If you weren’t already aware January is one of the coldest months and cruellest months (crueller than July, not as cruel as April). After the fireworks of Halloween, the euphoria of Christmas and New Year’s soirees you’re left with January, cold, bleak and dark. To lighten up this grimmest of months, people have decided to do one thing and that thing is book a holiday. January is the most popular month in the year for holiday bookings, probably because it happens to have less sunshine and goodwill than your average Ingmar Bergman film.
If you are going to book a getaway this January and you don’t want to empty your current account to do so, here are some of the best places to travel on the tightest of budgets.
If you like your history and have seen Zack Snyder’s slash and stab fest 300 then you’ll probably have a certain image of Greece. Togas, vengeful gods and sandals are all probably part of that image. Greece has moved on since the days of Zeus and Hercules but it is still well worth a visit. Museums, sunshine and a terrific history are all on offer and what’s more you can do it all on the cheap. Easyjet launched their own route to Sparta (well Kalamata, but it’s pretty close) in July 2013, so now is the perfect time to see how Sparta is getting on.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
You might not think that Dubai offers the greatest value for money in the world. The opulence, the five star hotels, the pillow options, it all screams heedless expense. And yet there is a way to do Dubai on the cheap. The new metro system has made getting around the city much cheaper while the Turkish airline Pegasus offers return flights to Dubai from £270.
New York is not the cheapest of places to get to, especially from Britain; although it’s not so bad if you live within walking distance of the city. However if you are not too picky about when your visit takes place then you can take a bite out of the Big Apple without breaking the bank. January and February time in New York is much cheaper than the rest of the year, this has a lot to do with the freezing cold and terrible weather but, hey, New York is still New York. Return flights go for less than £400 while hotels run discounts during the winter months. Broadway shows are also cheap and restaurants and theatres hold sales throughout January.
St Lucia, Caribbean
If you are after the more traditional sun and sand holiday then the Caribbean is the place to go. The Bahamas and Barbados get all the headlines these days but if you’re looking for the hipster’s choice, St Lucia is the place to go. Rainforests, shimmering waters and golden sands abound on this beautiful island. June, July and August is the Caribbean low season, so making a booking for this time of year will bag you the cheapest deals.
You don’t have to leave the British Isles to enjoy a great weekend away. The Scottish capital of Edinburgh has everything you could possibly want in a weekend away, well, except, the sunshine. What you do get in Edinburgh is a staggering array of cultural options, a terrific variety of bars, restaurants and theatres and an abundance of art galleries. It also has the splendid Scottish countryside on its doorstep if you do need to get away from the city for a bit.