Celebrating New Year’s Eve is a must for many travelers, but some people are seeking a lower price tag to start the new decade.
If you’re more of a budget traveler who cherishes experiences with your friends and family members more than finding the best Michelin restaurants, here are some ways to have an affordable New Year’s Eve.
These are the top five ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve without spending your hard-earned money.
Top 5 Cheap Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve
1. Use Your Points
If you travel often and rarely use your points, here is your opportunity to use your hotel, airline and credit card reward miles and points for an end of the year trip to kick off 2020.
Use your miles occasionally because some airlines such as American Airlines (AAL) - Get Report, will only let you keep them for 18 months of inactivity. After that period, they expire so you should either use them or donate them to a non-profit organization, said Ted Rossman, an analyst for Austin, Texas-based CreditCards.com.
“If you donate some of them, you can help a great organization and you can keep your remaining miles active for another 18 months,” he said. “American partners with the Gary Sinise Foundation on the Snowball Express, which brings families of fallen soldiers to Disney World.”
2. Free City Events
If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a new dress or suit or get dressed up, check out free fireworks and other celebrations.
Head to the River Walk in San Antonio, which lights up its cypress trees, do a polar plunge (many cities offer them), or go to a ball drop akin to the one in Times Square.
In Hagerstown, Maryland, the city celebrates by dropping a doughnut replica at 7 p.m. that is 6-foot tall and 300 pounds at the Hagerstown clock tower. In Mount Olive, North Carolina, the Mt. Olive Pickle Company has a three-foot glowing pickle that descends down a flagpole into a pickle tank at the company’s headquarters.
3. Go Camping
If all the noise from fireworks and traffic is stressful, head to woods and go camping for the evening if you live in a warmer climate. If pitching a tent for the night is not your idea of fun, go glamping. You can stay in a semi-permanent teepee or tent and use the communal showers and bathroom.
4. Get Some Exercise
Many groups will get together and go rollerblading or biking earlier in the evening. Some cities such as San Antonio have an evening 5K run. Dress up for your run in a New Year’s costume and get an early spot to see the city’s fireworks before the crowds arrive.
5. Head to a House Party
Don’t eschew the invite to a New Year’s party from your friend, neighbor or co-worker. Your host might live in a house with rooftop access and a good view of fireworks. Bring a bottle of bubbly and a snack to share and see the fireworks from an optimal spot.