Whether you see New Year's Eve as an excuse to party hard, reflect on the past or plan for the year ahead, two things are certain: the clock is ticking and there are a thousand places you could be spending it instead of your local pub.
Why not watch the sun rise on 2015 from the balmy shores of Boracay in the Philippines? Maybe you'd prefer to raise a glass or two of plonk in Australia's Barossa Valley? Or forgive, forget and start afresh after burning a scarecrow in Ecuador?
The Lonely Planet Pathfinders have a few suggestions to fire your imagination.
There is more to the Southern US than fried food and country music - it also happens to be a terrific place to spend New Year's Eve. By day you can explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (the largest national park east of the Rocky Mountains) and at night, when the clock strikes 12, there is no better place to celebrate than downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Gatlinburg has its own version of the Space Needle and after a NYE Ball Drop and countdown, fireworks shoot from the top and light up the night sky.
Cory Lee, curbfreewithcorylee.com
Bangkok might not be the obvious choice for a low-key evening on New Year’s Eve - night-life lovers don’t want for much in this chaotic city, with its rooftop bars, clubs, live music venues and tourist hubs such as Khao San Road. But if you venture down to one of the residential areas, you can easily find a quiet spot. Grab some street food for dinner and meander to the banks of the Chao Phraya River around midnight for uninterrupted views of the best fireworks display of the year without the crowds!
Katie Lutz, fromshorestoskylines.com
For the wildest new year ever, make your own fire, food and fun. Head into the wilds of Patagonia on Chile’s Carretera Austral for an intimate party on the shores of Lago Buenos Aires. It’s not near anywhere, but you should aim to set up camp between Coyhaique and Cochrane. Bring your own tent and snacks. The locals will sell you fresh salmon and a Chilean red; cook the fish on the fire, sip your wine and look up at the sky. Make your resolutions and feel that anything is possible.
Kirstie Pelling, familyadventureproject.org
Boracay, the Philippines
Leave your coat in the closet this New Year's Eve and get to the beaches of Boracay. This small isle in the western Philippines has great diving and some of Earth’s most dazzling sunsets. On NYE, the whole island is a party. Everyone gathers in the fine white sand as fireworks burst above, and they dance till dawn. The next day, chew through your hangover with the enormous omelettes at Nigi Nigi Nu Noos or chill with a watermelon-ginger smoothie at Lemon Café. Then head to the beach and cool down in the clear, turquoise waves.
John Schellhase, venture-spain.org
Barossa Valley, Australia
If you're looking for something special this New Year's Eve, head to where 'special' is the norm - The Barossa, Australia. For starters, it will be warm. And we're not just talking about the locals who made us feel at home instantly. Along with them comes fresh, homemade produce and some of the world’s best wine. You can sample them all while overlooking postcard-ready vineyards dotted with lazy marsupials. You don't need to worry about the hangover - there’s sparkling Shiraz for breakfast the next day to help kick-start another party!
Revati Victor, different-doors.com
If you’d like to do something different and see in 2015 in style, Ecuador is the place to be. People all over the country build scarecrows, otherwise known as ‘ano viejo’, out of anything they can get their hands on. Then, as the hour approaches midnight, everyone lets go of their negativity by beating up and burning these effigies, setting the country alight. With a clean slate, everyone parties long into the night, hopefully without too many regrets the next day!
Macca Sherifi, abritandabroad.com
My favourite destination would be Budapest. Oozing with history and home to the famed ruin pubs, Hungary's capital is filled with people who love to party, and take pride in their diversity. With grand concerts in every square and fireworks along the river, is there anything more one could need for an unforgettable New Year's Eve? You can even recharge after a hard night on the tiles in one of Budapest's beautiful thermal baths.