Avoid these New Year's Eve rip–offs

20 December 2011

Pubs, bars and restaurants all up their prices while house party hosts have the difficult task of trying to cater for an unknown number of guests.

Follow our simple steps to see in the New Year full of festive cheer without spending a fortune.

1. Avoid pricey restaurant or club nights

You don't have to book somewhere flash for your last dinner of 2016 to be a pricey affair. A lot of restaurants will offer extra entertainment and set menus as part of their NYE package, and you'll inevitably pay for this.

Take London's Sushisamba. The Asian fusion restaurant and nightspot's ‘Lounge Late Dining Tickets' are going for £325 per person. For that you get an eight course sharing menu, a cocktail, champagne, canapés and DJs spinning throughout the evening.

It sounds fun but is it really worth £325 each - especially when you’ll likely still need to tip your waiters and then buy drinks throughout the party to see you through to midnight and beyond?

Similarly, some (usually) reasonably-priced restaurants up their prices on New Year's Eve. Family favourite Wahaca, for example, is offering a live DJ, cocktails and 'tacos galore' - but you'll have to fork out £120 per ticket! But you will get a great view of the capital's fireworks display in addition to all of this, which is ticketed at £10.

2. Support your (free) local

New Year's Eve is one of the busiest nights of the year in pubs across the country and it's not uncommon for them to charge a small entrance fee to punters. Some also require you to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Have a scout around to see if there are any pubs not charging a door fee – they may not be as popular or more out of the way, but if you can gather a large group of friends together you can still create a great atmosphere.

Alternatively, look for bars and pubs that are selling all-inclusive deals. You may wake up on New Year's Day with a sore head but at least you can rest safe in the knowledge you haven't cleaned out your wallet.

3. Be prepared

Whether booking taxis or babysitters, do so in advance. Chances of finding last-minute cabs or childcare are slim – and if you do manage to find one last minute, you'll likely have to pay extra too.

4. Take advantage of freebies

Look out for other free events across the country. Check with your council if you're not aware of anything but the big cities tend to put on something. Cardiff is hosting a free fireworks display at its Winter Wonderland, while Manchester traditionally puts on a big fireworks spectacular. 

Those living in the bigger UK cities can also take advantage of nightlife comparison website designmynight.com to find the cheapest venues according to venue type, location and entertainment.

And do remember that if you're in London, TfL run the tube for free on new year's eve.

5. Stay in and party

With cold temperatures and pricey nights, many of us are choosing to forego a night out and stay home instead. You can watch the London fireworks display from the comfort of your sofa, be entertained by Jools Holland and co courtesy of his annual Hootenanny TV show and have whatever you fancy to eat or drink. If you don't fancy putting on a full-blow party, opt for a bring-and-share dinner party instead.

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