Alternatives to clubs and cover charges.

By Jess McHugh
December 22, 2016
New Year's Eve Plans
Credit: Khurt Williams

As revelers start selecting champagne and donning sequins for New Year’s Eve parties, others might be wondering why they never completed that fall-out shelter they started building in 2012.

For those who find the parties and countdowns to 2017 either overwhelming or just plain depressing, there are other options. So take a page out of the J.D. Salinger guide to hermit-hood and try one of these activities.

Escape to a cabin

Solitude is not a value embraced by most New Year’s Eve partygoers. If you want to contemplate the successes and failures of your personal 2016 saga, consider renting a cabin in the woods alone or with a loved one.

Maine Huts and Trails offers guided hiking and snowshoeing as well as access to forestlands and nearby lakes for adventurers who would rather greet 2017 in the wilderness. AirBnb has a range of cabin rental listings all over the country, with varying amenities.

For those who want to go completely off the grid, there is a new startup called Getaway, so far only available to people near New York and Boston. It rents tiny secluded houses and living spaces to users for just $99 per night. The best part? The company doesn’t tell you exactly where you’ll be holing up until 24 hours before you depart, and there is no WiFi, so your stay will be people-free, CBS reported.

Barricade yourself in a dive bar

A true dive bar is the antithesis of New Year’s Eve: it isn’t shiny, and it isn’t new. The best dives would never serve champagne, so let’s hope you’ll settle for a Guinness.

This is a great option for people who want to quietly ring in the New Year over a gin and tonic or listen to music that was made before Taylor Swift was born.

Relax in a remote spa

A weekend of facials, scrubs and massages might be the cleansing fresh start that many people need for the New Year.

New spas offer all kinds of catered experiences. From boozy-infused treatments to an emphasis on meditation, a new crop of spas caters to both newbies and relaxation veterans.

Travel to a country where it isn’t the new year

Celebrating the new year on January 1 is not a universal tradition. Many parts of Asia, including China, Bali and South Korea do not traditionally celebrate the New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31. It’s just a regular old December day in Beijing or Seoul, making it the perfect time to explore some of Travel + Leisure's favorite spots.

Stay home

The thought of making no attempt to go to a New Year’s Eve party can be daunting, but staying home on this festive night can be one of the most relaxing experiences. Curl up with a good book and a glass of red wine, or watch all of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies and scream at the impending mortality signaled by the new year.