The Best Places to Visit Each Month of The Year: Where to Go & When

A new year is upon us, and with that comes the most crucial of duties: deciding where to go on your next holiday. Whether you're thinking about a bucket list break, spontaneous long weekend, or something that inspires personal growth, now is the time to plan.

View across to Arenal Costa Rica

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Published 13 March 2024

Flight Centre Author

UK Content & Social Lead


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A new year is upon us, and with that comes the most crucial of duties: deciding where to go on your next holiday. Whether you're thinking about a bucket list break, spontaneous long weekend, or something that inspires personal growth, now is the time to plan.


Destination and timeline still up for debate? We’ve got just the inspo you need with our ultimate trip planner; a calendar-inspired where to go, when blog. From wintry breaks to summer getaways, here we discover the top destinations for every month of the year:

Countries to visit in January

On a tight budget? January is not only one of the cheapest times to travel in the northern hemisphere, it’s also one of the most rewarding. Whether you like to admit it or not, most of us could do with a proper break after an intense festive period of board game angst and too much turkey. And let’s not forget how brutal it is on those first days back in the office. Seek out Northern Lights getaways in Norway or, if you fancy something further afield, Alaska and Arctic Canada deliver abundant frozen frolics – from aurora-chasing to husky-mushing.

Below the equator, it’s high season in South America, making it the perfect opportunity for a two or three-week bucket-list journey exploring the likes of Brazil, Argentina, or Peru.

northern lights with hikers
northern lights with hikers
northern lights with hikers

Countries to visit in February

There’s only one thing worse than January, and its name is February. Beat those deep winter blues with your next exciting getaway: the Indian Ocean and Caribbean have just the winter sun you need. Head to Mauritius for national parks, beaches and rainforest, the Maldives for those real paradise island feels, or Sri Lanka if you like your silica with a side of epic wildlife.

February is also an ideal time for skiing. Hit the slopes in the Alps if you prefer to stay close to home, or hop over the pond for more of an adventure: Vermont, Utah and Colorado all offer plenty of fresh powder.

Sri Lanka
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Expert tip

Sri Lanka is such a great place to try a range of accommodation options. Do a few nights in a really nice resort, then a treehouse, then into a safari hut, then into a beach small boutique. It will make your experience more memorable and exciting!

Megan

Travel Expert

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Countries to Visit in March

Spring is almost upon us, and no doubt that means you’re contemplating where to go over the Easter holidays or – if you’re child-free – what dates to avoid! Whatever your travel style, Southeast Asia is a solid bet, with Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam top of the list before rainy season.

Wildlife lovers should avoid African safaris this month as the rainfall is particularly high, and instead head for Mexico’s Baja Peninsula in search of grey whales. These majestic beasts frequent the waters here between December and April. For a dose of culture, India's Holi Festival runs for two days throughout the month – an explosion of colour and bonfires.

rs-mexico-baja-peninsula-whales-shutterstock_120429946.jpg
rs-mexico-baja-peninsula-whales-shutterstock_120429946.jpg
rs-mexico-baja-peninsula-whales-shutterstock_120429946.jpg

Countries to visit in April

Here’s a great one for the celebrations calendar: Songkran. Head to Thailand (particularly the northern parts like Bangkok and Chiang Mai) for 13th April to get immersed in Thai New Year. And, when we say immersed, what we mean is getting pulled into a very damp battlefield, where fire hoses and super soakers are your weapons of choice.

Closer to home, islands to the south offer a moderate climate this time of year. Head for Cyprus and the Canaries, where the average temperature sits around 22 degrees. Or, if natural wonders are your thing, try Japan to witness the annual cherry blossom in full bloom; chat with your expert for their best budgeting tips at this busy time in Central Asia.

Mount Fuji with Cherry Blossom (sakura), view from Lake Kawaguchiko, Japan
Mount Fuji with Cherry Blossom (sakura), view from Lake Kawaguchiko, Japan
Mount Fuji with Cherry Blossom (sakura), view from Lake Kawaguchiko, Japan

Countries to visit in May

May is shoulder season in Europe – your next unforgettable city break could be in Rome, Paris, Athens and Prague. They are all spot on this time of year as the weather is mild, while the summer crowds are few. Late spring half term falls this month too, so why not opt for a family friendly getaway in Croatia or Lake Bled – where water sports abound.  

You can also save the pennies with a visit to Vietnam. Venturing east in May means you’ll miss the high season prices of April, while also enjoying temperatures around 28-30°C – just be prepared for a bit of rainfall.

Panorama of Athens with Acropolis hill, Greece. Famous old Acropolis is a top landmark of Athens. Ancient Greek ruins in the Athens center in summer. Scenic view of remains of antique Athens city.
Panorama of Athens with Acropolis hill, Greece. Famous old Acropolis is a top landmark of Athens. Ancient Greek ruins in the Athens center in summer. Scenic view of remains of antique Athens city.
Panorama of Athens with Acropolis hill, Greece. Famous old Acropolis is a top landmark of Athens. Ancient Greek ruins in the Athens center in summer. Scenic view of remains of antique Athens city.

Countries to visit in June

June is the time for adventure. If you’ve planned ahead and booked your permits, now is when you should tackle Peru’s Inca Trail before the temperatures drop. Or, if the a cooler month doesn’t bother you, head for Canada and the legendary Icefields Parkway. Stretching from Jasper to Banff, this wildlife-packed self-drive route is pocked with glaciers, mirror lakes and endless wilderness. Be sure to pack for all weathers though – it could be glorious sunny weather one minute, and snowy skies the next.

Closer to home, June is the perfect month for a continental sojourn before the crowds descend, and when those European midsummer parties are in full swing.

SUV with bicycle rack and bicycles travels along the Icefields Parkway in the Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Canada on a sunny afternoon. Mt Athabasca is in the background.
SUV with bicycle rack and bicycles travels along the Icefields Parkway in the Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Canada on a sunny afternoon. Mt Athabasca is in the background.
SUV with bicycle rack and bicycles travels along the Icefields Parkway in the Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Canada on a sunny afternoon. Mt Athabasca is in the background.

Countries to visit in July

Love those long summer days? Extend them to the max when you head north in July – countries like Finland and Iceland are all blessed with the midnight sun, a fascinating phenomenon that sees the sun barely dip below the horizon all day. It’s especially great if you’re on a short trip (weekend sauna break in Helsinki anyone?), and you want to make the most of the daylight hours.

To the west, the Land of the Free is celebrating its Independence Day too, so head here for some pretty epic firework displays, concerts and events on 4th July. And speaking of celebrations, you’ll want to experience South Africa on Nelson Mandela Day. Marked on 18th July, the country uses this time to focus on good deeds and paying it forward. Surfing and diving are also great this time of year, as is food, wine and nature.

South Africa
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Expert tip

A South African bush sunset will take your breath away and is an experience you will never forget.

Jodie

Team Leader

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Countries to visit in August

If you’re thinking Europe this month, be wary that some areas are very hot this time of year, while also being in peak season due to the summer holidays, with several popular destinations that will be exceptionally busy.

If you’re in search of an epic wildlife encounter, it doesn’t get more impressive than the Great Migration. Wildebeest thunder across the Masai Mara from July-September, making August a great time to be right in the thick of it all. Head to Bali for a relaxing yoga retreat – just the ticket (literally) if you’re planning to travel onwards Down Under for the Southern Hemisphere’s warm weather.

Countries to visit in September

Spring has sprung in Australia! But this is just the beginning, meaning now is the perfect time to go before summer arrives and the weather gets too balmy for our sensitive British dispositions. Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef are a particularly solid choice as stinger season (when the box jellyfish frequent the waters here) doesn’t peak until November, which also aligns with the start of more tropical conditions.

Mehr bier bitte! Despite the name, Ocktoberfest kicks off mid-September, so this month is a great opportunity to visit Germany and sample the best steins before the rest of the world catches on. Or, if a road trip is more your speed, head for New England as the leaves begin to fall…

Turtle swimming underwater in the Great Barrier Reef.
Turtle swimming underwater in the Great Barrier Reef.
Turtle swimming underwater in the Great Barrier Reef.

Countries to visit in October

October = New Zealand with fewer crowds and the perfect adventure. So you can sip Marlborough wines, cruise through the sounds, get up-close to gurgling geysers and follow in the footsteps of Hobbits – all while seeming like you’re the last person on Earth. Bliss.

Wildlife on your agenda? The dry, warm weather in Kruger, Madikwe and Pilanesberg make it a great opportunity for spotting South Africa’s very best big game; keep your eyes peeled around watering holes and any undergrowth.

Hobbiton - image credit: Sara Orme

Hobbiton - image credit: Sara Orme

Hobbiton - image credit: Sara Orme

Hobbiton - image credit: Sara Orme

Hobbiton - image credit: Sara Orme

Hobbiton - image credit: Sara Orme

Countries to visit in November

Go big or go home. Or better yet, go big, or go to ANTARCTICA. November is for discovering the Great White Continent’s well-known wonders with an expedition cruise. You’ll find 90% of the world’s ice here, so stop and soak it all in: watch glaciers calve, rockhopper hordes waddle, and get up close to those frozen waters in a zodiac boat. Amazing experiences await.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Dubai – where warmth and a city lifestyle beckons. This month, the weather is sunny but not unbearably hot; eat brunch and laze on beaches in temps that hover around the early 30s.

Dubai

United Arab Emirates

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Expert tip

Set aside some time to spend at your hotel - most of them are destinations in their own right and have lots of amenities that you can use. Plus Dubai is HOT - if your hotel has a pool, you'll want to spend some time in it!

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Countries to visit in December

Celebrate Christmas and the New Year with the best when you travel in December. Of course we’d be remiss not to mention all the European winter markets (hello gluhwein!), but it’s the Big Apple that’s calling our name. Take in the big tree at Rockefeller – Home Alone 2-style – go skating in Bryant Park, or simply stroll beneath the glittering lights whatever the time. This city doesn’t sleep after all.

For ringing in the New Year, where else but Sydney? Enjoy some winter sun, alongside one of the most spectacular firework displays on the planet as you stare across the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Our top tip? Chat with our experts about watching it in style from aboard the Glass Island NYE Cruise.

Sydney New Year eve fireworks over Harbour with bridge and city CBD buildings reflecting colourful fire balls in blurred water.
Sydney New Year eve fireworks over Harbour with bridge and city CBD buildings reflecting colourful fire balls in blurred water.
Sydney New Year eve fireworks over Harbour with bridge and city CBD buildings reflecting colourful fire balls in blurred water.

Which country should I spend a month in?

The beauty of our planet is that, no matter when you go, most destinations have something different or amazing to see and do. If we were going to pick one for 2024, it would be Costa Rica. While this previously up-and-coming destination has started to get slightly more expensive in recent years, it’s still great value in-destination, with the pound strong against the Costa Rican colon. What better excuse for some offbeat adventures, spending an entire month searching for sloths, traipsing through the jungles and past wildlife-rich waterways, or gazing at volcanoes from the edge of an infinity pool. Best of all, it’s the perfect size for seeing all the country’s highlights in good time – we suggest ideal trip length of just a few weeks. Sign us up!

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