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Why winter breaks in January are a great idea

Oslo a winter wonderland - snow and ice

January is the perfect time for a winter getaway. Since returning to live in Ireland, a new travel tradition has developed that I absolutely love. The post-Christmas winter destination trip.

While Ireland is basically freezing for much of the year, heading off to another, even colder destination has become something I love to do. It may sound weird, but it’s wonderful. Here’s why.

The Christmas spirit lives on

January winter destination great idea - the traveloguer travel blog

We all know January can be a major downer. Christmas is over, payday is a long, long way away, you’ve spent the last month stuffing your face and guzzling alcohol and have that nagging feeling that you really should eat something healthy. Then there’s the new year, which can serve as a heavy reminder that now is the time to sort your shit out and start being good. Ugh!

So what better way to avoid all that, and keep the Christmas feeling going than by catching a plane to a brand new place?


Brilliant blue skies and snow-laden trees in #Oslo ๐Ÿ’œโ„ #visitoslo #oslopass #winter #snow

A photo posted by Christine Maguire (@the_traveloguer) on

This year, I’m headed to Copenhagen. Denmark promises beauty, ice skating, hot drinks, and the very appealing hygee.

What better way to ward of the January blues?

Last year, we headed to Oslo in January. It was absolutely freezing, so cold at times I felt as though my jacket was made of paper, but it was so cozy! We stayed at the lovely Scandic Vulkan, where the decor was modern and the rooms warm and lovely. The breakfast was an absolute treat, freshly made waffles anyone?!

why winter breaks january are best - the traveloguer travel blog warm hotel breakfast

We would wrap up tight and head out to a world covered in fluffy white snow. Everything was snowy and beautiful.

The year before, broke and uncertain of what we were doing with our lives after returning home from Asia, instead of getting each other Christmas presents, we bought flights to Berlin. Berlin has always been one of my favourite places, and it was wonderful to return in the deep winter. Again, absolutely freezing, but lovely.

Prague is another great city for a post-Christmas winter break, with its Christmas markets, ice-skating and snowy scenery.


Oslo in the winter - Winter Parkwhy winter breaks january are best - the traveloguer travel blog

Sheets of fluffy white snow decorate cities and mountains to create a magical winter wonderland. Enough said.


Hot Drinks & Heavy Plates

why winter breaks january are best - the traveloguer travel blog

Winter destinations are made for hugging hot mugs of coffee and cups of mulled wine. There’s nothing more satisfying than hurrying in from the cold to tuck into a hot plate of delicious food.


New Experiences

Berlin on a budget - why winter breaks january are best - street art in Oslo - a winter wonderland - the traveloguer travel blog

Visiting a new country is always exciting. One thing I love about these winter destinations is that you get to experience something different, something new. As someone who is constantly longing to return to Asia and dreams of the Middle East and South America and Africa, the closer, often European winter destinations are much more accessible for a short winter break.

I love that I can get that brand new country feeling of excitement only a cheap Ryanair flight away.


Budget Friendly

Berlin on a budget - why winter breaks january are best - thetraveloguer

Winter short trips can be very cheap. Thanks to Ryanair cheap flights, off peak seasons and a little budgeting, a winter break away doesn’t have to cost a lot. Even visiting Norwayย last year was affordable. Copenhagen is another expensive spot, but there is a satisfaction that comes with taking on an expensive city with limited funds!

When you’re only visiting for a short time, sites like Last Minute, and Hostelworld, make it easy to find aย good deal on accommodation.


Winter Sports

why winter breaks january are best - snowboarding in oslo thetraveloguer

I always thought skiing holidays were expensive. In Oslo, however, I learned that it is so easy to hop on a metro and spend the day on the slopes without having to spend a fortune.

In Oslo, a short metro ride will take you up into the mountains where you can ski and snowboard surrounded by truly beautiful scenery. Even though my first attempt at snowboarding was a bit of a disaster, it was so awesome to have done it!

Sitting on my bum in the powdery snow as the sun began to set, taking in the pink tinted view and sounds of laughter and joy from the skiiers, there wasn’t anywhere else I’d rather be.


why winter breaks january are best - oslo romance thetraveloguer

The chilly outdoors make being inside all the more cosy. With warm, candlelit bars, crackling fireplaces and fairy lights decorating the streets, a winter weekend away is ideal for love birds.



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  • Reply
    robin masshole mommy
    January 10, 2017 at 11:50 am

    My kids don’t get a break from school until February, so that is when we go away. We are usually MORE than ready for a break by then,

  • Reply
    Alli Smith
    January 10, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    My husband and I were just talking about taking a winter vacation. I’m not much of a cold-weather lover, but all of these destinations do look cozy and inviting. All of these places look lovely!

  • Reply
    Lisa Favre
    January 10, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    My husband is actually get a two-week vacation as of next week. We are both so excited to spend some time together!

  • Reply
    Kathy Myers
    January 10, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    We live on the coast in Texas and call our visitors winter Texans. I guess everyone likes to break in January cause we have a ton right now!

    • Reply
      Christine Maguire
      February 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Haha, I cans we why everyone wants to be in Texas at this time of year! ๐Ÿ˜„

  • Reply
    Pam Wattenbarger
    January 10, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    We love traveling during January. It’s a great way to break out of those winter blues that are getting me down!

  • Reply
    Lori Bosworth
    January 10, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I love your rationale for travelling in January: to avoid having to face the bleakness of January and the new year! Right now, we have a fair amount of snow too so it would be nice to go down south!

  • Reply
    Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    January 10, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    I love the idea of taking a break in January. There’s nothing better than a little trip to get away from the daily routine and take a break from all the stress.

  • Reply
    Jacqui @FlightsFancyMom
    January 11, 2017 at 3:12 am

    This sounds like a great tradition. I’m hoping to get to a point in my life/career that I’ll be able to do something like this. I took a cruise in January one year and loved it!

    • Reply
      Christine Maguire
      February 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      I hope you get there soon Jacqui. A cruise in January sounds perfect!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning and make winter look absolutely beautiful. Too bad winter lasts way too long in Chicago…I will definitely have to try your tradition to make it through!

    • Reply
      Christine Maguire
      February 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Thanks so much Amanda ๐Ÿ˜Š I hope the winter doesn’t last too long for you this year!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Swenor
    January 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    I have to admit that having a winter break during January on a budget is a great idea to get yourself back in rhythm after the holidays. Oslo sounds like it would be an interesting place to visit. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  • Reply
    michele d
    January 11, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Our next break is in March. Hopefully we can do something fun and relaxing.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I think its a good idea to take a winter vacation. I am not a big fan of snow, but I would love to sit in a beautiful hotel to enjoy the beauty.

  • Reply
    Chubskulit Rose
    January 11, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    If I have to go somwhere during winter break, I would go somewhere warmer hehehe. Love all the photos!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I would love to take a trip and shake these January blues. Man, living in a Frozen tundra does me no pros!
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    • Reply
      Christine Maguire
      February 8, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Haha, the cold can be pretty depressing when you’re at home! Hope you get away soon ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Reply
    Dawn Gibson-Thigpen
    January 13, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    wow everything looks so fun and amazing. i love creating awesome memories.

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