All the New Year's fun on half the budget
Ringing in the new year on a budget? The high price of New Year's Eve hotel accommodations doesn't have to keep you from celebrating in big-city style. Even the most sought-after New Year's Eve hotspots have nearby alternatives that give travelers access to big-city countdowns without the big-city price tags.
"Surveys have shown that two-thirds of travelers will choose a destination first, then search for ways to make their plans and fit into their travel budgets," says Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor for the travel booking website Orbitz.com. "A great way to do that is by considering hotel accommodations in the suburbs just outside the city you're looking to visit. For New Year's Eve, travelers will see incredible savings and still have easy access to the spectacular big-city celebrations."
For example, for a new year south of the border, travelers can save up to 42 percent by staying in Cozumel instead of the crowded Cancun strip. Families interested in visiting Orlando, Fla., for the holiday might prefer to say in nearby Kissimmee and save more than 20 percent. Here are a few other top New Year's destinations and their money-saving alternatives:
Las Vegas strip/off-strip: It's easy to see why Las Vegas is the nation's top destination for New Year's Eve with its world-class celebrations and ultimate parties. But, not to worry, staying at hotels off-the-strip means a 31 percent hotel savings, without missing out on all the New Year's party action. Travelers will still have convenient access to the New Year's fireworks and live music on the strip and at the Fremont Experience. Whether you're ready to let loose and party or looking for a classic New Year's celebration, Las Vegas has it.
New York City/Newark, N.J.: The Times Square ball drop is the most iconic New Year's celebration of all and this year it's easier than ever to afford a trip to the Big Apple by staying in one of the many New York City suburbs. If you book your New Year's Eve hotel in Newark, N.J., a quick train ride will drop you in the center of all the action, and you will have one more reason to celebrate - 68 percent average savings.
New Orleans' French Quarter/Garden District: When it comes to celebrating New Year's Eve in grand style, it's hard to top New Orleans. And, best of all, much of it is free. Jackson Square is ground zero for the evening's fun and excitement, complete with live entertainment. Just before midnight, the crowd turns its attention to the roof of Jax Brewery, waiting for an 8-foot-tall fleur-de-lis to drop and ring in 2014. Want to join in on the fun without the big price tag? Savings of 33 percent can be found by staying in the mansion-lined Garden District, just a short streetcar or cab ride from the action.