Anyone out there sick of the cold weather already? If you’re looking forward to Christmas being over so you can jump on a plane and cheerfully wave farewell to this green and freezing land, fair enough. Here are some ideas for idyllic locations that’ll ensure you start 2015 in a state of beach-induced bliss.
We know it's peak season in most Latin American and Caribbean destinations in January, but there are still plenty of deals to be found if you take your time and look online. The new trend is towards all-inclusive hotels, but remember that these are mainly concentrated in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, although many even cheaper ones are on the Mexican coast in Cancun.
Stay at: Caneel Bay Resort. Not only does this tech-free resort have a wonderfully-secluded setting with food that previous guests have raved over, but there’s also free snorkelling, kayaking and paddleboarding on offer.
Think you could manage nine hours of 23°C sunshine every day? Head to Sydney to take advantage of the warm temperatures; it’s warm enough to top up your tan, but not so toasty that you’ll be running for shade.
Stay at: The Darling Hotel, Sydney. This 171-room hotel features a 16-room spa, so if you’re in need of some relaxation after Christmas, here’s where you’ll find it. The top floor suites boast floor-to-ceiling harbour views, bespoke furniture, fireplaces, media rooms, and butler service. Swanky.
Dubai’s average daily temperature just about beats Sydney’s (It’s 24°C, as a rule), but it’s a far cry from the incessant heat that Dubai endures during its summer. It’s definitely warm enough for sunbathing and swimming, and although it may rain, it won’t be similar to the soakings we get in Blighty. The wintertime is also a great time to explore the city as the heat won’t stress you out, and ruin your sightseeing.
Stay at: The Oberoi, Dubai. From picking you up from the airport to making sure your room is exactly how you’d like it, there’s no beating The Oberoi. Their staff are the stuff of legend (their TripAdvisor reviews speak for themselves) and the six restaurants within the hotel serve a variety of cusines. Let’s put it this way - you won’t be disappointed.
January is arguably the best month of the year for sunny, trouble-free weather in Laos. The main cities are comfortably warm, with average temperatures of around 25°C. However, in the northern mountainous regions the evenings may be cold, so make sure to bring a cardigan. Brrrrr.
Stay at: Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao. With its stunning mountain views, freshwater pool, French-influenced local cuisine and open-air spa, this is the ultimate place to unwind after the madness of December.
Don't forget that the FCO has written some guidelines for people travelling through remote areas in Laos - find out more here.
Egypt’s Red Sea resorts will be enjoying temperatures of around 25°C in the middle of January, and it’s only five hours from the UK. Weather-wise, June to August is unbearable almost anywhere south of Cairo, so the tourists start to flock to Egypt from September onwards. Our advice? Try to find an all-inclusive resort; Egypt has a fantastic array of hotels that’ll take excellent care of you while you turn a pleasing shade of brown.
Stay at: Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa. Located beside the River Nile and 20 minutes from Luxor International Airport, this is the place to stay if you’d like to stay near to the tourist hotspots. There are eight restaurants and bars within the resort, a spa, a fitness centre and two infinity pools.
Please note: The FCO has advised against travel to some parts of Egypt. To find out more, click here.