges, and see all of the sights without the crowds.

Vacation in Venice Jasmina007 / Getty Images

02 Phuket, Thailand

The best time to visit Phuket is from December to March when the island gets the least amount of rain, and it's dry and relatively cool. In Thailand, cool means anywhere from 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s the perfect time to explore the island, lounge on the beach, and soak up some sun. There will definitely be crowds, and Phuket is the perfect place to kick back, meet new friends, and enjoy a laid back vibe. Take advantage of the calm seas by going diving, signing up for surf lessons, and returning home with a nice tan.

Young woman traveler with backpack traveling into beautiful pagoda in Wat Chalong or Chalong temple at Phuket town, Thailand. It's most popular thai temple in Phuket Thailand MongkolChuewong / Getty Images

03 Sydney, Australia

January is mid-summer for Australia, and Sydney is the best place to enjoy it. This is the hottest month of the year, and many Australians are on vacation enjoying themselves. Stay in central Sydney and enjoy some sightseeing before taking a day trip to the surrounding areas. Make sure you check out Blue Mountains National Park and swim among the coral reef in the nearby Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve.

People walking in George St on a sunny day with the Sydney Town Hall building in the background. xavierarnau / Getty Images

04 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If you’re sick of the cold and want to feel some real heat, head to Rio de Janeiro. January and February are the hottest months for the city, and it’s also the most popular time for tourists. Visit Rio de Janeiro for its lively, non-stop energy. Spend as much time as possible on Copacabana Beach, one of the most popular destinations in the city. Apart from swimming, sunbathing, and dancing, make sure you take a few day trips to see some of Brazil’s stunning natural landscapes.

people relaxing and sunbathing at famous Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Nikada / Getty Images

05 Lima, Peru

Daily image of passers-by strolling through the streets of Rimac, in the metropolitan area of Lima, Peru

One of the best places to visit in Peru is Lima. The weather tends to be dry and sunny, and there aren’t too many tourists to contend with. If you want a warm vacation, but aren’t into the party scenes of places like Brazil and Thailand, then Peru is the perfect place for you. Explore the city’s most important archaeological sites, visit the many museums, and sample some of South America’s finest cuisine. For an exciting day trip, travel out to the suburbs of Miraflores to see Huaca Pucllana, an ancient pyramid built by the Lima Culture between 200 and 700 CE.


06 Montreal, Canada

If you want to travel and you love snow, then Montreal is the place to go. Located in Québec, the city offers a refreshing European flavor to a North America destination.

Traveling to Montreal when the holidays are over means you’ll avoid the crowds and the expensive prices. Spend the day skiing or ice skating before warming up with a hearty meal, a glass of wine, or tasty hot cocoa. When you need a break from the cold, Montreal has plenty of high-end shopping to offer. As an added bonus, your US dollars will go even further while grabbing some of those post-New Years deals.

Ferris Wheel in Old Montreal during Winter buzbuzzer / Getty Images

07 Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country unlike any other with ideal weather conditions and countless UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Climb the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya, hike through Yala National Park, and catch some waves in Arugam Bay. To enjoy Sri Lanka’s diverse and vibrant cultural heritage, make sure you visit the cities of Kandy and Galle while you’re there.

Young Caucasian woman looking at Elephants bathing in Pinnawella, Sri Lanka Oleh_Slobodeniuk / Getty Images

08 Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are the perfect place to relax and de-stress. You’ll enjoy dry, sunny weather with temperatures in the 70s. The three islands that make up the Caymans are covered in tropical forest and lined with pristine sandy beaches. Swim on Seven Mile Beach, visit the Cayman Turtle Center and enjoy fine dining and shopping in Camana Bay.

Beautiful woman snorkeling with a stingray in the clear waters. EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER / Getty Images

09 Cape Town, South Africa

Dry, warm, and sunny, you can't go wrong with visiting Cape Town. The sprawling city is full of art, culture, and history, and it’s surrounded by some truly stunning nature. You'll be guaranteed to have the perfect temperatures for any outdoors activities, from swimming to hiking to sightseeing. Visit popular neighborhoods like Bo-Kaap and Woodstock, tour the nearby Cape Winelands, and take a day trip to the top of Table Mountain.

Woman hiker standing alone on a sand dune at the beach admiring the view. subman / Getty Images

10 Wellington, New Zealand

Like going to Australia, you'll be visiting Wellington, New Zealand, in the middle of summer. Sunny and warm, it’s the perfect time to visit. Tourism is at its peak in January, but you’ll still find plenty of quiet corners to enjoy. There are also plenty of exciting events to attend, and you’ll get to see the city when it’s most alive.

"Motion blur people walking and running on Wellington waterfront, New Zealand. More New Zealand:-" travellinglight / Getty Images

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