With better and cheaper access to global holiday destinations than ever before, it’s no surprise that heading abroad for a hen and stag party is becoming an increasingly popular option. In 2014, over 1.3 million Brits travelled outside of the UK for a hen or stag party.
After all, your send-off happens once in a lifetime, so why not go the extra mile, or 3000, to make sure you party in style.
However, let’s spare a thought for the poor Best Men & Maids of Honour who have to corral a group of rowdy stag and hens, not just on the plane, but into some semblance of organisation in the first place. With destinations, travel routes, finances and accommodation to consider, planning the perfect destination stag or hen isn’t easy.
Luckily, we’ve been doing this for a while, so we know exactly what to do to make planning a stag or hen abroad manageable and easy.
Accommodation is usually the trickiest thing to pin down, both domestically and abroad, as where you stay has the potential to set the tone for the entire weekend. And, a sizable bulk of your budget will go on your lodging, so it’s important to choose wisely. Whether you’re looking for a basic hotel room with a decent bed to sleep on, or something a little more extravagant, there are a number of external factors to consider before booking.
1. The Budget
Of course, this one places first on the list. As much as your priority is to organize the wildest hen and stag party yet, you need to stick to a budget. The figure is wholly dependent on your group’s willingness to spend, and you’re lucky if the hens and stags have plenty of cash to spare.
When you have at least a ballpark figure, you get a sense of what type of accommodation you can afford to book. Most of us won’t have the luxury of a budget for high-end hotels. So you’ll need to look for listings online more inline with your budget. This is where self-catering accommodation can work out really well because they have cooking facilities as well as the communal lounge area. That way, you can prepare your own meals rather than end up with a hefty bill in the restaurant.
Watch out for hidden charges too. If you tried to get a quotation, the cost may already include breakfast for everyone. But the question is will your group wake up in time for breakfast? Perhaps you can do away with that and have a (boozy) brunch instead.
2. The Size
By the time you’re looking to book your accommodation, you should have finalised the list of attendees already. And if you haven’t, do it now! The size of the party is a vital info you need to know prior to booking. If you guessed it wrong, 10 people may have to fit in accommodation for 8. You don’t want to overestimate either. Your money can go to waste with a large house with many rooms left unoccupied.
For larger groups, renting out an entire house is going to a better, and more cost-effective option than a hotel. As here, you can enjoy relaxing together in communal rooms, rather than in separate rooms in a hotel. If you’re a small group of less than 5 and like to keep it intimate, you could stay in a smaller apartment.
3. The Crowd
If you’re the designated party planner, we’re 100% sure you know the bride and groom as much as you know yourself. That’s good because their personality has a big say in the type of accommodation you’re going to book. But here comes the hard part – you have to please the hens and stags too.
In general, we’ve found that as long as it’s got a bed and a shower, guys don’t really care about the room’s furnishings. But for women, it’s usually another story. Hens tend to be more choosy about where they’re spending their money, going for the design of the room, as well as its functionality. After all, did a hen really happen if you can’t Instagram every part of it?
With those things considered, budget hotels can work for stags. A simple apartment with a backyard is even better, where you can grill barbeques or play Frisbee. As for the gals, an accommodation that can work as a destination in itself would work better. Look for a luxury hen party house or apartment with great interiors for pictures.
Above all else, don’t forget about the needs of the bride or groom. Is the bride a beach lover? Maybe a boutique hotel overlooking the beach is a brilliant choice. If the groom is fond of the outdoors, staying in a cabin by the mountain is a sure-fire way to make the groom happy.
4. The Accessibility
Are you planning a boozy hen or stag party? If you are, keep your accommodation close to the city centre, bars, pubs, and nightclubs. At best, keep them a few minutes away. If everyone is drunk, getting back to a place in the sticks is going to be far more of an adventure than it should be.
You also need to consider your activities. If your itinerary for the day involves touring the town, it would be good to stay where most of the attractions are. Have you planned out go-karting or paintballing for the stag do? Or perhaps an afternoon tea for the hen party? Plan in advance and keep your accommodation close to your destinations.
For busy cities, take traffic into account. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in the car for an hour and miss time-sensitive activities planned like life drawing classes and cruises. If you do need transportation to get around, make sure you can easily hail a cab, you’ve hired private transfers for the day or you know the public transport routes like the back of your hand.
Another thing to factor in is the place’s proximity to the airport. After a whole night of clubbing, a bad hangover and a lie in can result in your missing your flight. Aside from the travel time to the airport, factor in the time for packing up, checking out of the place, and checking in at the airport.
5. The Availability
Accommodations, more so in the hen and stag capitals of Europe, like Prague and Carrick-on-Shannon, get booked up fast – particularly during peak season. We highly advise you to make a reservation at least 3 months in advance. Lock the place in before you lose that beautiful hotel room or gorgeous waterfront house you’re eyeing.
If you need any advice on what to look for in your hen or stag accommodation or planning a hen or stag party, give us a call on 0872610010