Yes, I agree. It's been one long, cold and rather dreary January. Perhaps it feels this way because January is always like this. Or perhaps it's because my boiler broke. Or perhaps it's because , let's face it, I usually zoom away to somewhere warm when the colder weather wanders into town and this year I haven't (I know, sniff, poor old me, life of woe etc.)
Whatever the reason. It's not about me. It's about January.
But you know what wintery J-month? Soon, it will be February.
Haha, yes, February. That short, bouncy month that treats itself to the occasional leap year and which... wait... which is STILL COLD in the northern hemisphere.
Darn it. (And the rest.)
But this time we're prepared, people. This time we are drawing up a list in advance.
And this time, you will know the answer to the question: where is hot in February?
The answer is here...
Psst - and just in case you aren't too bothered about the sun, check out this more wide-ranging guide on the best places to travel in February 2018.
A list is all well and good but you need detail in order to make a good decision, right?
Here's an ever so brief summary of the top ten but do click on the links and photos to read more about each spot. Happy travels!
Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit some parts of the Caribbean hard. But some were completely unaffected and others are back in full swing already.
Each Caribbean destination included here should be open for business but if you're at all in doubt, check out this brilliant resource from Travel Weekly.
Easy direct flights from the UK with a range of luxury and uber-luxe accommodation. Check out where on the island you are staying as some beaches are windy, rocky and even resemble Scotland (no, this is not a joke. )
Barbados is one of the big fish in the Caribbean with plenty to do outside the resorts. Or, of course, you can just lie back in the sun.
Oman remains one of my favourite countries in the world for its unspoiled landscape and friendly welcome. Expect beautiful beaches with warm seas although the sand isn't always that white.
Hire a car and head into the desert, pass camels, pick dates and wander around cool, cream castles and crowded souks. Stay at one of my favourite hotels in the world: The Chedi in Muscat.
Smaller and more scattered than Jamaica and Barbados, SVG is still no stranger to liming (having a good time.)
But that's what makes it special. The pace is slower, your presence more traveller, less commodity.
You'll need to travel in a smaller plane, typically changing at Barbados to reach SVG. February is usually warm and one of the driest months on the islands.
The year round heat of the Middle East just about lingers on the coast at Aqaba and the Dead Sea but nights in Amman, Petra and the desert can be cold, cold, cold. So... know before you go. Bear in mind that summer at these sites can be stiflingly hot so if you want some sunshine on the coast but don't want to sleep beneath the stars then this could be the time to go for you to visit Jordan.
Miami and the Keys are still warm in February but not quite as hot and humid as they'll be later in the year. Miami offers chic, beachside hotels and clubs while hire a car and drive virtually on the water to reach the most colourful key of all: Key West.
Malaysian Borneo offers up plenty of activities beyond its perfectly pristine beaches (white sand - check, clear blue water, check, palms, oh yes.)
For Borneo is home to the endangered orangutan, Mount Kinabalu and a monkey with the most curious looking nose you have ever seen.
Cuba offers balmy evenings and comfortable days in its intoxicating capital, Havana. Listen out for salsa and son, drink rum, watch old cars drive by and ruminate on the events that made this Caribbean island so different to all the rest.
Both January and February see the lowest rainfall in Thailand with a rich mix of cultural and beach-lazing activities available on both the west and east coasts. Flights into Bangkok are regular and easy or alternatively you can fly direct to the resorts if all you are looking for this February is sun.
This compact city-state offers sunshine all year round but in February the showers are easing off and it's not TOO hot just yet either. Combine colonial architecture with blinging spaceship hotels and artificial trees with remote island treks. Far from off the beaten track, you'll find plenty of things to do in Singapore.
Aruba offers a different Caribbean experience to the others on the list so far. Instead of lush and green, she wears her colours red and rusty. Aruba has frequent connections to Amsterdam and the US and well developed hotels along her coastline. She also features the cute little boutique Boardwalk Hotel, a Pelican Beach and some mysterious cave paintings found in a rocky park.
Ah, I hate to be a heart-breaker but it's simply not guaranteed. I've had some glorious sunshine days in France, Germany and even the UK but nothing even remotely approaching reliable heat, even when I lived in Seville, Europe's hottest city.
Good luck! And may the sun dance be with you (though probably not Butch Cassidy or the kid.)
Disclosure - I have visited some of these countries and cities with assistance from local tourist boards or hotels. However, none of them had any input into this list of where's hot in February. I always keep the right to write what I like here on the lab. Otherwise there's just no point.
Warning - also, guys, the temperature recommendations are a guide, not gospel. Different areas of a country may have different weather so do check out in detail the forecast for the region you plan to visit. Common sense stuff really. Happy travels!
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