January is often overlooked by travelers, who tend to go on vacation in December, when they have time off from work around the holidays. But traveling in January has its benefits—few people travel during this time, which means you can avoid the tourist hordes, and save money while doing it.
January is the month immediately following the busy holiday season. This means there is a major lull in traveling. Thus, it is a time when hotel and airfares are at an annual low, according to David Ning, author of “The Little Budget Travel Book," with most major airlines reducing their fares by up to 25 percent.
In terms of airfares, January is the cheapest time to visit New York, Washington, DC and San Francisco, as hotels in these major U.S. cities tend to lower their rates in order to accompany the post-holiday lull. If you don’t mind the cold, Eastern Europe is also dirt-cheap during this period. If you feel like hitting the beach in Asia, Thailand should be at the top of your list; Thailand is cheap year-round, and January is warm enough for the beach, but not overwhelmingly hot, as it tends to get in the summer months.
No matter where you decide to go in January, making reservations well in advance will save you additional dollars.