February. That short, bouncy month that treats itself to the occasional leap year and which is STILL COLD in the northern hemisphere. When it comes to the best places to visit in February, the world offers up a travel smorgasbord or opportunities. But where is hot in February? That's trickier to answer.
Beware false prophets of winter sun. Instead, read our list of places that really are hot in February. Most cluster around the Caribbean and Middle East, with a sprinkling of holiday destinations in southeast Asia.
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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.
Easy direct flights from the UK, whether from London or Manchester, with a range of luxury and uber-luxe accommodation at the other end make this an easy Caribbean destination to visit.
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.
Elsewhere in Florida, consider driving through the Gulf Coast where world class science and art museums mingle amid the white sand and clear waters. Snorkel up and swim with gentle sea giant manatees.
Malaysian Borneo mixes endangered species in with its perfectly pristine beaches (white sand - check, clear blue water, check, palms, oh yes.)
For Borneo is home to the endangered orangutan, proboscis monkeys
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 swaps the lush, green Caribbean vibe for a rusty red strut instead, with flamingoes and pelicans flocking to her shore. Aruba has frequent connections to Amsterdam and the US and well developed hotels along her coastline. Stay in the beautiful boutique Boardwalk Hotel and check out these other great things to do in Aruba.
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.
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