Where to Go in January

Savvy travelers know that timing is everything when it comes to planning a perfect vacation. Whether you're hunting a bargain, or just want to avoid the crowds, knowing how to choose your destination can make the difference between a great budget vacation, and one that's just cheap. The majority of North America feels a big chill during the first month of the year, and prices tend to drop along with the mercury. Here, we've highlighted four places to travel in January, both domestic and farther-flung. The only decision left to make is whether you want to pack up your winter gear or set out in search of warmer weather.

Where to go in January

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Vail, Breckenridge, Aspen and other prime ski destinations in Colorado all claim the winter months as their peak season. But January (with the exception of Martin Luther King weekend) allows Colorado to bask in quieter slopes and more affordable rooms for a few weeks before President's Day in February and spring-breakers in March populate the resorts again. For those not interested in hitting the slopes, January also brings an array of entertainment to Colorado towns. Breckenridge celebrates with Ullr Fest and the Annual Budweiser Snow Sculpture Championships, while Manitou Springs hosts the Great Fruitcake Toss -- a free event where bystanders can watch contestants fling the ubiquitous holiday cake by hand, giant slingshot, or catapult. If hurtling hunks of rock-hard cake through the air isn't extreme enough for you, head to Aspen for the ESPN Winter X games, held the last weekend of the month.
Stay: Affordable packages are available, such as Vail Cascade Resort's January package which includes lift tickets and lodging for about $180 a person.

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Where to go in January

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New York City

January is an ideal time to visit New York City -- as long as you bring your mittens. Of course, New Year's celebrations at the very beginning of the month are a huge draw for many. But after the holiday rush, the city clears out, hotel prices go down, and nabbing reservations at popular restaurants and tickets to Broadway shows is made much easier.
Stay: Sample prices at many 4-star hotels, like The Hudson, W New York or The Empire Hotel run around $150 -- about half the cost of summer or holiday rates.

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Where to go in January

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Visiting Miami in January is a great way to avoid the heat and sticky humidity that stretches over the city throughout summer and fall. It's still a warm escape for most, with daily temperatures averaging in the 70s and minimal rain. January does technically fall under peak season for Miami travel, however -- so planning in advance for a hotel deal is a good idea, especially for Martin Luther King weekend.
Stay: Check into the chic boutique Red South Beach Hotel, steps away from the beach, where stylish rooms cost as little as $149/night.

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Where to go in January

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Planning a visit to Bangkok, or the beach resorts in the south of the country are both smart ideas for those searching for comfortable climes. The weather is dry, slightly cooler than normal, and the holiday rush that brings the crowds in December slows down to a more breathable pace in January.
Stay: Budget prices abound at 4 and 5-star hotels, like $114 per night at the Banyan Tree in Bangkok or $180 a night for a room on the beach the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa.

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