Everyone loves a destination New Year’s Eve!
And for TEFL teachers living abroad accessing the world’s best New Year’s Eve celebrations is easy. Take a long bus ride. Hitchhike. Hop on a budget flight. Get yourself to one of the great global destinations!
There are exceptions of course. TEFL teachers travel on a teachers salary. New York or London, as grand as they may be, aren’t exactly on a shoestring travelers budget. With that in mind, here are some great locations to ring in the new year that won’t break the bank.
Valparaiso is a gorgeous coastal city about an hour outside of Santiago. The city is famous for art and its appreciation of art. As you walk through the colorful neighborhoods it seems as if every wall is a canvas. Even the staircases are masterpieces. Valparaiso is fun and interesting any time of the year but New Year’s Eve is something special. Thousands of people pour in from all over Chile and other parts of South America to witness the spectacle. Valparaiso boasts one the biggest fireworks displays in the world. In fact, only the New Year’s Eve celebration in Hong Kong tops it. The fireworks are launched from boats in the harbour, lighting up the entire bay. It is truly something to see. Accommodation can be a little pricey because of the demand but the party (which lasts well past sunrise) is a street to street affair. If you have an extra day, take the time to do one of the free walking tours. Valparaiso has a really interesting history. TEFL teachers are sure to enjoy it.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is spectacular. You’ll go in with sky high expectations and Rio will meet them all. Obviously, Carnival is the big draw but the Brazilians know how to throw a good party year round and New Year’s Eve is a wild affair. The heart of the celebration is on Copacabana Beach. The famous golden sands will be practically hidden by swaying revelers. If you don’t want to break your TEFL teacher budget, stick to the streets. Food is cheap and you’ll find an army of people selling adult beverages on the beach. The Brazilian people are friendly and fun. You are guaranteed to love the atmosphere. But be careful. Rio’s pickpocket reputation is well earned.
Thailand’s capital city has been a budget travelers dream for years. The epicenter for hippie globetrotters is Khao San Road. The Khao San backpacker district is dirty, noisy, bright and always a lot of fun. Tip for TEFL teachers: look for a place along Rambutri Road. It is adjacent to Khao San but a lot quieter and a lot cleaner. All of the major old city sites like the Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha are walking distance from Khao San. The biggest New Year’s Eve celebration is in front of the Central World mall. Thousands of people gather to enjoy fireworks, concerts and the classic midnight countdown.
Hong Kong is what you make of it. It can be glamorous and wildly expensive. But there are countless streets in between where locals dwell and everything a TEFL teacher needs can be found on the cheap. On New Year’s Eve the fireworks are the star of the show. Thousands of people will gather on the shores of Victoria Harbour to celebrate. Admission is free. If you don’t like the crowds, find higher ground. Hong Kong is a city of spectacular views. You’ll have no trouble finding an out of the way spot to enjoy the brightening sky.
As far as European capitals go, Lisbon is among the most affordable. The seafood is spectacular. The Fado music is haunting. And the New Year’s Eve party goes all night long. As a TEFL teacher, you will undoubtedly want to go where the locals go. If so, head to Terriero do Paco. You’ll be treated to live music, performing arts and midnight fireworks.
What are you waiting for? Your destination New Year’s Eve awaits.