New Year's Eve means parties at restaurants and nightclubs, on board boats, at private homes, or in large public squares such as Times Square in New York City or Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
From Hong Kong to Rio de Janeiro to San Francisco, fireworks will light up the skies over the world's great beaches and harbours , and Sydney Harbour in Australia (pictured above) will be no exception.
Following a raucous night of eating and drinking and dancing, the last thing you will want to do is drive home.
If someone in your group doesn't like to drink, he or she can serve as a designated driver, making sure that those that do like to drink don't get behind the wheel.
But the fact is, even if you don't drink, many others on the road will be drunk, and traffic accidents are common.
Public transportation is one option. Another is taking a taxi. A third is booking a room in a hotel.
Why Not Stay at a Hotel?
“As one of the first spots on the planet to bring in January 1st, Australia really knows how to start the party, with destinations in every state offering a different way to see in the New Year,” says John Feenaghty, general manager at Australia's Quickbeds.com.
The problem is that many roads will be closed, public transport will be crowded, and there will be a high demand for taxis, especially for people who have traveled from the suburbs to city centres.
Do you really want to wait in long lines and then face a long ride home when you could be checking into a hotel room and falling asleep quickly?
“Some 1.5 million people are expected to head out in Sydney alone, which is why we’re advising party goers who want to continue celebrating past midnight, to book a hotel and avoid the struggle and cost of trying to fight the crowds for a taxi home,” John says.
Before you book a hotel room, here are a few things to consider.
- Taxis will be hard to come by so make sure your hotel is within walking distance of your party. Better yet – book a hotel room in a hotel with a New Year's Eve party of its own.
- Following a late night of partying, you will want to sleep in so you won't want to have to check out by 11 am. See if your hotel will allow a late check out. Many hotels in Asia will extend your check out until 2 pm if space is available.
- Does your room include a buffet breakfast? If so, find out what time they stop serving. Thoughtful hotels will extend hours on New Year's Day.
- Consider spending an extra night. Start the New Year right by having a workout in the hotel gym, doing laps in the pool, or just plain chilling out
This post was first published on 26 December 2011.