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More to the New Year than New Year’s Eve…

If you haven’t booked your Christmas and New Year holiday yet then the chances are you’ll find there is little or no availability left on your chosen trip or you will have to pay a hefty supplement to get a seat on a crowded plane. Either way, there is no need to despair; why not travel in the New Year instead? Here are five reasons to take off on a walking holiday in the New Year:

1. Far from the Madding Crowd

Hiking in Drakensberg, South AfricaJanuary is officially known as ‘low season’ in the travel industry. However, you will find that savvy travellers will always take their holidays in January. With none of the airport chaos and sky-high prices that the Christmas season brings, travelling in January is a much more tranquil affair. So why not enjoy the holidays at home with friends and family and then jet off somewhere exotic in the New Year when everyone else is going back to work? Apart from lower prices and quieter airports, you’ll have the place to yourself. Whether you decide to climb to Everest Base Camp, explore Patagonia or discover the Atlas Mountains, you can rest assured the trails will be quieter than during a peak season holiday.

2. New Year’s Resolutions

Everest Base CampEver noticed that the further away you get from New Year’s Eve, the more likely it is that you’ll renege on your hastily made resolutions? Well, what could be better on New Year’s Eve than not only telling your friends and family you’ve challenged yourself to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but that you actually set off in just a few days time? Likewise, want to see the highest mountain on Earth? We have a trek to Everest departing in January and you could be on it. Or maybe you have always wanted to trek into the Sahara? We have a trip to do that too…  

3. Winter Sun in the Med

Exodus group in Tunisia While it seems like we rarely catch a glimpse of sun in the depths of winter in northern Europe, you don’t have to travel far for some winter sun. The Mediterranean and North Africa are famously sun-drenched and nearer than you think. One of our most popular winter treks is in the Sierra de Aitana, close to Alicante in Spain. Morocco and Tunisia are also superb winter trekking destinations.

4. Rejuvenating Mind, Body & Soul

Under the Naranjo de Bulnes while trekking in the Picos de EuropaUnder the Naranjo de Bulnes while trekking in the Picos de EuropaNot only do we vow to visit new places and set new personal challenges at the start of each year, we also start thinking about our health. Most of us are guilty of eating too much (especially over Christmas!) and exercising too little. And yes, we all do a few feel-good gym sessions in January, but tend to return to our bad habits by February! So why not start 2011 with a quantum leap in improving your fitness and take a trek. It doesn’t have to be a Himalayan expedition; a week or two out and about on your feet will do wonders for mind, body and soul!

5. It’s Summer in the South

Misty Mountains, South IslandFinally, don’t forget that our winter is the best time of year to visit the southern hemisphere. Patagonia is the ‘uttermost’ part of the Earth, and only the very bold or very stupid visit during their winter. But January is a glorious time to trek in the Torres del Paine National Park or see great towers of ice breaking off the famous Perito Moreno. Likewise, there is no better time to enjoy ‘100% Pure New Zealand’. If you are looking to add a dash of spice to your trek, follow the trails of Kerala, and enjoy some time relaxing on south India’s tropical beaches.

Go on, enjoy Christmas and the New Year safe in the knowledge that the world is your oyster in January!

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