Thursday, 27 November 2008 12:00 AM
Perhaps the biggest party night of the year, New Year's Eve elicits excitement and derision from potential revellers in equal measure.
While some would rather hunker down at home and wait for the storm to pass, the majority relish the chance of hitting the streets - sometimes in new and strange locations - to make the most of the party which sweeps the world.
To avoid a damp squib of an evening it is best to make a plan well in advance, and with this in mind travelbite.co.uk here makes a few suggestions as to what to do on the big night - taking in some obvious locations before looking for something a little out of the ordinary.
New Year's Eve offers the perfect excuse to catch up with all those old friends - and what better place to do it than at one of the world's premier party destinations; New York, Edinburgh or London.
New Year's Eve in London
Since 2000, London has celebrated New Year's Eve along the banks of the Thames.
This year's event has been choreographed by renowned pyrotechnician Christophe Berthonneau, with ten-minute barrage of fireworks scheduled to be launched from the London Eye immediately following the chimes of Big Ben.
As many as 750,000 revellers are expected to take to the streets of the capital this year, and many are likely to take advantage of the free Tube, bus, DLR and tram services to make sure they get home safely after some lengthy partying.
Outside of the official celebrations, Egg will host one of the biggest nights in London, playing progressive house across five rooms, at a cost of Â£45, while the Funky Buddha will offer a supremely decadent New Years Eve at with a White Tux and Snow Queen event and Hed Kandi will also take over the Indigo2 with a Grand Circus.
Branding itself as the 'Worlds Best New Year's Eve' celebration destination, Edinburgh has developed a formidable reputation on the international party scene.
This year's Hogmanay Street Party will have four live music stages, each with a distinct style and fantastic acts. Headliners will include Glasvegas and a DJ set from Hot Chip, while the Scott Monument Stage will host Peatbog Faeries, are Burach and Watergaw to give things a Scottish flavour.
Tickets for the street party start at Â£10.
In a separate event the Concert in the Gardens will take place in Princes Street Gardens. The event will be headlined by Groove Armada, Paolo Nutini and Friendly Fires - with tickets priced at Â£37.50.
For more information on Scotland's New Year's Eve celebrations take a look at the official Hogmanay website.
New Year's Eve in New York
Revellers looking for the best party in town usually head to the symbolic heart of New York City in Times Square.
With an estimated one million visitors descending on the square for proceedings, many will turn their eyes to the famous New Year's Eve Ball as it descends from a flagpole atop One Times Square, before dancing the night away.
A host of local restaurants will also host special events, among them Carolines, which will host two gala performances featuring the country's very best comedians, while B.B. King Blues Club & Grill will host a Chuck Berry themed evening, taking in the hits Johnny B. Goode, Maybellene and Memphis in a party atmosphere.
If this is not to your tastes, how about the Half Moon Water Cruise which will unite party people and pleasure enthusiasts alike as the vessel sets sail down the East River.
The spectacular voyage will take in views of Manhattan's awe-inspiring skyline, as guests enjoy a four hour premium open bar, delectable selection of hors d'oeuvres, champagne toast at midnight, NYE party flavours, live New Year's countdown and a world renowned DJs.
Off the Beaten Track
If these mega-celebrations conjure images of vast queues, warm beer, festival toilets and measly portions of extortionately priced food, then why not try something a little more off the beaten track?
With a population of just 320,000 people spread over a total area of 103,000 square kilometres, Iceland is the perfect place to escape the crowds for New Year's Eve.
That said, the event is still one of spectacular celebration, especially in the capital Reykjavik, as Icelanders gather around bonfires to sing traditional Icelandic folk songs - concerned with trolls, elves and all manner of folklore.
These bonfires are an important opportunity to meet friends and neighbours, enjoy the warmth, and light some sparklers or small 'preliminary' fireworks. While there is no 'official' fireworks display, the whole population of the greater Reykjavik area enjoy their personal fireworks displays - granting visitors a 360 degree panoramic display.
The custom is that almost every family buys its own fireworks and blasts them off from their garden or some vantage point around midnight; creating an informal celebratory atmosphere, a world away from the crowds of larder cities.
This year Scantours is offering a five night package to the city, departing on December 29th and costing Â£875.
Included in the price are return Icelandair flights, all taxes, four nights accommodation at the Grand Hotel Reykjavik (including breakfast), and a New Year's Eve programme featuring a champagne reception, 'Buffet on Ice' dinner, New Year's bonfire tour and dancing.
For something with a touch of glamour, the Hotel Martinez is hosting a New Years Eve party for everyone who enjoys fine food, sea and sequins.
Cult Abba tribute band BjÃ¶rn Again will be kicking off the celebrations with classic hits such as Dancing Queen and Mamma Mia, followed by a superb champagne gala dinner at the famous Salon Royal Galuchat.
Resident Michelin starred chef Christian Sinicropi will be selecting the finest dishes to encourage indulgence within the beautiful art deco surroundings. Tickets are priced at ?480 (Â£400) per person and include a gala dinner, champagne, drinks and entertainment.
The Hotel Martinez is also offering discounted accommodation for those coming to celebrate New Year, with prices starting from ?275 (Â£230) per night for a Superior Category room, buffet or continental breakfast served in room and free entry to the fitness area and Spa Martinez Sauna, perfect to help you kick start your New Year detox.
One of the most beautiful art deco buildings on the CÃ´te d'Azur, the Hotel Martinez is a regular hot spot for celebrities visiting throughout the Cannes Film Festival and year round.
Check out Concorde Hotels for more information on New Year's Eve at the Martinez.
Featuring a private guided walking tour of the Old Town and a chance to enjoy traditional food, drink and locally-made handicrafts, Estonia's award winning SchlÃ¶ssle Hotel creates the perfect environment for an indulgent New Year's Eve destination.
Taking in the best of Tallinn's cultural treasures - including historic churches, concert halls and enchanting architecture - guests will also be entertained by choirs and musicians, who regularly perform seasonal music.
Located on a narrow street within a 15th century Merchant's House, the hotel has maintained many original features, with antique furniture and cosy rooms teamed with impeccable service provide a luxurious place to stay.
The hotel is this year offering a three-night deal for Â£566, based on two sharing a Deluxe Double room on a bed and breakfast basis. This includes use of chauffeur driven car for up to three hours, dinner for two at the hotel's Stenhus restaurant, airport transfers and daily use of private a traditional Estonian sauna.
For something a little more exotic Veranda Resorts have put together the perfect festive package that brings a slice of the holidays to the Indian Ocean.
Known for its barefoot chic concept, Pointes aux Biches opened in November 2006 to great acclaim and continues to entrance holidaymakers today. Guests are invited to enjoy a genuine Robinson Crusoe holiday at this resort, leaving their shoes at the door and wriggling their toes in the sand.
This relaxed hotel is natural and earthy in feel and is almost like you are shipwrecked on a desert island - but with a few more luxuries.
New Year's Eve will witness a spectacular sÃ©ga (Mauritius' national dance) show while sunset drinks, special buffets and champagne toasts are sure to sate guests' appetites.
Toast the holidays with your entire family or just that special someone!
Book a ten night stay through Kuoni for just Â£2,431 per person. The package includes return flights with Emirates from London Gatwick (via Dubai) with transfers in resort, based on two people sharing a standard room on an all inclusive basis.
Close to home in the UK
If staying close to home is top of the agenda, holidaymakers could do worse than spending the holiday season in a stunning Victorian mansion - complete with roaring fires, breathtaking estuary views and enough room for all your family or friends.
Salcombe is this year offering the Old Rectory - one of the most beautiful homes in South Hams, Devon - for rent over the holiday period.
Sleeping up to 19 people, the property also accepts well-behaved dogs. Situated on the beautiful East Portlemouth shoreline, the Old Rectory is set in three acres of land, with six bedrooms, reception hall, drawing room, library and ornamental ponds and gardens there's plenty of room to explore on you own or get together.
The Old Rectory costs Â£5,400 for seven nights starting on December 29th, based on ten people sharing plus Â£200 per extra person.