January blues, schmues; a brand new year brings with it nothing if not hope. Hope to be fitter, calmer, to learn something new or to give something back. And where there’s a will, there is, of course, a way – and a wonderful, life-enhancing trip while you’re at it. Holidaying for holidaying’s sake is so last year

Start afresh

Start afresh

Those of the ‘new year, new you’ brigade will know that sometimes only a total mind, body and soul overhaul can wipe the slate clean. State-of-the-art German medi-spa Lanserhof Tegernsee (pictured above) is the deep clean go-to for the rich, famous, overweight and overtired, pairing cutting-edge medical technology with the teaching of nutritionist FX Mayr for a bespoke detoxifying and retraining programme. If bittersalz for breakfast seems a fast too far, Spain’s Asia Gardens hotel offers an appealing alternative: the ‘Rebirth’ wellness package, a rejuvenation retreat for mental and physical wellbeing based on ancient Oriental teachings. Think meditation, Qi Qong, Bioenergetic screening and great vibes.

Eat better

Eat better

Gluten-free vegan paleo diet? No problem. The good news for clean living jetsetters is that most hotels now have menus for the most exacting of health food fanatics, but if you want some tricks to take home, cookery classes are where it’s at. Four Seasons’ Westlake Village hotel has joined forks with The Wellness Kitchen at California Health & Longevity Institute to offer guests nutrition-focused cooking classes. Led by a registered dietician-chef, culinary wunderkinds and the oven-shy alike will learn a lot about cooking up a storm of super-healthy, seasonal and, lest we forget, tasty fodder.

Exercise more

Exercise more

If you’re part of the 99 per cent who find working out just that little bit boring, training is half about training yourself to like it – or, at least, distracting yourself from it. And what better diversion than some of the world’s most iconic landmarks? Paris’ Peninsula hotel offers guided 9km cultural runs around the city, taking in its stunning sights, as well as rooftop yoga eye-to-eye with the Eiffel Tower; while at the Viceroy Yas Abu Dhabi, you can do your circuit training on a genuine Formula 1 racetrack (pictured above). If you’ve already found your enthusiasm and are building up to a big sporting event, would you know it, there’s a trip for that too: specialist triathlon training camps at the stunning five-star Almyra in Cyprus. On your marks, then.

Learn something new

Learn something new

Yes, half the fun of foreign travel is muddling your way through menus, but if you’d like to know your avoir from your elbow, why not learn a language while you’re away? Go Learn To offers in-situ language lessons, often paired with another skill. Salsa and Spanish in Buenos Aires, anyone? Arabic and cooking in Tangier? Done. Of course, you might not want to go back to school the entire time, in which case Viator offers one-off classes and longer courses in everything from surfing, skiing and scuba diving to sushi-making, mixology and Baroque art.

Consider my carbon footprint

Consider my carbon footprint

Yes, staying exactly where you are and turning off all the lights is the safest way to ensure you’re completely footprint-free. But if travel is on the cards, there are some environmentally friendly options. Copenhagen’s Arthur Hotels was the world’s first completely carbon-neutral hotel group. A small family-run chain, they’ve created a network of CO2-neutral hotels around the world, making colossal energy savings in their Kong Arthur hotel without sacrificing a shred of Scandi style or comfort. What’s more, Copenhagen – also on track to become carbon-neutral by 2025 – is beautiful, buzzy and much easier to access than a jungle eco-lodge.

Switch off

Switch off

If you’re feeling the strain of our always-on society – the constant barrage of information, emails and cat memes – it might be time for a digital detox. As if the white-sanded-sparkling-watered sanctuaries of the Caribbean’s Saint Vincent and the Grenadines weren’t doing enough to incite calm, they now offer just that. Surrender your tech on arrival, then let yourself be whisked from blissful beach hut to rainforest hideaway, all with the aid of a resident life coach. If you can’t bear to part with your BlackBerry, there’s still all sorts of ‘om’ to be had on an island retreat with wifi access. On Mauritian resort Shanti Maurice’s ‘Ayurvedic Yoga Journey’ (pictured above), there’s no phone amnesty, just a string of stress-busting healing, meditation and traditional Ayurvedic treatments.

Give something back

Give something back

Grew a conscience for 2016 but worry volunteering is the realm of students? Or, indeed, whether your good deeds will go to a good home? Formed as a reaction to organisations using voluntourism to turn a profit, the True Travellers Society helps do-gooders access trips off that well-worn path, connecting them with free or low-cost volunteering programs in countless places and disciplines, for every age and length, as well as advice and educational resources. A splendid way to start stretching those moral muscles.

Go after adventure

Go after adventure

Fancy yourself a bit of a Columbus? Pack a bag. This year, Silversea Expeditions are marking the centenary of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s famed Endurance Expedition with a bucket list ticker of a voyage to Antarctica. Accompanied by a team of scientists and historians, their Silver Explorer will navigate glaciers and snow-tipped mountains through the Antarctic Peninsula for ten days in search of wildlife. A once-in-a-lifetimer, for sure.

Manage my money

Manage my money

While lingering holiday weight has us loosening our actual belts, few make it through the festive season without feeling the need to tighten those figurative ones. Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice adventure while you’re watching those pennies. Schemes like WWOOFing, where you trade your labour for food and accommodation at organic farms, have long been popular, but there are lots of less backbreaking things you can do for a free stay. Be you web developer, master mixologist or social media maven, Worldpackers helps you trade your skills for bed and, often, board – working sometimes as little as an hour a day, five days a week, to be in some of the most exciting and exotic places on earth.

See the world

See the world

Of course, any of the above will have you off to an admirable start, but if you really want to see the world – the whole world – you’ll want to call the hotel bastion that is Aman Resorts. Part of American Express’s Fine Hotels & Resorts, the Aman group has put together a high end adventure the likes of which Phileas Fogg could only dream: 365 days, four continents and 34 different resorts on a tailormade, meticulously planned trip, which takes in the best seasonal weather at each super-luxe Aman hotel around the world. From Buddhist temples in Bhutan to modern-luxe amidst the canyons of Utah (pictured above), new cultures, experiences and landscapes are all yours. Resignations at the ready, this is the sabbatical to end all sabbaticals.

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