There is absolutely no escaping it. Right now we are slap bang in the middle of the most depressing month of the year. January is always the same; everywhere you look people are nursing red, dripping noses and chesty coughs, wallets are bordering on empty and by now, let's be honest the vast majority of resolutions have been broken, due in part to the persistent rain making it impossible to go outside and the remaining Christmas cake stash you had in the cupboard.
There is only one thing that I find brings cheer at this wretched time when it feels like it's dark again before you've really even opened your eyes. Planning your next holiday! But where to this year? Is it a beach holiday that you crave? A getaway to an exciting new city for shopping and delicious food? Perhaps you want to get back to nature with a camping or walking trip? Well, whatever it is you seek from this year's adventure you will find in the good old U.S of A.
There is one thing that January is good for - sales! And fortunately it is not only Next and Curry's who are playing ball. If you can summon up the energy to open up your laptop you will find that many leading airlines are offering great value return tickets to America. All you need to do is snap up a ticket, apply for your ESTA online and then let the planning commence.
To ensure you enjoy a real slice of what America is about, today I have outlined my Top 5 All-American Activities...
1 - Take in a ball game
First on your list of "All American must-do's" is going to a baseball game. We can all identify the uniform of short trousers, long socks and peaked caps pulled low that we associate with baseball but do any of us really know the rules? Probably not! If you still cant figure it out after a few innings, rest assured that there will be lots of passionate fans close-at-hand more than willing to explain the rules to their new British friends. The baseball season runs from April until September.
2 - Pay homage to The King of rock and roll
Next up on your itinerary should be a visit to Gracelands, the home of the Hound Dog himself, Elvis Presley. After all, who wouldn't want an insight into the home life of America's most infamous rock and roller? Jive your way through the iconic music note adorned metal gates and step inside to witness 50s decadence at its finest. As well as learning all about the life of Elvis, you can browse a collection of his most iconic sequinned jumpsuits, his classic car collection and even take a look at his two private planes, Lisa Marie and Hounddog II.
3 - Get gee'd up at a rodeo
The next activity to tick off in your pursuit of the all-American experience is spending an evening amongst real-life cowboys at a traditional rodeo. Don your best double denim and take your place in the stands to witness what has got to be one of the world's most risky sports. Stare open-mouthed as fearless cowboys nonchalantly throw themselves from moving horses and tackle steer to the ground. Watch through parted fingers as the same maniacs cling on for dear life astride wildly bucking broncos. Show your appreciation by throwing out a "yee-ha" for those with lasso skills so impressive they'll have Billy the Kid turning in his grave. Rodeos take place all across the USA, so whether you're in Wyoming or Texas, you are sure to find country music, dancing and a good time.
4 - Hit the open road
Crank up that Johnny Cash, gas up the Mustang and hit the open road to experience small town America at its finest. We've all dreamt of cruising along Route 66 or the Pacific Coast Highway with the wind in our hair and rock and roll blasting out of the speakers. Whether you have all the time in the world to wind across the country from coast to coast or you're restricted to a shorter holiday, there is a US road trip to suit all tastes and budgets. If time is tight, journey through the Mojave Desert from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, making time to stop off at one of America's greatest landmarks and one of the natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon.
5 - Perfect that beach babe look
A textbook American getaway wouldn't be complete without a little beach time. For those of us who grew up on a diet of Baywatch and Beverley Hills 90210 we know that hitting the beach is the most all-American activity of them all. Although it does boast many, California is not the only place you can enjoy a bit of beachcombing. Florida is known for its warm, clear water and golden, spotless sand. It's a fantastic spot for snorkelling and many of its beaches feature highly in the annual Dr Beach awards. In North and South Carolina you will find some of the USA's best surf breaks and if you are in search of a place to enjoy blustery beachside walks, Cape Cod in Massachusetts is a must-visit destination.
To start the ball rolling for your all-American adventure, click here to lodge your ESTA application today.