After the holiday high subsides, January comes along and hits us with a serious reality check — all that merrymaking has come to an abrupt end. And with it, a tough forecast: many more dark, cold, gloomy days of winter until the first signs of spring. One of the best ways to cure the winter blues is to escape to a sun-drenched beach. With the sand between your toes, turquoise water lapping at the shore, and a fruity cocktail in hand, your seasonal affective disorder will melt away as quickly as the ice in your drink under the hot tropical sun. Related: The Best Places to Travel in January Because the holidays (and their crowds) have come and gone, January is actually a great time to score deals on airfare and hotels. You can find steep discounts on travel — especially in the first few weeks after the New Year — making that dreamy beach getaway even more appealing than it would be during peak (read: crowded and expensive) summer. Related: These Creative Winter Travel Ideas Are Fun, Easy, and Socially Distant We've done the legwork and searched the globe for beach destinations with the best chance for ideal weather (sunny, dry, comfortable days) in January. Get your Kindle loaded up with some good beach reads — you'll need them for hours of doing nothing but lazing in the sand — and prepare to slip into a deep state of bliss. From the luxurious atolls of the Maldives to the castaway islands of Nicaragua, here are our top picks for where to trade snow for sun this month.
Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure. A winter vacation is a great cure for the letdown that often comes after the holidays and the "winter blahs" that start as the season seems to drag on. Where to go is the question, with so many options and, in some destinations, attractive prices. In other locales, it's high season with prices to match, but worth every dollar to travelers who want to escape to a warm, sunny place. Everyone has a different goal when it comes to winter vacations. Some want to ski or at least savor all that goes with a snowy environment, like cozy fireplaces, hot cocoa, mulled wine, crisp air, and mountains draped in white. Others want to lounge in the sun and swim in warm tropical waters. Here are our top 14 winter vacation ideas for destinations around the United States. Please note that some events and offerings may have changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, so check before planning your trip. Related:The Best Places to Travel in January