New Year’s Eve is an exciting time full of fresh starts, celebrations, and lively parties. But do you know what’s even more exciting than New Year’s Eve itself? Spending New Year’s Eve in a different country! Being in a beautiful place you’ve never visited before will add to the enchanting New Year’s Eve experience and open you up to a whole new world. If you plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a different country this year, here are a few important things you should know first.
One thing that is universally appreciated across the globe is a tourist who takes the time to familiarize themselves with the culture and customs of the country they are visiting. You don’t have to be able to fluently speak the language of the country you are visiting, and you won’t be accepted to assimilate like you are going to be a permanent resident, but showing you’ve put effort into learning a bit about the country will go a long way. If you have time, learn a few key phrases in the country’s language and read up on their traditions, customs, and etiquette. This will not only make your time in a new country much easier for you, the locals will appreciate the effort you made and will likely feel more inclined to help you when you need it.
Aside from brushing up on some of the general customs of the country, if you are going for New Year’s, you should familiarize yourself with how the people celebrate New Year’s. You are going for a cultural experience, so you should learn about as much of it as you can. For example, in Denmark, they have a tradition of smashing plates on New Year’s Eve and holding onto the chipped pieces of dishware all year long. In Spain, the locals eat 12 grapes, one for each stroke of midnight, while sipping a glass of cava. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are in a country. Locals will love that you have taken an interest in their customs and traditions.
If you haven’t yet decided which country you would like to visit for the New Year, but definitely know you want to spend the holiday internationally, read up on the countries that love to celebrate the New Year and know how to go out with a bang. If you want a romantic New Year’s experience, Venice may be the place for you. Not only is Venice one of the most beautiful European cities, but they also have hundreds of parties occurring on New Year’s Eve, with the biggest being held in St. Mark’s Square. People gather for music and to watch singers and artists perform before an impressive fireworks display at midnight. In Dubai, the city lights up with many fireworks displays right at midnight, and many music performances take place, even right on the water! In South Africa, you can experience a quieter, more secluded New Year’s Eve by watching the fireworks display from the magnificent Table Mountain.
With the pandemic still ongoing, you will definitely want to be aware of the country’s health and safety measures in place. Will you be going to a country that requires proof of vaccination status (if so, you will want to have your vaccine card in tow)? Will you need to mask up in public places or take a test before entering a space? Know all the protocols in place before you head to a new city.
If you are flying all the way to a far-off destination for New Year’s, it’s unlikely that you will be going for just one night. Whether you plan to spend just a few days or a few weeks in a destination, have an itinerary for your trip. You will want to take advantage of your time in a beautiful, new location to research various places to stay, restaurants to eat at, and spots you absolutely want to visit before you leave. It’s also likely that festivities will be going on before New Year's day itself and afterward, so read up on different events that you can attend while you are there.
Packing for an international vacation is a bit different than packing for a weekend getaway upstate. There are things you will absolutely need in a different country that you wouldn’t necessarily need for a short, domestic trip. Make a list of all the items you will need to pack. You will likely need an adapter to charge your electronics, a passport, your relevant vaccine information and a mask, and whatever outfit you will be wearing at the New Year’s Eve celebration.
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