With travel (somewhat) back on the menu for 2021 and beyond, it’s likely your winter holiday vacay planning is well under way. And while end-of-year getaways for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza might revolve around family from a logistical standpoint, New Years Eve trips are all about you. That said, because the holiday falls right after the aforementioned family-focused occasions, NYE is often an afterthought in terms of planning. It generally tends to disappoint due to restrictive work schedules, lack of willing participants (holiday burnout and all), tight budgets, and lack of childcare/petcare. However, a last-minute New Years getaway is still within reach. You just need how and where to book.
Yes, the thought of hunting for yet another December flight and booking yet another hotel or Airbnb stay may seem exhausting, but that's where the internet comes in. Employ some industry insiders tips and allow your wildest vacation dreams to take flight, as you deserve to celebrate the new year right, especially considering the past one has been rough to say the least. And, whether you want a secluded beach locale, festive outdoor affair, or cozy winter town escape, the options are truly endless.
Before diving into the (literal) world of possibilities, a few effective tips for hacking a smart and as-cost-effective-as-possible flight now that you're booking a ticket a mere few weeks out. It's not too late to kick off the new year right.
Travel Tips For New Year's Eve
If you're keeping your destination national, "round-trip flight prices are currently averaging about $350 round-trip in the United States," explains Liana Corwin, consumer travel expert at Hopper. "You can save the most money by leaving on Monday, December 31 and returning Friday, January 4."
Experts agree: President of ExpertFlyer Chris Lopinto advises that “For the best airfares, travelers should consider flying in or out on the holidays themselves as airlines typically have more seats available (same for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)."
If those days aren't what you're hoping for or don't quite match up with your PTO schedule, Corwin also says you can shift your dates to stay over the weekend by departing on Saturday, December 29 and returning Wednesday, January 2 (rather than Friday, December 28 and returning Tuesday, January 1).
With money-saving tips behind, scroll down for your official guide to pulling off a last-minute New Year's Eve getaway. Bon voyage and happy new year!
Relaxing New Year's Eve Getaways
Chill Out in The Cotswolds
Set off to the area of outstanding beauty, a.k.a the quaint village of Broadway in the UK. Stay at the newly-refurbished boutique property called The Lygon Arms for a two-night New Year's Eve party including champagne afternoon tea, a five-course gala dinner with live entertainment (magician and harpist!), and plenty of cocktails, canapés, and even a decadent New Year's Day brunch.
Escape to Tahoe
Take in the breathtaking views of the south lake shoreline from a room at Edgewood Tahoe in Lake Tahoe, California. This year, the hotel is throwing a dinner party inspired by Truman Capote's iconic Black and White Ball, which will include an eight-piece band, a four-course wine paired meal, and old Hollywood films topped off with a round of fireworks to kick off the new year.
Cozy Up In Upstate New York
It doesn't get much more quintessentially cozy than an upstate mid-nineteenth century candle-making factory converted into a boutique hotel. The Wick, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel located in Hudson, New York, is throwing a low-key masquerade party with hors-d'oeuvres, dancing, and a champagne toast at midnight. Easy peasy.
The Best New Year's Eve Parties
Jet to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for an all-night soiree at the Thompson hotel. Fire dancers, pool performers, a live rooftop performance — all things you can expect as well as plenty of delicious food from the CATCH culinary concept and, of course, champagne and fireworks.
When In Rio
Julia B. Pirrung from Jetset World Travel recommends, "Brazil, especially Rio de Janeiro, [as] one of the most iconic destinations to ring in the new year — in white. Expect spirited celebrations surrounded by vibrant people along Brazil's breathtaking coast during the peak of the South American summer." The new e-visa program that launched in early 2018 is now $40 compared to $160, making it friendlier on the wallet.
Watch the Ball Drop
If experiencing New Year's Eve above Times Square sounds magical to you then consider New York's Marriott Marquis. Within the hotel, there are a few different packages for the holiday including a five-course meal in its 360-degree revolving restaurant, a premium open bar, and late-night bites in the lounge to keep the evening going. There are even rooms with a view of the ball drop if you feel like staying in with your partner or a couple of friends.
Adventure Vacations Ideas For NYE
Off to Iceland
Jody Rains, travel consultant for Strong Travel, encourages jet-setters to head to Iceland for the holidays. "Reykjavik is offering many holiday activities and it is all about the Northern Lights. With more direct flights to Reykjavik, it becomes an easy and quick trip."
Made for the Maldives
Reconnect with nature by way of a Maldivian holiday. Baros Maldives's annual New Year Festive Program (December 22 to January 2) offers memory-making experiences such as coral reef planting, snorkeling safaris, fishing by twilight, French wine dinner on the sandbank, and of course, a luxury cocktail party on New Year's Eve.
Adventure To Aruba
Looking to escape the chilly winter temps. Travel to this Caribbean island where the weather is warm and the festivities are aplenty. Considering Aruba is a mere 21 miles long, hitting multiple celebrations is not only a possibility, it's a must. The "one happy island" is chock-full of daytime activities including windsurfing, Jeep tours, hikes, and, of course, beach-dwelling. But evenings are not to missed either, particularly on NYE. In addition to epic fireworks, there are endless parties to attend at one of the island's many resorts. Settle on one or party hop around the island for night you won't forget!.
Holiday Travel With Friends
Fall In Love With Charleston
Not only was Charleston, South Carolina recently named the top city in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure, but it also happens to be a fantastic destination to ring in the new year with friends. Stay at King Charles Inn and head to a party aboard the USS Yorktown or the Snyder Grand Ball at the South Carolina Aquarium.
Wine and Dine In Sonoma
What sounds better than indulging your inner wine nerd in Sonoma, California with your friends? Visit the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove and enjoy the 200 brightly lit and decorated trees or indulge your wine-loving palette with a "Holidays in Healdsburg" Tour, a guided fine wine and foodie walking tour.
All In for Aspen
Indulge in a festive snowcapped New Year's Eve celebration with pals by way of Aspen, Colorado. If you choose the Viceroy Snowmass New Year's Omakase you can expect Snowcat rides along the mountain, a Champagne Butler on call (yes, that's a thing), a personal shopper to outfit you and friends, and other party activities. Nearby at the St Regis Resort & Spa don't miss the New Year's Eve celebration with a dinner at the Velvet Buck as well as bottomless champagne, party favors, and a jazz quartet.
This article was originally published on