There’s nothing worse than starting off your year with a sense of regret about poor party planning—or a hangover that wasn’t worth the hype. And there’s simply no better feeling than declining an invite to that one undesirable party you’ve been invited to. So if some extra cash lands in your lap during the holidays, we suggest you opt get out of town.
But what kind of New Year’s Eve trip should you take? Whether you’re the type of person who needs one final burst of spontaneity or if you just want to get away for some chill time, there are plenty of ways to plan the New Year’s Eve getaway of your dreams. Here, some options for the best last minute New Year’s Eve plans no matter what kind of traveler—or partier—you are.
If you want to get away but not go out:
For a super cozy getaway, you should trek to Pender Island, off the coast of British Columbia, Canada—not too far from easily-accessible (and food-sceney) Vancouver. Rent out one of Woods on Pender’s chic airstreams or cabins and snuggle up under the covers while the ball drops elsewhere. If you ever wander outside your room, there are whales to be watched and lots of trails to be hiked. Embrace the quiet and get centered or romantic.
Road trips are a great way to get out of the house and avoid the crowds—it’s just you and your chosen road companion(s). If you’re on the West Coast, hit up these classic Highway 1 spots. We also have road trip guides for the Deep South and from L.A. to Albuquerque.
If you only let loose once a year:
You might as well do the most you can possibly do if you’re only going to go out once this year. A big-night-out trip has to be planned around a centerpiece moment and there’s no event like a NAAFI New Year’s Eve party. The super-inclusive, Mexico City-based collective always shows out for the annual celebration. This year’s exact location is still a secret, but promises to cap out at 350 people and go until at least 7 a.m. Start the night off with a taco crawl to build a good foundation for the evening.
If you’re not normally a party animal, a softer city like Chicago may be just the right amount of comfort meets carousal. Grab a bite at the eclectic Beatnik restaurant to set the tone and then indulge in the shenanigans on Navy Pier or Millenium Park—both of which have plenty of nearby hotels to stay in. It’ll be cold for outdoor fireworks, surely, but that’s never stopped native Chicagoans.
If you’re a nightlife pro:
If you scoff at people who treat New Year’s like an event, go to Miami and party with the experts. Do it classic South Beach-style to be right in the center of the action. Countdown to midnight with J Balvin at The Fontainebleau or watch the giant fireworks celebration on Biscayne Bay with Pitbull. Pick up some medianoches, Miami’s famed Cuban sandwiches, from either Sanguiche de Miami or Versailles Restaurant to start 2019 off on the right foot.
Everyone knows Berlin as a tried and true European nightlife destination, but if you want something a little more extra and a little less familiar, try splav-hopping in Belgrade. Stay at an Airbnb near the Sava River so you can make the most of the city’s floating lounges from dusk ‘til dawn.
If you want to get a head start on your resolutions:
One of the most geographically unique areas in the U.S. offers great options for staying active. For hiking, don’t miss the Redwood groves on the Ewoldsen Trail (see also: our road trip guide from California to Portland, Oregon). If yoga is more your thing, Sagrada Wellness offers a four-day retreat nestled in the gorgeous hilltops of the Central California coast.
If you think of Nashville as all hot chicken and rock ‘n roll, think again. With plenty of natural terrain at nearby National parks (plus, relatively mild weather this time of year), an assortment of yoga studios, and health-conscious food options, Nashville has become quite a sleeper hit in the wellness destination department.
If you want to unplug from it all:
Starting 2019 away from all the world’s chaos sounds like a step in the right direction. If you want to go all out, reserve a room at Amangiri—just challenge yourself not to Instagram everything. The five star luxury resort sits between Southern Utah and rural Arizona, one of the most remote areas in the U.S. You can kayak around Lake Powell, hike the gorgeous rock formations, or just hide away in your well-appointed suite. If you’re feeling a little less extravagant and want a similar experience, you can always camp in a mod yurt in Southern Utah’s Goblin Valley.
Going rogue can sometimes feel like the ultimate indulgence, so why not take it a little further and jet off to one of the more indulgent regions of the world—Tuscany. From countryside vineyards to secluded resorts, it’s the kind of destination that allows you to leave the outside world behind.