This is where you should spend New Years Eve (according to Lonely Planet)

Set your sights somewhere a little more exotic than London...

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New year's eve fireworks

With Christmas Party season in full swing, you might not have got around to thinking about your New Year's Eve plans just yet.

But if the thought of another house party where you try to avoid a midnight kiss from someone you really don't like while making up the words to Auld Lang Syne makes you wish it was 2017 already, it might be time to think bigger.

See also: Celebrity Christmas and New Year holiday destinations

See also: Need a New Year break? Check out these great ideas

London's Thames spectacular and Edinburgh Hogmanay are the default UK destinations for a bit of a treat and some fancy fireworks, but the New Year will be welcomed all over the world, so why not set your sights on somewhere more exotic?

Lonely Planet has selected seven getaway destinations its experts think can make your 2017 start with a bang. And if you don't fancy a last-minute trip this month, start planning to join the celebrations next year...

1. Matera, Italy

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Matera, in southern Italy, is a Unesco world heritage site and holds a number of open-air festivals and celebrations.

Lonely Planet says: "Explore the town's labyrinth of narrow alleys, and look out for the Presepe Narrante Di Matera, a 'live nativity scene' spread over 5km featuring 150 costumed performers."

Ryanair flies from London Stansted to Bari , which is a train ride away. An early New Year's Eve flight is available for just £20 although return flights are more pricey. Booking.com has hostel beds from £18 and B&Bs from £50.

The ghostly quiet lower district is made up of a maze of alleyways and staircases leading to around 3,000 cave and cliff dwellings called sassi that have been shaped into the rocky hillsides, probably originating in the 8th to 13th Centuries as refuges for monks.

Now, you can stay in them. Some of the rooms at the Hotel Sassi are cave rooms and are the perfect way to live like Fred Flintstone.

2. New Orleans, USA

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Famous for its Mardi Gras and Jazz Festival, the Louisiana city has a reputation for knowing how to party - so it's a good bet for New Year too.

Lonely Planet says: "Head over to Jackson Square to ring in 2017. The annual party there includes live music and a great view of the midnight fleur-de-lis drop to usher in the new year.

"The St Louis Cathedral, one of the best examples of French architecture in the US, serves as a regal backdrop for an impressive fireworks display over the Mississippi River."

United Airlines is likely to offer the best flight options.

3. Melbourne, Australia

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Getty

When it is winter at home, heading Down Under is always tempting... and Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest city, could be the answer, even if it is Sydney's Opera House which hogs the New Year's Eve pictures we see over here.

Lonely Planet says: "If Sydney is the golden child for New Year's Eve in Australia, then Melbourne is the spunky sibling. Hole up at one of the city's renowned rooftop bars for a balmy summer night's tipple and front-row seats for the fireworks."

Check out flights with Qantas .

More to a holiday in Melbourne than F1

4. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

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Getty

A medium haul flight can get you a bit of New Year's Eve warmth - and a Spanish party.

Lonely Planet says: "Partying in Europe at this time of year usually involves several layers of thermal underwear, but temperatures in the Gran Canarian capital of Las Palmas are a balmy average of 19°C.

"And while elsewhere the island is dominated by big resorts, this is a proper Spanish city mostly frequented by locals – particularly on New Year's Eve, when clubs and bars fill up with Canarios."

Ryanair has a sale on for flights to the Canaries in December and January.

5. Nassau, the Bahamas

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Getty

We are used to seeing pictures of Simon Cowell sunning himself in the Caribbean over the festive season, so why not stop being jealous and book yourself a trip?

Lonely Planet says: "Nearly every town in the Caribbean throws a New Year's bash, but Nassau does so with a particular flair.

"Junkanoo is the Bahamas' biggest, flashiest street carnival, and while it takes place multiple times a year, the largest celebrations happen on Boxing Day and New Year's Day."

Delta has good flight options - be flexible about which days you travel and how long you stay for the best fares.

6. Hangzhou, China

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Getty

If you want a New Year that isn't a New Year, try China. The Chinese wait until their Spring Festival - otherwise known as Chinese New Year - later in January for their celebrations.

Lonely Planet says: "Visit the idyllic city of Hangzhou for a peaceful way to see in 2017. Follow the footpath alongside West Lake in the morning to see the mist covering the water, then climb the hill to visit Yongfu Temple."

KLM has some good flight options.

7. Sydney, Australia

Perfect New Year's Eve getaways

New Year reaches Australia long before the UK, so we get to enjoy their fireworks on TV at a reasonable hour before there is any risk of falling asleep on the sofa waiting for midnight.

But think about enjoying the celebrations at Sydney Harbour live - where it is not just about the fireworks.

Lonely Planet says: "In the run-up to the big fireworks display, vessels of all shapes and sizes decked out in dazzling white rope-light dance across the water to the sound of live music.

"The arrival of midnight triggers an eruption of pyrotechnics from no less than seven barges dotted along the harbour, not to mention the world's most famous coat hanger, the Sydney Harbour Bridge."

Check out flights with Qantas.

Celebrity Christmas and New Year holiday destinations

Celebrity Christmas and New Year holiday destinations