With 2018 just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about the new (travel) year. Maybe you’ve got a whole new batch of annual leave to start chipping away at, or perhaps you’re down to those last few precious days – either way, wouldn’t you rather be using them to jet off somewhere new – rather than spending them in front of the television, stuffing your face with leftover Quality Street?

To help you decide how and where to kick the new year off in style, we at have rounded-up our top picks for a January getaway. Whether you’re looking for sun, sights or thrill-seeking, these are our top choices for getting 2018 off to an adventurous start…

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For a city break…

Short-haul pick: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Our flight data shows January is the cheapest month of the year to visit Amsterdam – which is surprising really, as there’s plenty going on after the New Year has been and gone. The Amsterdam Light Festival will be illuminating much of the city centre with light sculptures, created by a host of Dutch and international artists. Or visit on the 20th January to experience National Tulip Day, where a whopping 200,000 tulips decorate Dam Square. Plus, with the potential for temperatures to drop low enough for the iconic canals to freeze, you might even get to go ice-skating.

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Mid-haul pick: Dubai, UAE

Being Dubai’s coldest month (if you can ever use the word ‘cold’ to describe Dubai), cooler evenings and less humidity make January a great time to explore this iconic city. Daytime temperatures hover around 20 degrees – the perfect temperature to laze at Jumeirah Beach Residence or by the hotel pool. Your post-Christmas High Street headache may mean you want to skip the shops, but there’s plenty do beyond Dubai’s malls. Head to the dizzyingly high viewpoints of the Burj Al Arab or Burj Khalifa, go on a desert safari or take an abra ride along Dubai Creek.

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For winter sun…

Short-haul pick: Tenerife, Spain

While most of Europe saddles up for wind, rain and snow, the Canary Islands are still happily basking in winter sunshine. Despite their popularity as a winter escape, our data shows that compared to the monthly average, January is in the top three cheapest months of the year to visit. Plant yourself on Tenerife’s southern beaches for the best of the sunshine, or head slightly north to see a slice of the real Spain. The town of Adeje hosts the Romería de San Sebastián between 19th and 21st January, where music, markets and food accompany a traditional horse bathing spectacle.

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Long-haul pick: Belize

Think Central America, and Belize might not be the first place you think of. But if you’re looking for something more laidback than what Mexico’s coastal resorts have to offer, then this small country might be for you. It’s got a decidedly Caribbean feel, with chilled out beach-bum bars and palm tree-fringed beaches. But no need to worry about a lack of things to do beyond the sands. January is high season, so bars and restaurants are in full swing and attractions and tours are easy to come by. Explore Mayan ruins, hike through jungle terrain or snorkel in the azure blue sea.

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For an active break…

Our pick: Skiing in Bulgaria

It’s no secret that Bulgaria offers a cheaper alternative to France, Switzerland and Austria’s Alp resorts. Throw into the mix the fact that Bulgaria is home to some of Europe’s sunniest slopes and you’re on to a winner. The largest and most developed resorts are Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo, all of which are between 2 and 3 hours from Sofia airport. For January, Bankso is the most promising in terms of snowfall, plus it’s got a lively Après ski for those looking for some atmosphere beyond the slopes.

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Ready to plan a January break? Then head on to

About the author

Kirsten McCroskrieWhen she’s not planning her next adventure, you’ll find Kirsten listening to Scottish Indie bands, trying out new vegetarian recipes or bingeing the latest Netflix drama. Having grown up by the sea, she feels most at home when she’s back by the coast, but for now, you’ll find her in exploring her new home city of Berlin – one coffee shop at a time.

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