Why not take New Year’s Eve travel up a notch and celebrate the passage of the year in great style with these unique travel ideas?

Fireworks are passé (and not great for the environment either) and watching the ball drop is, well, a sort of hell of its own with about a million people crammed in one tight space. So why not think out of the box and try one of these unique New Year’s eve travel ideas?

Talk to cows in Romania

New Year’s Eve travel in Romania can be really quirky, where talking to cows is a tradition right before the clock rings midnight! If the cow replies, one could have misfortunes all throughout the next year. Although the exact origins of this custom is unknown, it is easily observed that many of the Romanian traditions date back to their agrarian past, pre-Christian rituals, and lots of folklore.

Therefore, to enjoy a proper holiday in Romania, try to book a cabin in one of the villages and/or attend the pre-New Year festivals and events held by locals. The big plow and the small plow, for instance, are popular forms of celebration during the day. The highlight, however, lies with the themed mask dance, especially the “dance of the bear”, so make sure to check it out and see for yourself!

Romanian Countryside

Say moo! to a cow in Romania’s pretty countryside Photo: Tyler Tate via Flickr

Get into a fist fight in Peru

In small villages in the Peruvian Andes, join the Takanakuy festival (held in In Santo Tomas) where villagers get into a fist fight to settle their differences towards the end of December. They will wrap a scarf around their hands, give their loved ones a hug and then it’s down to serious business.

There are hardy folk here, so knuckle up for some quirky New Year’s Eve travel!

Peru travel

Machu Picchu is a dream destination but head to small villages in the Andes for local customs. Photo: Pedro Lastra


Angel Falls Hike in the Wilderness, Venezuela

With 979 meters of height and 807 of uninterrupted plunge, Angel Falls in the Venezuelan Guianas’ Plateau, is the perfect cup of tea for adventure folks. So book your trip to this cool and yet under the radar destination to enjoy an unbelievable (and dare I say, almost exclusive) beginning of the year in a place dearly blessed by abundant nature.

To get to the point of hiking to the top of the Falls, you first need first to take a short flight to Canaima National Park. Once there, there’s a boat ride up the river, and then, finally, the trekking starts. Along the journey, you can observe the mesmerizing, evergreen landscape of the park. The wilderness surrounds this waterfall to such an extent that makes the trip one of the most unique experiences you could have.

Please book a tour as it’s impossible and dangerous to undertake this trip alone. The tours usually last three days and include accommodation, transportation, a guide, and food. When everyone else goes see Iguazu and Niagara, you can spend one of the most celebrated holidays bathing in the Angel Falls’ water after a hike through dense jungle. At the end of your experience, you’ll likely have one of the best stories to tell your group of friends!

Angel Falls in Venezuela

Photo: Jeanpaul Razzouk via Wikimedia Commons

Chinese New Year, China

Let New Year’s Eve travel take you to the other side of the globe and experience the excitement of the iconic Chinese New Year’s celebration. Red lanterns, the dragon parade, and an incredibly flavorful and unique cuisine awaits – but beware! The Chinese New Year, differently from our western tradition, takes place on February 5, 2019, so save the date.

The festivities last for seven days and Chinese people take that time to decorate their streets and homes, spend time with family, give one another special gifts, such as a red envelope containing a sum of money, and, of course, setting off fireworks or firecrackers.

It’s interesting to notice that some people hold superstitions for this time of the year. Some mean bad omens, others a prosperous and happy start. Some things to do include eating lucky food such as sweet dumplings and fish, red packaging and red firecrackers to scare away bad spirits; and some unlucky situations include having an accident, gifting someone with his/her unlucky number, and well, sweeping up. You wouldn’t want to sweep your luck away!

Chinese New Year

Photo via Pixabay

Catch the first sunrise of the US in Maine

Spend New Year’s eve in Maine to watch the sunrise illuminate the sky where you are before it does so in the remaining 49 states in the United States. The celebrations associated with the New Year include not only beautiful and colorful fireworks after midnight, but also a Polar Plunge for the brave souls out there!

On January 1, many people reunite on the beach in their bathing suits and run towards the frigid cold water. Some do it for a charitable cause, others just for the fun of it, but all believe that’s a great way to start 2019.

After that, there’s the annual Lobster Dip at the Old Orchard Beach with lots of food, chat, and drinks. I think we can all agree that Maine knows how to kick start the year despite of weather – if you can’t beat it, why not join it?

Maine sunrise

Catch the first sunrise in the USA in Maine. Photo: Frank Winkler via Pixabay

First country in the world to welcome the NY, Tonga

Think not a cold morning with hot chocolate and tea, but a sun-kissed beginning to the day. Tonga, a paradise island in Oceania, is officially the first country in the world to welcome the new year and it holds the bonus of having tons of fun options to kick start 2019.

Instead of snowboarding, go surfing (or kite-surfing) in the beautiful Ha’atafu Beach; and instead of getting cozy inside with friends, go out and have a great time sailing in a part of the world that few even know about! In addition, dive in the splendid turquoise water that bathes Tonga’s shores and maybe even try snorkeling or swimming with humpback whales.

Although it is a far from the usual destination, Tonga counts with accommodations to host all kinds of travelers, from families to single and wild backpackers. Eco-lodges, simple home stays, and boutique resorts are some of the options available.

Tonga Humpback Whales

Humpback Whales in Tonga. Photo: Scuba Diver Life

Wear colorful underwear in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fly to Copacabana Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to participate in Brazilian traditions of welcoming the new year, such as jumping seven waves, eating lentils, and wearing colorful underwear – hint: different colors mean different things! For instance, if you’re eager to make some money, wear green; if you’re looking for love, red is your color; and if happiness is all you wish for, yellow it is.

Before the clock rings midnight, travel lovers and residents flock to the beach and anxiously wait for the spectacle that is about to ensue. Thousands of kilos of fireworks are distributed in several little boats along the extension of the bay, and once set in motion, the exploding lights marvel all that are there to watch. Different shapes and colors boom in the sky as people hug and kiss one another a happy new year.

Rio de Janeiro

Photo: Poswiecie via Pixabay

Ride the world’s highest ferris wheel in Las Vegas, USA

Ride on the world’s highest ferris wheel in Las Vegas, the High Roller Observation Wheel, and watch the fireworks from 168 meters in the air – quite romantic and thrilling, right? To add to the experience, the booths light up in different neon colors at night, which also makes it a glamorous option for New Year’s Eve travel.

Located on the famous Strip, the view from the top is guaranteed to wow you. There are drinks and a bartender in each capsule, so the party will be right there with you. It is important to notice, however, that the ride lasts 30 minutes. It’s important to plan accordingly the time to hop onto the ferris wheel to reach a good height. There’s also a small fee you have to pay to go up on it.

High Roller Ferries Wheel in Las Vegas

Photo: kennejima via Flickr

Hope your New Year’s Eve travel is quirky and makes for a trip to remember!

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