Maybe you just forgot. That’s the most likely thing. It’s understandable. There’s been a lot going on the last few weeks, what with Christmas and all. But now it’s time to get ready for your big New Year’s Eve date and you’ve got nothing. No reservations. No parties. No clues.
Having a fun New Year’s Eve is actually pretty easy, and doesn’t have even have to be all that expensive. Play your cards right and this could still be a memorable way to close out the year and ring in 2019. Just read along.
Go to a Concert
There are probably at least a few fun concerts taking place in your area on New Year’s Eve and looking for tickets last minute might actually work in your favor, as at least a few people might be interested in selling their tickets at a discounted price. Just head to a safe, guaranteed ticket retailer like StubHub and see what the offerings are. You might be surprised by a few of the bargains.
Go to a Non-Fancy Restaurant
A few years ago, I was driving with my family through New Mexico late on New Year’s Eve on the way back across the country after a bowl game. We pulled over to the only restaurant we could find to ring in the new year: a Golden Corral. Was it good? Of course not. Was it fun? Yes, actually, in that sort of memorably bad way. We went all-out on the food, if nothing else. While everyone else is headed to fine, fancy, gazillion dollar restaurants, you can make a real memory somewhere a little lower down the prestige totem pole and probably a decent amount of money doing it. Just remember to really embrace the moment.
Make a Nice Dinner at the House
This is the most obvious inexpensive last-minute date option, but you still might be surprised at the potential ROI here. Just because you’re out of time for a 48-hour marinade doesn’t mean you still can’t cook a meal to impress. Go for some pasta, or maybe a nice salmon dish — both are very tasty and relatively simple to make. Clean your place a little and put together a nice playlist. The rest should take care of itself.
Try Your Luck at the Restaurant Bar
Many nice restaurants have first-come-first-serve bar seating with the exact same menu as you’d get if you were sat at a table. And as an added bonus, you’re actually within the eyesight of your server behind the bar the entire meal. So why not just head to the restaurant and see if they can squeeze you in? It’s a bit of a gamble, but the odds are titled a little more in your favor if there’s just two of you. Call ahead to make sure the bar is still being seated and then give it a go.
And a few other things to remember.
Take the Pressure Off
The hardest part of New Year’s Eve is the pressure. There’s a sense that the last night of the year should be the biggest and wildest, and the bar eventually gets raised so high that nothing short of an air balloon ride with Lin-Manuel Miranda will do. But remember, having fun is actually pretty easy. You’ve probably done it lots of times. Let go of the comparisons. Get off Instagram. Just ask yourself what you’d do for a fun date if it was any other night and do that.
This is a date, so don’t pretend something is happening that isn’t. If your date is expecting a fancy meal at an expensive restaurant, come clean about the reservations. Apologize for not getting to it sooner and explain that you’ve moved on to Plan B. There is no New Year’s Eve plan in which honesty is not the best policy.
Resolve to Plan Ahead Next Year
You know the feeling of stress you’re feeling right now? It’s optional. Just let this be a motivator to get some plans on the book a little earlier next year. In fact, you can pull out your phone right now and set a reminder to start thinking about it early December next year.
Don’t Let This Be the Only Thing You Work On for Next Year
A new year is still a good time to think about changes you’d like to make, and they don’t all have to involve planning your holidays further in advance. Check out brightpeak Financial’s list of 10 Acts of Kindness That Won’t Go Unnoticed and resolve to do more of them in the new year.
Love & Money content is created in partnership with brightpeak Financial