Escape the Winter Chill: Warm Vacation Spots in January

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Arlette Diederiks

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  • Thailand

  • Hawai'i

  • Bahamas

  • Malibu

  • Nature Escapes

  • Beaches

  • Adventure Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Entertainment

Escape the Winter Chill: Warm Vacation Spots in January
Curator’s statement

With Christmas behind us and plenty of winter months ahead of us, January feels like a difficult month to get through. So why not lift your spirits by jotting off to sunnier and warmer places? It's prime time for some of the world’s best beaches, whether you prefer something far-flung, or want to stay closer to home. To help you with your daydreaming and trip planning, here are nine warm vacation spots in January.

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Where to stay

Nobu Ryokan Malibu

Escape to a tranquil coastal haven at Nobu Ryokan Malibu, where Japanese-inspired elegance and breathtaking ocean views create an unforgettable retreat.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas

Elegant Bahamas hotel known for its distinguished guests featuring Balinese-style spa villas, Ocean Club Golf Course, Martini Bar and Lounge for a nightcap and a classic tiered garden.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

The Four Seasons, Hawai'i

A tranquil Hawaiian retreat offering luxurious accommodations, breathtaking ocean vistas and world-class amenities for an unforgettable tropical escape.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

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Unlock perks by contacting Arlette to book your trip.

Malibu

Visiting Malibu in January offers a unique experience characterized by milder temperatures, typically around 60°F (15-20°C), creating a comfortable environment for outdoor activities. As the off-season for tourism, January provides a less crowded atmosphere, allowing for a more peaceful exploration of popular attractions, beaches, and restaurants. The lush greenery that blankets the hills during this time adds an extra layer of scenic beauty to the landscapes. For surfing enthusiasts, January brings larger swells, making it an ideal time for those seeking waves. Additionally, Malibu may host cultural events or festivals during January, providing opportunities for unique and enjoyable experiences. While it may not offer the warmest beach weather, the quieter ambiance and distinct beauty make January a noteworthy time to discover Malibu.

Bahamas

Choosing to visit the Bahamas in January gives you a guaranteed sunny getaway marked by pleasant weather and fewer crowds. While temperatures are cooler compared to peak seasons, ranging from the mid-60s to mid-70s °F (18-24°C), the climate remains comfortably mild. January falls outside the tourist rush, creating a more serene ambiance at the stunning beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and cultural sites. This makes it an excellent time for those seeking a quieter and more intimate experience. Additionally, the off-season often brings discounted rates on accommodations and activities. This provides travelers with an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Bahamas while saving some costs.

Maui, Hawai'i

Embarking on a Maui adventure in January promises a great winter escape. With temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to mid-70s °F (18-24°C), you'll enjoy the perfect weather for outdoor escapades without breaking a sweat. It's prime time for whale-watching, as majestic humpback whales take center stage in the island's vibrant waters. Dive into the less crowded, sun-kissed beaches like Ka'anapali and Wailea, creating the perfect backdrop for some serious relaxation or thrilling water sports. Whether you're chasing waterfalls on the Road to Hana or lounging on sandy shores, Maui in January provides an appealing destination for both sun-seekers and adventure enthusiasts.

Palawan, Philippines

Choosing Palawan for a January getaway unveils a serene and captivating destination. Enjoying the dry season's mild temperatures ranging from the mid 70s to low 90s °F (24-32°C), offers an ideal climate for exploring the region's stunning landscapes. It has pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs without the intense tropical heat. Renowned for natural wonders such as the Underground River and El Nido's limestone formations, Palawan provides a more intimate experience in January with fewer tourists.

Safari, Tanzania

Choosing to embark on a safari in Tanzania during January gives a distinctive and captivating wildlife experience. The short dry season, spanning from January to March, is a great option, especially towards late January. The rains begin to taper off while the surroundings retain their lush greenery. Even better, January often hosts the Great Migration. A spectacular event where herds of wildebeest and zebras travel the Serengeti in search of greener pastures. With fewer tourists compared to the peak season, this month provides a more intimate and exclusive safari adventure. Tanzania's varied ecosystems, including the iconic Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, showcase an abundance of wildlife. Ranging from majestic elephants to elusive big cats.

Fiji

Despite being the wet season, Fiji’s temperatures in January are warm. This period showcases Fiji's lush vegetation at its peak, with the rain rejuvenating the islands into a green haven. The rainfall is typically in short, intense bursts, with lots of sunshine between showers. Add the crystal-clear waters and thriving marine life and you have an excellent destination for snorkeling and diving. Fiji provides many adventures, underwater and on land. For example, you can relax on pristine beaches, explore the local culture, and immerse yourself in the warmth and hospitality of the Fijian people.

Ko Yao Noi, Thailand

Visiting Ko Yao Noi offers a tranquil and authentic Thai island experience. Nestled in the Andaman Sea, this lesser-known gem strikes a perfect balance between serene landscapes and local charm. Despite January being the cool season, temperatures remain comfortable, ranging from the mid-60s to mid-70s °F (18-24°C). The serene atmosphere enhances the opportunity to connect with the local culture and enjoy the hospitality of the residents.

Panama

Panama is one of the best warm vacation spots in January. This part of the dry season brings sunny days and moderate temperatures, creating the perfect conditions to discover the diverse landscapes of Panama. From the modern skyline of historic Panama City to the lush rainforests and pristine beaches, the country offers a wide variety of experiences. With January marking the peak of the dry season, expect clear skies. Outdoor adventures such as highland hikes, exploring national parks' biodiversity or unwinding on the shores of the Pacific or Caribbean is breathtaking.

Raja Ampat on Rascal Voyages

Embarking on a Rascal Voyages expedition to Raja Ampat promises an extraordinary trip through one of the planet's most diverse marine ecosystems. Situated in Indonesia's West Papua province, Raja Ampat boasts stunning coral reefs, abundant marine life, and pristine islands. Rascal Voyages offers an exclusive and luxurious experience aboard their yacht, granting access to remote and untouched corners of this marine paradise. Whether indulging in snorkeling amid crystal-clear waters, exploring vibrant coral gardens through diving or unwinding on secluded beaches, Rascal Voyages ensures a tailored and unforgettable adventure in Raja Ampat. The journey enables travelers to immerse themselves in the beauty of this natural haven while enjoying the personalized service and comfort provided by Rascal Voyages. This creates a truly exceptional experience for those seeking an intimate connection with nature in this extraordinary part of the world.

Need to Know

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Thailand. In need of further inspiration? Check out Anny Chen’s trip report, Best Warm Vacation Destinations in January.

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Arlette Diederiks

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