The dreaded January blues are hitting all of us UK residents now; Christmas is over, skies are grey, and everyone is severely lacking in Vitamin D. Which means it’s also the right time to start thinking about how to best use your annual leave in 2020, and which destinations should be on the top of your bucket list this year.

We’ve put together a month by month calendar of the best destinations to visit around the world, ranging from more budget European breaks to once-in-a-lifetime holidays.

 

January – New Zealand

January is a prime time to get out of the country and even more so out of the wintery northern hemisphere. If you’re a sun chaser – consider booking a holiday to a faraway destination like New Zealand. Contrasting to the UK, January in New Zealand is their mid-summer, with temperatures averaging at 25 degrees Celsius for the North Island and 22 degrees Celsius for the South Island. This is an ideal temperature for exploring and enjoying the country’s outdoor lifestyle, for example, trekking the Tongariro crossing or the picturesque Lake Tekapo hikes.  

Here's the 9 "Great Walks" of New Zealand.

 

February – Oman

Oman is blessed with a typical Arabian climate: blisteringly hot summers and pleasant, Mediterranean winters.  Heading to Oman in February is smart, as it allows you to get your sun fix, whilst also still being cooler and more enjoyable than the sweltering summer months.

February also sees Oman host its biggest annual festival, called the Muscat Festival. It is a cultural, musical and natural celebration which attracts crowds from all over.

Check out our guide to travel money in Oman to find out a bit more before you head away.

 

March – Japan

March is a great month to visit Japan as it’s the beginning of the spring season. This also happens to be the time of year when Japan gets covered in a blanket of cherry blossom – making it a prime destination for avid Instagrammers.

2020 is set to be a huge year for Japan with the Olympics kicking off in summer. Taking a trip in March would allow you to see the sights and explore the country before the tourist takeover in the build up to the Olympics.

From the buzzing streets of Tokyo to the beautiful sites of Kyoto – Japan could kick off your spring in a great way.

Need some Instagram inspiration for Japan?

 

April – Mexico

April has been labelled as a ‘sweet spot’ for anyone wanting to visit Mexico. It’s one of Mexico’s warmer, drier and sunnier months – so pack lots of sunscreen and swimming gear.

A particular hotspot this time of year is the Yucatan Peninsula area of Mexico, which incorporates tourist favourites such as Tulum and Chichen Itza.

In April, it is still still dry season with warm and sunny days but coming to the end of the busiest periods. 

Read our insider’s guide to exploring Tulum and the ancient Mayan ruins of Coba.

 

May – Peru

2020 is a new decade, which means new opportunities for completing life goals or checking things off your bucket list. Why not challenge yourself this year and hike to see one of the seven wonders of the world?

May is one of the best months to visit Peru and complete the world-famous Inca Trail up to Machu Picchu. This time of year offers drier days with virtually no rain, yet a prime time to still see fantastic greenery throughout the Inca trail.

It’s also not yet reached the height of peak season, which means you can enjoy the hike whilst it has less crowds and tourists.

Here's the top ten tips for conquering Machu Picchu.

 

June – Greece

Crystal clear Mediterranean seas, white sandy beaches and haloumi on every menu: what more could you want to kickstart your summer?

Greece always has, and likely always will be a family favourite destination. June is a particularly good month to visit as average temperatures reach 28 degrees Celsius, however, it’s not yet the busy or expensive period of July/August.

Don't like sitting in one place? Why not plan a Greek island-hopping adventure...

 

July – Portugal

With the summer in full swing in the northern hemisphere, why not make the most of travelling within Europe and head to Portugal in July? The capital city of Lisbon has been growing in popularity as a sought-after holiday destination.

July in particular is an ideal month to visit as it is generally, the hottest and driest month. This means you can enjoy the Portuguese beaches or spend your days sight-seeing around the beautiful cobbled streets of Lisbon.

It’s also renown for its great foodie spots; add a few of these essential Lisbon restaurants to your holiday agenda.

 

August – Tanzania

For anyone wanting to dip their toes into some East African culture, consider Tanzania as a great choice for a holiday in August.

August is still very much peak season in Tanzania and the weather is generally excellent.

The wildlife viewing is sensational; visiting the Tarangire and Serengeti national parks, Ngorongoro crater and Zanzibar Island would capture true Tanzanian culture and cement lasting memories.

In addition, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is high up on a lot of thrill-seekers bucket lists. According to a number of sources, August is the best month to scale Africa’s highest mountain due to the warm and clearer skies.  

Check here if you need some safari inspiration.

 

September – France

Visiting our European neighbour would be a great choice for a late summer, September getaway. The capital city of Paris is a prime location for art, sport, history, food or architecture lovers alike.

Just like any other city, the best way to see Paris is by foot. September is an apt choice of month as generally you’re still blessed with seasonal good weather; however, you also get to miss the summer holiday rush of tourists.

If you decide to head to Paris for a weekend, check out our guide to visiting Paris in 48 hours.

 

October – Iceland

October marks the end of summer and start of winter conditions in Iceland. This crossover between summer and winter means that October is arguably the best month to visit Iceland as travellers have a wide range of activities that they can take part in.

The days are long enough to allow for enough time for hiking and touring activities during the day while the nights are dark enough for sighting the Northern Lights, and October is also meant to be the best month to see them.

However, the average temperature in Iceland this month is 4.8 degrees Celsius, meaning you will need to wrap up!  

Read an expert guide on the Northern Lights.

 

November – Jamaica

November marks the second transition season of the year and is a fantastic time to travel to Jamaica. It is just before the high season, so resorts, beaches and tourist spots are generally a bit quieter, which is an attractive prospect for most.

Weather in November is also another reason to get to Jamaica, as it’s the tailend of hurricane season, which means all that's left over is sunny, clear skies. 

Plus, we can’t forget that the new James Bond film that is out in April 2020 was partially shot in Jamaica. Fancy a holiday 007 style?

 

December – Vienna, Austria

December is a great month to book a holiday as it allows you to start slowly winding down from the work routine and into the festive period. Vienna is a hotspot at this time of year, particularly due to its famous Christmas market.

During the festive season, the city of Vienna is teeming with tinkling market stalls and majestic architecture. The market itself is erected in front of the Viennese City Hall, which also includes many delicious food markets, decorations, sweets, Christmas gifts, a carousel and craft workshops!

However, December is a great month in general for visiting any country with a great Christmas market. Check out the best European Christmas markets.  

 

Travel Money whilst abroad

Before you jet off, make sure you've topped up your Caxton multi-currency card in advance, so that you can enjoy your exploration of the world, without having to worry about sourcing travel money on the go.