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After the presents have all been opened, the holiday lights ripped down and Santa has shimmied back up and out the chimney, all the way to his crib at the NP (North Pole), the days can seem a little drab. The mornings lack luster, the afternoons are long and the evenings leave you chilled to the bone. Okay, this may be a touch dramatic, but we all know how it is. The merry merry turns into very very…dull. January calls for a pick-me-up and there’s no better way to pick yourself up than to literally pick up and go. Go somewhere warm. Go somewhere beachy. Go somewhere. Here are the best places to travel in January to beat the holiday blues.

 RELATED: 7 fun free things to do in Santa Barbara

Cancun, Mexico, beach, sunny

Cancun

Cancun, Mexico

Jet to Cancun December to April, a.k.a. peak season. If you go in Jan, the weather will be…perfect. The flights and hotels? The cheapest. The rowdy spring breakers? Nowhere to be found. In terms of Caribbean getaways, this is the white sand of all sands. Here are some ideas of what to do and where to stay when you get there.

La Villa du Golf à Cancun
This 4-star Colonial villa is parked right in the hotel zone, just minutes away from the La Isla shopping mall and Cancun Golf Club at Pok Ta Pok. The space is beautiful, peaceful and comfortable. The staff is friendly. It sometimes even feels more like a B&B than hotel. And here’s a must must: A day trip to Chichen Itza. Chichen Itza is mysterious and magical and is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your day trip, explore this archaeological wonder of the ancient Mayan Empire.

Krystal Cancun

Located in the heart of the city’s activities and entertainment district, park your beach bod here for cocktails, panoramic infinity pool lounging, aquatic sports, fun day and nighttime activities and beach views galore. Whatever it is you’re looking for, this three-and-a-half-star resort offers a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the big, busy world and daily life.

After you’ve maxed out on beachin’, try whale shark snorkeling off the coast. It’s a wildlife encounter of a lifetime (so they say), and hey, make sure to keep a lookout for dolphins, manta rays and turtles. A tad more adventurous than working on your tan and building sandcastles, but a must do in the great underwater Caribbean jungle.

Sip on lemonade while hanging out in Jackson Square

Sip on lemonade while hanging out in Jackson Square | Flickr CC: Prayitno

 New Orleans

If you prefer “Skinny Tuesday” to “Fat Tuesday,” then New Orleans in January (pre-Mardi Gras), is the perfect post-holiday getaway for you. The city is calm. No need to make hotel reservations 12 months before your visit. No stifling humidity. No threat of hurricanes. Read on for hotel and activity ideas to help you have a jumbalayin’ good time, po’ boy.

Le Méridien New Orleans
Walking distance from The Shops at Canal Place and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Steps from the French Quarter, but quiet. Close to Harrah’s Casino and the Warehouse District. After a $29 million renovation, the all new 4-star Le Méridien fuses contemporary culture with European heritage. Looking for creative stimulation? Get complimentary admission to the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, the New Orleans Museum of Contemporary Art (NOMA) and the Ogden. If you stay at Le Mérid, there’s no excuse not to get your culture on.

Voted one of the 10 best new hotels by USA Today! When you stay at this 4-star property, you’re within walking distance of St. Patrick’s Church and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. You’re also near The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and Lafayette Square, plus three blocks from the French Quarter. So, pretty much right in the middle of it all. And it’s unbelievably affordable. I know… unbelievable, right?! This unconventional historic hotel building began its life in 1854 as a warehouse serving the Port of New Orleans. From humble origins to one of the most exciting and best new hotels in the city, this modern relic is a must-see, must-experience when visiting this bumbling city.

palmsprings

Palm Springs, CA

Palm Springs, California

The weather is most hospitable between January and April, unless you prefer vacationing in triple digits (in that case, go between May and December!). Palm Springs in Jan is a golfers’, pool loungers’ and hikers’ paradise, so be sure to take advantage of the plentiful courses, pools and trails. But rates are typically lower as temps are only beginning to climb.

Speaking of a golfer’s dream, check out:
The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
It’s a 4-star spot at surprisingly good rates. This family resort set on 360 acres of lush landscape in Rancho Mirage features not one but two championship golf courses, and is conveniently located near the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert, and Sunnylands Center and Gardens. The hotel is also in close proximity to Monterey Market Place and Big League Dreams Sports Park. Inside the resort, get pampered with body treatments and facials at the spa, play at one of the three outdoor pools, and get lost in the picturesque mountain views. There’s no shortage of lavish and adventurous things to do inside or around this pure desert retreat.

RELATED: Brag about your cheap vacation by signing up today for Cheap Tickets Rewards!

Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs
Stylish. Boutique-y. Centrally located. Steps from Heusso Gallery and Plaza Theatre. It’s 4 stars and affordable, with a full-service spa, outdoor pool, hot tub and nightclub. It’s been named one of the best places to stay in Palm Springs, which should be music to your ears. The laid-back vibe with star-worthy amenities will surely make you want to sleep, play, explore and rock hard.

sanantonio

San Antonio, TX

San Antonio, Texas

January in San Antonio means awesome weather and low hotel rates. San Antonio has no shortage of history. Proudly touting sites like the Alamo, San Antonio Missions National Historic Park and the Spanish Governor’s Palace, plus museums such as the San Antonio Museum of Art, are must-sees for the fam bam, the girls, the guys, the lovers, whomever. Speaking of the fam bam, SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas will thrill the whole caboodle.

Oh yea, and in order to do ALL OF THE THINGS, you’ll need somewhere to stay. How ‘bout here, y’all?

Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade
Europen décor meets Texas charm in the heart of San Antonio. Close to the area’s top attractions like SeaWorld and Six Flags, it’s any family’s dream vacation spot. After a full day of crazy fun, come back inside and fill up with the spirit of Texas. Order massages in your room, take the fam down for some live piano music in the lobby and just revel in the flawless service and luxurious amenities. Perfect for the kids and the grown-ups.

Noble Inns
Step inside this luxurious 4-star bed and breakfast for stunning accommodations in the downtown King William Historic District near the famous Riverwalk. Along with elegance and unmatched southern Texas hospitality, guests can head on a short walk to the Alamo, Convention Center, shops, galleries, plus take in the historic restored mansions on the way! Probably a more romantic option for the lovebirds reading this.

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Tagged: Beach, California, Caribbean, Mexico

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