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By Stephanie Wu / Travel + Leisure
January 15, 2016

There are scores of people who never travel in January—those who have just come off a big holiday trip; those who don’t want to pull their children out of school in the beginning of a new year. And let’s face it, you really can’t go that far over Martin Luther King weekend. But for those who can take the time (or plan ahead), January is a fantastic month for a big trip. Crowds generally empty out, airfare is cheap, and a ton of places around the globe are still enjoying beautiful, sunny weather (a big draw for those in parts of the country where January is the coldest and dreariest month).

The weather is near perfect in spots like Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Bali, all of which are great for fly-and-flop resort trips. If you’d like nothing more than to arrive at a gorgeous resort and be pampered all day long, head straight to these places. And in cities like Guadalajara and Adelaide, mild temperatures are ideal for days spent idly exploring.

If you prefer to take advantage of the snowy winter while you still can, nothing beats the slopes of Whistler and Park City. But if you’re willing to go a bit further, there’s unparalleled skiing in cities like Hokkaido, Japan; and Dizin, Iran.

And if the three-day holiday weekend is your only chance to travel, there’s plenty to see closer to home, as well. Rub elbows with celebrities at the best new hotels in Palm Springs, spend a day lolling on the beaches of Miami, or explore San Antonio’s bustling food scene. One thing’s for sure—we certainly don’t need any more reasons to drop everything and take another vacation.

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