A new year means a new beginning, and while it may be hard to believe, 2018 is finally coming to an end in just a few weeks! That means, it's time to begin planning how you'll ring in the new year!
Everyone knows about the infamous Times Square party, complete with the ball drop at midnight, but, that's not exactly an affordable party for everyone. Hotel rates in the days running up to New Year's Eve can increase in price by more than 300 to 500 percent, depending on where you're staying. Nearly 83% of Americans spend less than $200 on New Year's Eve celebrations, and 24% of people plan on staying in this year.
But for the 15% who plan on attending a party or going out to ring in the New Year, there's plenty of options for you to greet 2019 in an affordable way. WalletHub narrowed down the best places to spend New Year's eve based on 28 key indicators of an epic celebration. The study looked at metrics that included how available (and cheap) fireworks are, to the average price of a New Year's Eve party ticket, and even examined what the weather is looking like for Dec. 31.
Take a look at the full list below:
New York City remains the champ for people who want to ring in the new year in style, according to the experts over at WalletHub. The Big Apple ranked #1 for multiple things on WalletHub's list, including number of nightlife options, most restaurants, and most luxury shops & gourmet-food stores per capita. Those are some numbers that are hard to beat.
Los Angeles scored the #2 position, partly because the weather is usually the best out of the country. Last year, attendees who braved Times Square had to withstand temperatures of 11 degrees at midnight. L.A. was considerably warmer at a brisk 54 degrees at midnight.
Atlanta, GA, San Diego, CA, and Las Vegas, NV rounded out the top five best locations for folks to celebrate the new year.
On the other hand, ringing in the New Year is a bit more boring in cities like Garland, TX, Fremont, CA, and Anchorage, AK. While Las Vegas, NV is one of the best places to spend New Year's Eve, North Las Vegas came in at 97. (Hopefully residents in North Las Vegas will head on down to the Strip to have some fun).
If you're looking for cheaper New Year's Eve celebrations, you might want to check out what's happening in Virginia Beach, VA, Durham, NC, or Winston-Salem, NC. Those cities boast the cheapest average price for a New Year's Eve party ticket.
When looking for places to spend New Year's Eve, Dr. Stephen Holland, a professor at University of Florida says people should a couple factors into consideration, including their preference for the weather (how cold is it going to be??), and how far they want to travel. Dr. Holland also suggests trying to schedule more than one activity to really get the most bang for your buck out of the day.
"Can you accomplish 2-4 things in one trip (for example: visit friends/relatives, sightsee at some place they have wanted to see, attend a concert performance for an artist they would like to see/hear, find a place to relax/unwind from the harried December work demands/holiday decorating/baking demands?" Holland said. "Explore a place they have thought about moving to."
For those people looking to save money and still have a great New Year's Eve story to share, Dr. Holland suggests people should stay with friends, or relatives, and take mass transportation to any events you may be attending.
Fortunately, since New Year's Eve falls on a Tuesday, you'll have plenty of time to choose when you want to travel.
"Likely Friday, Dec. 28th and Monday Jan. 1 afternoons and evenings will be very congested on highways and airports. If you work around those times, it will likely decrease your travel stress and inconvenience levels," Dr. Holland says.
No matter how you spend your New Year's Eve, it's likely people across America can agree on one thing:
Thank goodness 2018 is finally over with. Bring on 2019!
Photos: Getty Images, WalletHub, and Unsplash