Its that time of year again! You've got less than a month to make your New Year's Eve plans. To help you along, our resident globetrotter Alicia Taggio shares her best ideas to fit anyone’s budget
Where: Your city’s public square
What: It’s pretty to safe to say that nearly every major city offers a free outdoor event on New Year's Eve involving fireworks. In Toronto, for example, Nathan Phillips Square has a free outdoor concert and fireworks. If you’re really not feeling going out, throw a fabulous party with your friends and watch it on TV. If that’s the case, give your party a theme like ‘New Year's Around the World’ and guests can dress up to celebrate their favourite country, and you can offer a variety of food options.
Travel Tip: Go to the website of your local city and find out what other events they have going on that week. For example, in Quebec City they have a Lights Festival that starts on the 21st to mark winter solstice and runs all week leading up to New Year's Eve.
Where: Times Square, New York City
What: You have two options to witness the ball drop in Times Square: Standing in the crowd, or attending a party within Times Square that offers a spectacular view (note the price increases for this). If you’re standing in the crowd, the earlier you arrive, the better your view, and the closer you will be to the action. If you’re attending a party, make sure you get instructions from the organizers on how to enter as many roads and entrances are blocked off after 6 p.m. Visit this website for a full event schedule and FAQs.
Travel Tip: If you’re planning to stand in the crowd at Times Square, you won’t be able to use a bathroom. If you have to go, they will let you out of the pens, but not back in.
Where: Miami, Florida
What: Miami is all about the parties, and there are a ton of options to choose from (yachts, nightclubs, etc). Most events offer tickets for around $75 per person, which includes an open bar, champagne toast and balloon drop. If you want to avoid the party scene, head to Miami Beach to see the free fireworks and put your money toward a nicer accommodation.
Travel Tip: Ring in the new year with some art. Head to Wynwood Walls, which is a free outdoor art installation of various murals from talented artists from around the world. When you’re there, head to Wynwood Ktichen and Bar and enjoy a meal in this unique atmosphere surrounded with art and colour.
Where: Any Ski Resort
What: This price range will get you a vacation package including accommodations, lift tickets and other optional activities like dog sledding. Most places also offer a New Year's Eve Ski Run where you get to do your run down the mountain with a torchlight/glowstick in your hand. It’s really quite a beautiful thing to be part of (or even watch from the hot tub of your chalet).
Travel Tip: Save your energy for New Year's Day and be one of the first people up the mountain to experience ‘fresh tracks.’ Being above the clouds on the first day of the year gives you a real sense of purpose and is a great place to appreciate your life and the year to come.
Where: Sydney, Australia
What: Watching the fireworks at the Sydney Harbour Bridge is something Alicia recommends everyone do at least once in their lifetime. They have some of the best fireworks in the world and it’s all set to music.
Travel Tip: Although getting to Australia will be your biggest cost, once you’re there, you can watch the show for free from many different vantage points. Alicia recommends going to the North side of the bridge because you can set up a picnic area, bring your own food and booze, and enjoy the show. On New Year's Day, reward yourself with a day at one of Sydney’s many beaches. In Alicia's opinion, it’s the best way to start a new year