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Winter in the northern hemisphere, post-Christmas bank balances and all round back-to-work doom, means January can be a trying month. But what’s that on the horizon? Travel sales across the industry, a blank calendar ahead and a long list of resolutions to resolve, bring reasons to be cheerful just when you need them most…

GO WITH THE FLOW 
Between now and March is the best time to visit Sri Lanka with dry, sunny days and little rain before the April monsoon. The beaches of the south-west coast are the place to start for winter sun, while the tea-stitched folds of Hill Country offer a cooler reprieve of emerald peaks and misty scenery. Don’t miss Kandy for cultural diversions – catching the scenic train from Colombo to the Buddhist city and up into Badulla and tea country is the ultimate way to ascend.

The tooth-like peaks of Torres del Paine national park

ESCAPE THE CROWDS 
Yes, it’s the height of summer in South America, but there’s always space to find solitude on this vast continent of immense landscapes. In Patagonia, for example, which roams freely across the Andes, into Argentina and Chile, before breaking up like an unfinished sentence en route to Antarctica. While the locals may say centrepiece parks, such as Torres del Paine, are ‘busy’ at this time of year, it’s all relative – for Londoners and New Yorkers, two people by a Patagonian lake does not a rush-hour make. It’s also a great time to see the marbled, moon-like landscape of the Atacama Desert and the capitals of Santiago and Buenos Aires at their summertime best.

The other-worldly wilds of Joshua Tree in California

WHAT’S HAPPENING?
On the third Monday of January, the United States doffs its hat to one of its most famous sons, with Martin Luther King Day. The long weekend paves the way for locals and travellers alike to hit the beaches and national parks – which offer free access on this day every year in a nod to Dr King’s dream of inclusion. Team a dramatic day in Joshua Tree with a long weekend in Palm Springs, for example, booking hotels well in advance…

BOOK NOW FOR…
Summer in Europe: the most popular parts of France, Italy, Spain and Greece book up fast, but January sales across the travel industry are an early opportunity to secure your spot. Even the quieter in-the-know corners such as Pantelleria should be bagged now for satisfying fist-bumps.

For more travel inspiration, explore our tips on where to go in February

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