Watch the ball drop in Times Square—from Times Square.
Everyone should experience New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple at least once. If you want to watch the ball drop from Times Square, here are few tips to help you plan a last-minute trip of a lifetime.
Tuesdays and Wednesday are usually the least expensive days to fly in and out of the largest city in the United States. You’ll be coming during an extremely busy time of year, so don’t expect to find rock bottom airfares. Use Google Flights or Hopper to find the best airfare. Arrive a few days early to take advantage of the many things to do in New York during the holidays.
Consider Other Airports
Yes, New York has three main airports: Laguardia, JFK, and Newark. But also look for cheaper flights into outlying airports, such as Philadelphia, Westchester, Stewart, and Islip.
Don't Get a Rental Car
Along with taxis and Uber, New York's City's public transportation system is easy to use and affordable. Don't bother getting a rental car unless you love paying $25 per hour (or more) for parking.
Don’t Book Your Hotel Ahead of Time
Unless you plan to crash with friends or find a great rental on Airbnb, keep your options open. The GeoRates offers on HotelTonight are a great way to snag a deal on a last minute hotel room. The app will use your GPS location before suggesting geographically-targeted room rates. For example, if you search for a hotel room from the airport after you land, you might find an even better rate than when you search from out of state. Also try using One:Night, an app that offers same day stays for reduced prices at more than a dozen boutique properties in New York City, including the Meatpacking District’s Standard Hotel and the Gramercy Hotel. Deals are announced each day at 3 p.m.
Search for Price Changes
Sometimes you can get some money back if your airfare drops dramatically after you book it. Use the PlanChat app to create an alert for your flight and you might be able to score a refund.
Carry on, carry on, carry on. New York City’s dress code for New Year’s Eve: festive.
Have a Plan for Midnight
Yes, waiting for hours in the freezing cold with throngs of revelers on the street looks like fun on television. It’s not. Instead, consider splurging on a ticketed party. Here are two options:
The Hyatt Centric Times Square is hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration with an exclusive live viewing area of the Ball Drop in Times Square and five-hour open bar and 3 hours of appetizers. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $1,399.
Nios in the Kimpton Muse Hotel in Times Square is kicking off the celebration at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 31. Ticket prices range from $140 for single admission to $850 for a VIP table for six. The VIP table includes two chilled bottles of Louis Roederer Champagne.
Take a Helicopter Tour
BLADE is offering Holiday Cityscape helicopter tours during the holidays, every day between 4:30 and 6 p.m. Fly over Rockefeller Center and enjoy eggnog and gingerbread cookies upon landing. On New Year’s Eve, trips run between 4:30 p.m. and 11:50 p.m. and fly you over Times Square—with champagne. $595 per seat.
Kiss a Stranger
If you don’t have a special someone lined up as the clock tolls midnight, remember that you’re in a city with 9 million people. Pucker up.