The best places to travel in January for warm weather

Looking for the best warm places to visit in January? Whether you’re planning a week away with friends, a romantic break with the other half, a memory-packed getaway with the kids, or something in between, you’ll find top picks from the world’s best warm-weather vacation destinations coming up. January? Bring it on.

Broad appeal in Barbados

Discovered by the Spanish in the late 15th century, exotic Barbados has long since been one of the world’s most sought-after warm weather vacation destinations. January temperatures push past 80, making it the perfect time to enjoy the nation’s sugar-soft sands, turquoise waters, and vivid coral reefs. And if you’re willing to leave the sea-lapped shores behind for a while, you can head inland to discover manicured botanic gardens, grand plantation houses, and sprawling fields of sugar cane in the nation’s rolling green heart.

Craft your own adventure in Cape Town

With temperatures in the 80s, Cape Town is deep into summer by the time January hits. The season brings with it the chance to glide to the top of majestic Table Mountain on a slowly rotating cable car – the views are to die for, but this is the Mother City just getting started. Indulgent dining along the V&A Waterfront, penguin spotting in Boulders Bay, and oh-so-perfect beach days are just some of what’s on the menu. Then comes the chance to see the Big Five at the Inverdoorn and Aquila game reserves, both within a few hours’ drive of most Cape Town vacation rentals.

Playtime in Porto

Sunseekers scouring any list of the best places to visit in January in Europe need look no further than Porto, a medieval city on Portugal’s northwest coast that has long since shaken off its rep as Lisbon’s little sister to become a top warm winter vacation destination in its own right. The narrow, cobbled streets of Douro Ribeira, the 14th-century São Francisco Church, and the German-designed Crystal Palace Gardens make Porto vacation home rentals a top pick for culture vultures, though this is a city that boasts a lighter side too. Wine tours, surfing, and comfort food are just some of what’s on offer at one of Europe’s best places to travel in January.

Seaside delights in Sydney

Tucked into Australia’s southeastern corner, Sydney deserves a spot on any list of awesome warm winter vacations. The New South Wales capital is perhaps best known for the sail-like Sydney Opera House and the huge Sydney Harbour Bridge, though vacations here bring so much more to the table. There’s Bondi Beach for starters, its crescent-shaped sands serving up an iconic backdrop for swimming and surfing in the Pacific. Adventure seekers can head inland to the Blue Mountains, while creative types will want to stay put as January’s three-week-long Sydney Festival packs the city with music, art, circus, and big ideas.

Fun in Florida

If a tight budget demands that you look for the cheapest places to travel, January is packed with close-to-home options. Seriously cool warm winter vacations come courtesy of Florida, the Sunshine State boasting gorgeous weather, unique adventures, and one-of-a-kind experiences. Latin-flavored Miami is America’s warmest city in January – the perfect time to shop in South Beach and enjoy the sidewalk cafes of Ocean Drive. Head a little further down the coast and you’ll find the Florida Keys, America’s southernmost point, among the best winter vacation destinations in the USA – and playing host to an unbeatable mix of beaches, water sports, and sunset celebrations.

Caribbean appeal in Cancun

Last but by no means least in this roundup of the best warm places to go in January comes Cancun. An average flight time of a little under four hours between New York and Cancun makes this winter hot spot plenty accessible, while its many attractions will leave you in no doubt as to why it’s one of Mexico’s best winter vacation destinations. There are the sumptuous white-sand beaches, of course, but also the chance to explore dreamy off-shore islands, discover ancient Mayan ruins, and enjoy lively boat tours in the Caribbean Sea.