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    January may be the perfect time to start making travel plans for the year ahead – but it's also a wonderful month to put them into action. Why wait?

    Off the beaten piste: 7 far-flung European ski resorts There comes a time in every skier’s life when it all begins to feel a little homogenous. These 7 European & Scandinavian resorts do things a little differently. Read more: www.lonelyplanet.... Ski at the top of the world in Arctic Sweden. Image by Johner / Getty Images

    Brand new tours, just opened hiking trails, edgy galleries… if it’s new in travel, you can be sure #LonelyPlanet’s experts are the first to know. New in Travel is crammed with 26 of the best new experiences in the world, including exploring the inside of an Icelandic ice cap, staying with a tribe in Papua New Guinea or zip-lining through African valleys. Each of the experiences has recently opened, or will start up in 2015. CLICK TO DOWNLOAD.

    After many years in the making, the Design Museum is finally up and running, and incorporates the former Textile and Clothing, Decorative Arts and Ceramics museums. Housed in a futuristic building (known as the ‘Hammer’, for its shape) hanging precariously over the Plaça de les Glòries, it offers free entrance until 15th January.

    Forty ballerinas from the Russian National Ballet, along with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, come together to perform the magical Swan Lake in the plush environs of the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona) for three days only. Tickets are selling out fast, so book as early as you can, and don’t forget to dress the part.

    Bitter January might not be the best time to visit this lower Manhattan landmark, since part of the tour involves standing on the street in front, listening to your architect tour guide. But as of a month ago, this is the first time in this century that the 101-year-old tower has been open to tourists. Fortunately the tours go inside as well, giving you a little chance to defrost while you admire the ornate lobby. They don’t build ’em like this anymore.

    Check out this exhibit of 45 years of that essential NYC-based children’s program, Sesame Street, in the form of scripts, storyboards, models and of course plenty of clips from the show and behind the scenes.

    Fremantle South Mole lighthouse, Western Australia. Hit it up during the peak of Aussie summer.

    Bridestowe lavender farm, Tasmania, Australia. The farm is best visited between December and January, when it is in full bloom.

    The Okavango River is a river in southwest Africa. It is the fourth-longest river system in southern Africa, running southeastward for 1,600 km (990 mi). It begins in Angola, where it is known as the Cubango River. Further south it forms part of the border between Angola and Namibia, and then flows into Botswana, draining into the Moremi Game Reserve.

    Chappelle di Vitaleta near San Quirico, Tuscany, Italy

    Bora Bora. Lovely colors!

    Luotuofeng peak, Sichuan, China

    Winter Dreams by Rob Lafreniere | Canadian Rockies

    Antarctica. North Hemisphere winter is the best season to travel to the Antartic Continent, during the Austral summer, when the ice has stepped back and the temperature is not so cold.

    Honokohau Falls :: Maui, Hawaii ...said to be the tallest waterfall on Maui. Puʻu Kukui is one of the wettest spots on Earth

    The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) in Valencia, Spain, is a unique complex devoted to scientific and cultural dissemination, including an interactive science museum, aquarium, planetarium, IMAX cinema and performing arts center. (The exhibits within are equally mesmerizing.) Architect: Santiago Calatrava.

    The Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

    The President, the third largest tree on earth. Sequoia National Park, CA, USA.

    El Camino de la Muerte, considered “the world’s most dangerous road”, Bolivia.

    Hanging Houses, Cuenca, Castille, Spain.

    Turtle in turquoise sea, Cocos Island, Costa Rica.

    Sunrise in Algeria.

    Monkey's Hole Waterfalls in Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil • photo: Ricardo Bevilaqua on Flickr

    Camels in the Sahara, Morocco.