Five steps to a great New Year’s Eve hostel break in 2016-17
If your hometown New Year’s Eve was a bit of a damp squib, you’re not alone. The problem with spending the year’s biggest party night on your home turf is that you can never really break away from the norm. Too often you end up doing what you’d usually do at the weekend, only harder and for longer. Not the ideal scenario for a night that’s about looking ahead to the future.
Keen travellers will tell you that their most memorable NYEs have been spent on the road. New horizons instead of familiar places; new traditions instead of the same old songs and games; freedom and possibility instead of the looming horror of Back-To-Work Day.
Unfortunately, bagging a hostel for New Year’s Eve is tough. So we recommend you start planning for New Year’s Eve 2016-17 now. It might not feel spontaneous, but you’ll be glad of it when December 31 rolls around again…
1. Make a longlist
This is the fun bit. Throw yourself into a huge travel brainstorm. No overthinking, no second-guessing – just write down everywhere you’d love to go, everywhere you’ve been and want to visit again, everywhere your best travel buddies and your favourite travel writers have recommended. Don’t even think about NYE at this point; that’ll come later.
2. Let it sink in
Leave it for a bit. Seriously. We know this doesn’t sound like a step at all, but it makes a difference. If you try and hone down your longlist immediately, your head will be too crowded. Go back to everyday life for a few days. Now that you’re tuned into the places on your longlist, you’ll start spotting them everywhere – in the paper, on the radio, overheard amid coffee shop chatter. Some will start to stand out. Okay: now you’re ready to shortlist.
First off, get rid of anywhere that wasn’t nagging at your brain during your time away from the list. Now start organising. You need to bring in some practical concerns at this point, so a good method is to sort the remaining destinations by price. Check how much flights and accommodation are likely to cost you, and break your list down into ‘Well under budget’, ‘Affordable’, and ‘Over budget’. (Remember to check pricing for NYE accommodation. It’s likely to be a little higher than standard rate.) Discount the ‘Over budget’ column, but don’t delete it – keep it to one side to help inspire future trips.
4. Scope out the NYE funs
Your next move is to sort the two remaining lists, so you’ll end up with one top budget choice and one top affordable choice. To do that, you’ll want to do some more detailed research on what each destination offers for NYE. Huge street parties? Quiet gatherings on the beach? Fireworks displays? Live music? It’s a bit of a balancing act, this – you already know what kind of celebration suits you best, so don’t mess with the formula too much. But by the same token, you don’t want to just do what you’d do at home. Make sure whatever it is has a bit of local flavour, and gives you a chance to explore.
5. BOOK IT BOOK IT BOOK IT BOOK IT
Step one was all about not overthinking it. Step five is the same. Once you’ve made your choice, get it booked. Sit on it for too long and you’ll lose momentum or – even worse – find the hostels are all booked up.
One final note: if you want friends to come with you, get them in the loop nice and early (as in, just after step one). Otherwise you’ll find yourself having to rethink things late in the process.
Good luck with the planning!