NYE fireworks are the worst
HERE IS an unpopular opinion: New Year's Eve fireworks are hugely overrated.
Hear us out. You spend weeks deciding on the best place to see them and then you camp out for hours, holding in much-needed bathroom visits for longer than you can handle, for what turns out to be a mere 15 minutes of show time.
That's it. All that fanfare and before you know it, the whole shebang, like the year and all your patience, is over.
And that says nothing of the massive crowds you're battling for that prime spot to watch the fireworks because almost everyone in your town or city has the exact same idea as you.
It never changes. We put all this effort into celebrating a new year and we keep recycling the same old idea for how to do it.
And it's no better than the other New Year's Eve go-to, the nightclub, packed with hundreds of sweaty, drunken sods who forked out a year's worth of savings for a ticket and the thrill of being able to say they "technically partied over two years", until they find themselves stranded in the city at 3am.
For those of us who would rather forgo the cliches of December 31, here are a few more enjoyable ways to ring in 2018.
GET OUT OF TOWN
If you live in a major city, pack up some supplies, grab your mates and find a scenic spot to spend New Year's Eve without the chaos.
Last-minute deals can be found on booking sites such as Stayz and Airbnb, so you and your mates might be able to chip in for a large, private home for a few nights.
Just keep in mind some hosts won't be cool with raging parties on the premises so respect their wishes and keep things tame.
TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Most big events are geared towards the midnight fireworks, but a quick check of online city guides, and your local council website, may field some alternative events that will make this New Year's Eve more memorable than all your others.
For example, in Sydney, NYE In The Park at Victoria Park will be a giant garden party featuring headliners Hot Dub Time Machine and a host of other DJs, plenty of food, and not many tourists.
The National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour is holding family NYE celebrations that include a barbecue and after-hours access to exhibits. Over at the Capitol Theatre, the cast of Wizard Of Oz will perform two NYE shows on December 31.
HAVE A DIGNIFIED DINNER
If you do want to catch some of the action on New Year's Eve, but don't want to hustle with the crowds, lock in your spot for a fancy dinner.
You can just make a beeline for your seat, which is sitting there, ready and waiting for you. No crowds, no queues, no worries.
But if there is a restaurant you've been eyeing off but prices are a bit much, what better excuse to splurge than New Year's Eve? Paying off the credit card is next year's problem.
HOUSE PARTY AT YOUR PLACE
It takes a bit of effort to get organised initially - what with buying the appropriate volumes of chips and dips, and a quick bit of dusting before guests arrive - but the beauty of this plan is you won't need to worry about getting home in the post-midnight rush.
And if you've got enough floorspace and cushions, your guests won't have to either.
The very best part of this is when you're all partied out at 1.30am, you can just disappear in your bedroom and hit the hay without anyone noticing until you're already asleep. Genius.
PRETEND IT'S NOT HAPPENING
New Year's Eve? What New Year's Eve? The seconds will turn into minutes and hours and a whole new year, whether you choose to celebrate it or not.
Buck with tradition, stay indoors and maybe take the chance to catch up on all those TV shows and movies you've been meaning to watch all year.
And you'll have all of January 1 to yourself, given practically everyone else in the country will still be sleeping off their hangovers until well past lunchtime.