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25 Cheap Places to Travel in January 2024

25 Cheap Places to Travel in January 2024

January might seem like an inconvenient time for travel – the festive season is behind us, and our finances are a bit strained. But don’t worry! There are plenty of cheap places to travel in January.

If you’re okay with colder climates, you’ll be pleased to know that January offers the best deals on airfare and hotels in these wintry places. Enjoy savings of up to 50 percent during their off-season. But the perks of January travel don’t end there – you’ll also find more flight options, fewer crowds, and shorter lines at attractions, allowing you to make the most of your vacation.

While winter is the peak season for sunny spots like the Caribbean or Mexico, wait until after the second week of January for great deals. By then, the New Year’s crowds have dispersed, and prices start to drop. Consider booking an all-inclusive resort for even more savings during what is typically a pricier time of year in these sought-after winter destinations.

Shake off the January blues with our list of affordable places to travel this month, and make the most of the mid-winter bargains.

25. Beijing, China

cheap places to travel in january

If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing the greatness of the Great Wall in person, you’re in for a treat: flights to Beijing are now incredibly budget-friendly. Choosing Beijing in January also means enjoying its famous attractions, such as the ancient Forbidden City and historic Tiananmen Square, without the usual crowds. Covered in snow, these places become quiet yet hauntingly beautiful.

To fully embrace the winter season, take a short trip to Longqing Gorge, just under two hours north of the city. From mid-January through February, the annual snow and ice festival showcases numerous intricately carved ice sculptures, a human-sized ice maze, folk dancing performances, and stunning firework displays – all against the backdrop of a towering 230-foot frozen waterfall. Visitors can also engage in winter sports like ice skating, tobogganing, ice fishing, and sledding.

In January, hotel rates in Beijing are 19 percent more affordable than during the peak season, and the average cost of a round-trip ticket is $633.57. It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore Beijing without breaking the bank.

24. Shanghai, China

cheap places to travel in january

In Shanghai, a blend of the past and the future unfolds a lively cityscape where futuristic skyscrapers dominate the skyline, overlooking age-old neighborhoods filled with traditional shikumen lane houses. You’ll find endless opportunities to eat, shop, and explore, surrounded by more than 24 million residents providing plenty of people-watching moments. After a chilly day of city wandering, warm up with hot pot at the ever-entertaining Hai Di Lao. Despite being a chain, the outstanding service sets it apart – think complimentary massages and manicures. At the same time, you wait, phone protection from hot pot broth, and waiters skillfully twirling 10-foot-long noodles in the air.

For a wallet-friendly trip, consider visiting Shanghai in January, where you can save 13 percent on hotel expenses. The average cost of a round-trip ticket is $614.78, making it an excellent time to experience the city without breaking the bank.

23. Guangzhou, China

cheap places to travel in january

Unlike the colder winters in northern China, Guangzhou experiences a mild and dry winter with temperatures averaging in the mid-60s and vibrant flowers blooming everywhere. Known as the “Flower City” due to its year-round flora and greenery, Guangzhou is China’s third-largest city, housing a massive population of 19 million people. The city blends ancient and modern elements, boasting over two thousand years of history within a bustling metropolis.

Travel back in time by visiting the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, a Buddhist temple dating back to 537 AD that remains a popular place of worship today. Explore the well-preserved Shawan historic village, which has a history spanning 800 years. To experience the modern side of Guangzhou, marvel at its contemporary architecture, including the iconic Canton Tower and the futuristic Opera House designed by Zaha Hadid.

If you plan to visit in January, you’ll find that Guangzhou hotels are 38 percent more affordable than during the peak season. Additionally, the average cost of a round-trip ticket is $658.83.

22. Toronto, Canada

cheap places to travel in january

Being Canada’s most populous city and one of the world’s most diverse, Toronto is a hub of cultural excitement. From Chinatown and Koreatown to Little Italy, Little Portugal, and Greek Town, exploring the city’s diverse cuisines is a delightful way to stay warm in January. The PATH system, stretching 19 miles as the world’s longest underground shopping complex, links subway and rail stations to must-see spots like the iconic CN Tower and the Hockey Hall of Fame—essential for paying tribute to Canada’s favorite sport.

In January, you can catch a sneak peek of the upcoming Fringe Festival while mingling with Canada’s cultural stars. The Next Stage Festival is a top-notch theater event featuring new works from past Fringe artists.

Toronto hotels are 33 percent more budget-friendly for travelers in January than in the priciest months. Additionally, round-trip flights from any US destination average around $280.65.

21. Helsinki, Finland

cheap places to travel in january

Considering Finland in January may sound intimidating, but Helsinki’s temperatures are actually manageable, ranging from the 20s to 30s. Embracing its World Design Capital title, the city showcases modern design in museums, event spaces, and unique saunas seamlessly integrated into urban life. Take the Chapel of Silence, a circular, windowless structure offering a peaceful retreat amidst the city’s hustle and bustle.

Joining Finns in their love for saunas, Löyly, situated in a stylish wooden building on the waterfront, lets you sweat away the cold. Indulge in a Nordic wild game at the sauna’s restaurant, featuring reindeer mousse and elk meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries—a perfect winter night meal.

In January, Helsinki’s hotels are 26 percent more affordable than during peak times, and the average flight cost is $539.39.

20. Oslo, Norway

cheap places to travel in january

Norway consistently claims the top spot on the list of the world’s happiest countries, suggesting there’s something special about the winter experience in this Nordic nation. Oslo, in particular, is gaining attention for its cutting-edge art scene, trendy coffee culture, lively bars, and gastronomic delights. The city government’s recent efforts to transform the waterfront into a social hub add to the excitement.

On one end of this waterfront stands the Opera House, a modern marvel with sleek, angular lines emerging from the water. On the opposite side is the Astrup Fearnley, a contemporary art museum designed by Renzo Piano, acclaimed as one of northern Europe’s finest. To combat the cold, explore the vibrant Grünerløkka, rivaling New York’s Williamsburg in coolness. Once an industrial working-class area, it has been revitalized by artists, musicians, designers, and chefs, creating a lively mix of galleries, performance venues, boutiques, and trendy dining spots.

Although Norway is traditionally known for its high costs due to its robust economy, visiting in January can ease the financial burden. Hotels are 31 percent more affordable compared to peak times, and flights average $582.98.

19. Moscow, Russia

cheap places to travel in january

One of the largest cultural celebrations in Russia happens every year during the Russian Winter Festival, from late December to mid-January. Moscow takes the lead in making it a grand affair, transforming it into a magical winter spectacle with ice sculptures, Christmas markets, and a tribute to Russian folk traditions. In Red Square, explore classic crafts like nesting dolls, painted boxes, and wooden toys beneath the vibrant onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. Izmailovo Park hosts daily folk dances and music shows, offering a taste of traditional winter treats like bagels, jam, and special teas. Embrace the chilly weather for ice skating in Gorky Park and take a thrilling ride in a troika, a three-horse-drawn sleigh, through the snowy cityscape.

Come January, Moscow’s hotels come with a 14% discount compared to the priciest month of the year. Additionally, a round-trip ticket averages around $588.15, making it an affordable time to experience the enchanting Russian Winter Festival.

18. Istanbul, Turkey

cheap places to travel in january

January in Istanbul may bring chilly weather, with temperatures around 43 degrees Fahrenheit/6 degrees Celsius, but that doesn’t diminish the city’s stunning charm. Some argue that the Bosphorus’s steely blues become even more captivating this month.

Istanbul offers a fantastic advantage as many top attractions come with no admission fee. Explore places like the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet Square, Taksim Square, and the Basilica Cistern without breaking the bank.

Take advantage of the low crowds during sightseeing breaks to enjoy a hot cup of local tea or robust Turkish coffee at one of the numerous tea houses or coffee shops.

Thanks to January being the low season, you can find comfortable hotels at discounted rates, ensuring a cozy stay in the city. Transportation is affordable year-round, especially if you opt for the tram, metro, ferry, or bus. Consider getting an Istanbulkart for 60 Turkish Liras, providing a discounted fare for each ride.

17. Bogota, Colombia

cheap places to travel in january

Even though many travelers often use Colombia’s capital as a quick stopover on their way to Cartagena or Medellin, the renewed charm of Bogotá is making it a destination worth exploring on its own. Roam around La Candelaria, enjoy Colombian coffee, and delve into the nation’s intricate political and social past at Museo Botero, Museo del Oro, and Museo Nacional.

For an unforgettable night, go to Andrés Carne de Res in Chia, just an hour outside the city. You’ll be welcomed with a tequila shot, followed by a feast of steak, ceviche, and aguardiente. Dance under neon lights to rumba beats while circus-like performers add to the lively atmosphere. After the festivities, consider staying at the budget-friendly Four Seasons Casa Medina, which offers a third night free to encourage longer stays.

Traveling to Bogotá in January can save you about 8% on hotel rates, but flights from any US city will average around $448.06. Once in Colombia, day-to-day expenses are quite affordable, making it a budget-friendly destination.

16. Nepal

cheap places to travel in january

Anytime you plan a trip to Nepal, you can discover fantastic travel deals, but if you want even bigger discounts, January is a smart choice. The drawback to visiting in midwinter is the colder weather, and some higher passes like Langtang and Annapurna may have snow, limiting trekking options. On the bright side, fewer crowds will be compared to the fall.

Despite January being Nepal’s coldest month, plenty of activities exist, such as exploring Kathmandu or visiting Chitwan National Park. Here, you can enjoy an elephant safari, explore the Kasara Museum, or visit the Gharial Breeding Center. This park, being lower than other parts of Nepal, provides a splendid (and somewhat warmer) chance to witness impressive wildlife.

Various tourist options allow you to admire the Himalayan mountains, ranging from multi-day treks with tour companies to flying over the snow-covered peaks in an airplane.

15. Dublin, Ireland

cheap places to travel in january

A great time to explore Dublin, Ireland, is during the off-season when airfare and accommodation prices drop and popular tourist spots are less crowded. Prices rise as the tourist season kicks in around March, and lines form at attractions like St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

In January, Dublin experiences milder temperatures, averaging around the mid-40s Fahrenheit, making shopping at Moore Street Market more enjoyable than in the summer. Don a jacket and bring an umbrella to experience the charms of Ireland’s lively capital. Save extra money by leaving your car at the hotel, as Dublin is a walkable city with a convenient public bus system to reach your destinations without the need to drive. Explore free attractions like the National Gallery of Ireland Museum and the Chester Beatty Library.

14. Chicago, Illinois

cheap places to travel in january

Chicago offers lots, from amazing museums and sports teams to a vibrant arts and food scene. The food in Chicago is especially exciting, as it’s known as one of the best food cities in the country. Don’t miss trying the unique deep-dish pizza at Pequod’s or the delicious burger at Au Cheval – perfect comfort foods for winter. Make sure to experience the culinary excellence at renowned restaurants like Roister or Duck Duck Goat.

If you plan to visit in January, you’re in luck! Chicago hotels are 50 percent more affordable than the most expensive times, and you can grab an average round-trip ticket for a budget-friendly $179.10. It’s a great time to explore the city without breaking the bank.

13. Boston, Massachusetts

cheap places to travel in january

Explore Boston affordably in the winter by immersing yourself in its rich museum scene. Discover family-friendly wonders at the Museum of Science or the acclaimed Children’s Museum. For a more sophisticated experience, delve into the captivating Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, resembling a 15th-century Venetian palazzo (don’t miss the Sunday afternoon classical music concert). Boston boasts one of the world’s top-notch concert halls, Symphony Hall, where the renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra performs – you can even join a free tour on select afternoons.

Embrace the chilly weather in January, and you’ll be rewarded with a 53 percent reduction in hotel rates compared to peak times. Plus, flights are reasonably priced, averaging $200.66. It’s an ideal opportunity to experience Boston without straining your budget.

12. The Caribbean

cheap places to travel in january

January is an excellent time to explore the Caribbean, offering superb weather with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s, along with minimal rain and humidity. Planning ahead can lead to fantastic deals on your trip.

While January falls within the Caribbean’s high season (mid-December to early April), resulting in higher airfare and hotel prices, the weeks following the December holidays are more budget-friendly than the rest of the winter.

To maximize savings, choose your destination wisely. Affordable Caribbean options include Cancun, Curacao, Playa Del Carmen, and Cozumel. Puerto Rico is another reasonably priced gem worth considering, and be sure to check out the budget-friendly options in Jamaica.

11. Bermuda

cheap places to travel in january

Bermuda may not have the warmest beach weather in January, but you can score great deals on flights, hotels, and tours. The temperature usually reaches the high 60s Fahrenheit, making it comfortable, although you might need a sweater or light jacket, especially at night.

Despite the cooler weather, you can still enjoy activities like jet skiing, rock climbing, sailing, and golf. Bermuda boasts fantastic golf courses suitable for all skill levels.

Take a stroll through Hamilton, relax with a book on Horseshoe Bay Beach, or explore Fort St. Catherine. Bermuda offers various enjoyable ways to spend your time.

While May is considered the best time to visit, a January trip allows you to save significantly. You might even snag a deal on a luxurious five-star resort without breaking the bank.

10. Montego Bay, Jamaica

cheap places to travel in january

Montego Bay, Jamaica, stands out as one of the most budget-friendly Caribbean spots during the peak season. The abundance of flights arriving and departing contributes to its affordability, ensuring you’ll likely discover both a convenient flight and reasonable rates. Numerous all-inclusive resorts add to Montego Bay’s appeal as an economical vacation choice in January.

With a pleasant average daily temperature of 84 degrees in January, Montego Bay offers an ideal setting for beach relaxation and outdoor adventures. Explore attractions such as Dunn’s River Falls or go rafting on the Martha Brae River. If you’re up for exploring other parts of the island, consider planning day trips or overnight stays in Negril or Kingston.

9. London, England

cheap places to travel in january

London’s cold and damp winter has a silver lining – significantly lower prices for travel and accommodation compared to the bustling late spring and summer tourist season. London, being a top global travel destination, attracts visitors year-round, but choosing to explore the city just after the holidays and before spring offers several advantages, especially in terms of cost savings.

The average temperature in London during January hovers around 45 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not too harsh for winter. Still, it’s wise to pack an umbrella and a rain jacket due to frequent rainfall.

A winter trip allows for more sightseeing opportunities, as crowds are smaller at popular attractions like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye observation wheel. With the money saved on flights and hotels, you can indulge in shopping at some of the city’s finest markets. One notable spot is the Portobello Market, a 150-year-old market with street vendors offering a diverse array of items, including antiques, local food, jewelry, and music.

8. Barcelona, Spain

cheap places to travel in january

Exploring Barcelona in January has its perks, and it’s not just about saving money. You’ll experience fewer crowds in the city than in the busy summer season. This makes getting tickets for popular attractions like the Sagrada Familia easier, and navigating the narrow streets around Las Ramblas becomes a breeze.

Hotel prices drop significantly in midwinter, offering up to 42% savings compared to high-season rates. Flights are also more affordable during this time. The weather in January is comfortable, with average highs around 56 degrees Fahrenheit, a pleasant contrast to the hot and humid mid-80s of August.

Barcelona attracts many tourists throughout the year, but a midwinter vacation provides a more enjoyable experience for both your patience and your wallet. You’ll have ample time to explore walkable sites such as Park Güell and savor a leisurely lunch at one of the city’s waterfront restaurants.

7. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

cheap places to travel in january

The Dominican Republic stands out as a budget-friendly choice among Caribbean Islands. In January, Punta Cana, known for its numerous beach hotels, offers excellent rates. You’ll find even more savings with various all-inclusive resorts. As one of the Dominican Republic’s popular cities, January brings abundant flight options and deals, making it a perfect time for a hassle-free getaway with bundled activities and costs.

Punta Cana’s January temperatures, averaging around 82 degrees, enhance the appeal of this beach town. While the sandy shores remain the primary attraction, boat tours add an extra layer of enjoyment.

For a quieter and more economical escape in the Dominican Republic, consider Puerto Plata, just east of Punta Cana. This area boasts numerous all-inclusive resorts, and off-site activities, such as exploring a historic downtown and hiking trails to Mount Isabel de Torres’ summit, provide a refreshing break from the beach scene.

6. Panama


Panama, situated in Central America, offers an ideal January vacation with diverse options. Whether you fancy a beach escape, an urban adventure, or an eco-friendly retreat in a rustic village, there are several cities to choose from.

Panama is a less crowded midwinter spot than more popular Caribbean destinations, leading to relatively lower prices for a warm beach experience. While flights are usually comparable, once you arrive, costs are budget-friendly. Depending on your chosen location, hotels can cost less than $50 per night.

Panama’s less frequented status as a vacation spot means you’ll share the stunning beaches and turquoise waters with fewer people. With average daily temperatures of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll find yourself drawn to the water, whether exploring the Caribbean coast of Bocas del Toro or trying out a surfing lesson in one of the country’s top surf areas.

For adventure-seekers, the mountain village of Boquete offers natural forests and archaeological discoveries. Panama City, one of the top cities, remains a bargain in January, featuring Spanish architecture, plazas, and a vibrant city scene.

5. The Bahamas

The Bahamas

The Bahamas offers a wonderful (and quite affordable) getaway in January. It’s the chilliest time of the year, but many vacationers wait for the slightly warmer February, March, and April. This delay means better deals for you. Don’t worry about the term “cold” – it’s not really cold. You can expect temperatures in the upper 70s.

Book your trip well in advance to snag the best bargains and consider opting for a package deal. If you’re eyeing Nassau’s Atlantis Paradise Island, prices may not drop significantly. However, aiming for mid-week in the middle of the month might bring you some luck.

When flying in, land at Nassau, spend a day exploring attractions like Nassau Straw Market and Cable Beach and then head to the Exumas. Affordable accommodations await on Staniel Cay (where you can’t miss the swimming pigs), Little Exuma, or Great Exuma Islands.

4. The Florida Keys

january The Florida Keys

Florida’s warm, sandy shores, towering palm trees, and dazzling blue waves attract visitors worldwide throughout the year. In January, the temperatures hover in the mid-70s, offering the sunny escape we daydream about during winter’s chilly, dark days up north.

During this time, airfare and hotel prices are more budget-friendly compared to the following busier months. Take advantage of this and plan a stay in one of the five most popular spots in this vibrant region: Key West, Marathon, The Lower Keys, Islamorada, or Key Largo.

While in Key West, make the most of the best beaches and then spend the day indulging in delicious meals at fantastic restaurants and exploring the quirky shops in this uniquely enjoyable town.

Ensure not to overlook the natural wonders like Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key, Dry Tortugas National Park in Homestead, or the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo. These are must-visit attractions during your Florida adventure.

3. Montréal, Canada

january Montréal, Canada

Get ready for a winter wonderland experience when you visit Montréal in January. Expect snowy, windy conditions and cold temperatures – we’re talking about a high of 21 degrees Fahrenheit. However, traveling during this time means low prices and plenty of exciting winter adventures.

With the money you save, treat yourself to a comfortable room in a luxury hotel and enjoy warm, delicious meals at the city’s top restaurants.

As long as you pack appropriately, you can handle whatever Québec’s winter throws your way. Bring Canadian winter essentials: snow boots, a warm winter coat, a hat, mittens, and a scarf.

Don’t miss Igloofest, a unique annual outdoor music festival at the Old Port. It’s a blast, and dancing will help you stay warm. Choose a hotel in Old Montréal to add charm to your vacation and explore historic buildings, charming streets, and chic boutiques. Being close to the Old Port means you won’t have to travel far from the concert.

2. Cancun, Mexico

january Cancun, Mexico

Escape to the dreamy shores of Cancun, Mexico, in January if you yearn for warm waves and palm-fringed beaches. While the white sands attract many tourists, rates may not be super cheap due to the high demand, yet the abundance of resorts and package options for the expected influx means you can still snag deals slightly more affordable than other times of the year.

With average January temperatures reaching around 82 degrees Fahrenheit, you can almost guarantee fantastic beach days. Though Cancun might experience short afternoon showers, they are usually brief and don’t last more than an hour.

For the best hotel deals in Cancun in January, plan your trip after the first week when rates tend to be lower. To save even more, consider staying in Playa del Carmen, just an hour south of Cancun. It’s a smaller but lovely tourist area with more affordable hotels. You can then plan day trips to Cancun, exploring Playa Tortugas beaches and visiting tourist attractions like the Chichén-Itzá Mayan UNESCO World Heritage site.

1. San Diego, California

january San Diego, California

Discover one of the most laid-back cities in America, and it’s clear why. Enjoying practically perfect weather throughout the year and boasting stunning Pacific coast views, residents have little to complain about. Even in January, unlike colder destinations on this list, you can relish the outdoors in the sunshine. Grab a breakfast burrito at Oscar’s Mexican Seafood in Pacific Beach, or sip a sunset drink on Hotel del Coronado’s deck. In between, explore Balboa Park with its beautiful Spanish architecture, diverse museums, manicured gardens, and the renowned San Diego Zoo, keeping you entertained for hours. San Diego also boasts over 130 craft breweries, crafting award-winning beers and leading the West Coast IPA trend. Indulge in local brews and popular food trucks at the San Diego Brew Festival in January.

While San Diego is fantastic year-round, a January visit offers a 37 percent savings on hotel rooms. Flights are also budget-friendly, with average round-trip tickets costing only $274.95 this month.

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