Monday 15 October 2012

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Answering the New Years Eve Question

When it comes to recapping holiday travel for people, we always get asked the same two questions. "How was your Christmas?", and "What did you do for New Years?". I much prefer answering the first question, as it usually involves a recap of how many trips through Space Mountain we managed to make, followed by a detailed description of what goodies the Hyatt put out on the buffet table that morning. Our family tradition of spending Christmas morning at Disneyland seems weird to some people, but to us the year just doesn't seem complete without it.

New Years is a different story though. While New Years Eve is generally considered one of the biggest party nights of the year, you know what else it is? It's one of the cheapest nights to travel on the calendar. The insanely expensive Christmas season doesn't have a whole lot of great deals to be found in it, but if you're willing to be on a plane instead of packed on a street with thousands of other people, then you can save quite a bit of money by flying home on December 31st. 

Even so, we've tried hanging out for the party. We've been in Las Vegas for New Years. We spent one year in Phoenix, and we've even hung around Southern California longer and tried ringing the New Year in at Disneyland. Being unable to move for almost an hour after midnight because the crowd was too dense is not my favorite Disney memory, and that was before we had kids. We've avoided the big crowds ever since our loyal suitcase pullers arrived on the scene.

Hey! Lot's of people see things blurry on New Years Eve!
Those baggage handlers are getting older though (which is funny, because my wife insists that she's not), and we're starting to get complaints about traveling though all the festivities. It's fair enough I suppose, as I seem to remember New Years being a much bigger deal once I hit my teen years, so this year we're going to compromise. We're still flying on December 31st, but we're going to catch an earlier flight in the day and bring in 2013 at the Space Needle in Seattle.

Hopefully it will be a good experience. I'd love for it to be a stepping stone to some bigger New Years Eve events. The Sydney Harbor, the parliament buildings in London, and even the big ball drop in Times Square, would all be really great ways to bring in a new year. We're going to see if we can handle baby steps first though, so we've booked a hotel a couple of blocks away with a view of the Space Needle. Worst case scenario we can stand in the doorway and watch from there. It might end up being one of those "careful what you wish for" experiences and we'll never hear another complaint about traveling on New Years, or it might be a complete blast and I'll never be allowed to plan late night travel on the last day of the year again. Either way it will give us an answer for the "What did you do for New Years?" question. I just hope this isn't the year people stop asking.

Written by Steve Pratt