While everyone dreams of their wedding day, guys are perhaps more excited for the stag do. But with films like The Hangover serving as a worst-case-scenario for what could happen, you need to make sure you’ve organised everything appropriately in order to avoid any accidents. In fact, stag weekends require a fair amount of advanced planning to be successful, and this includes a few things you might not have even thought of at first. For example, how are you going to get from the airport to the hotel? Is the party far enough in advance for everyone to be able to recover from any accidents without having to miss the wedding? These are just some of the things you should probably think about when planning a stag do.
Agree on a realistic budget
A stag weekend requires everyone attending to chip in, whether for flights and accommodation or food and drink. The average stag or hen do costs over £200 per guest—and that’s for just one day of partying—so as international stag weekends become more popular, that figure is sure to rise. It’s important to set a realistic budget with your guests first, as everyone has different financial situations. You can avoid spending too much by simply agreeing on a rough budget per head, and planning your trip accordingly.
Book as much as you can in advance
Stick to your budget by booking as many activities as possible in advance. Obviously you’ll need to have basic things like transportation and accommodation secured early. But arranging any added entertainment during your stag do gives you a good chance at a good deal, and a better idea of how much money everyone is spending, and how much everyone owes while on the trip. No matter where you go, there will be a huge range of activities which are perfect for a stag do, such as pub and bar crawls, strip clubs, or even five-a-side football.
There are plenty of companies dedicated to helping you and the lads booking the ideal stag do across a range of budgets. However, it’s important you still keep your agreed budget in mind. For example, Maximise lets you book stag activities with a single deposit, before inviting your guests to log in and pay their own share. This takes away any stress on one person to foot the bill for the entire group, and gives everyone a better idea of how much they’re spending. This also means you’ll have some form of itinerary, which makes planning the rest of your trip much easier! Once you’ve booked the activities, all you need to do is figure out what else you’re doing.
Give enough notice
Some guests might do shift work and will, therefore, need to carefully plan out their holidays. Other people might already have plans. Either way, you need to make sure you give everyone you’ve invited plenty of time to sort their life admin out. It’s also a good idea to be flexible on dates, so that as many of your guests as possible will be able to attend. Figuring out these dates also depends on what activities you’re actually going to be doing.
If you’re going skiing, for example, the risks of someone injuring themselves is significantly higher than if you were going for a night out in the city. You would, therefore, need to give enough recovery time for any hypothetical accidents before the big day. In the best-case scenario, however, you’ll just want to make sure there’ll be no lingering hangovers on the day of the ceremony.
Research the local area
If you’re going abroad for your stag, it’s a good idea to research the local area—you don’t want to go during the tourism ‘off-season’ when not much is open. Marrakech, for example, is a popular location for stag weekends, but during Ramadan, its religiously observant community will be observing the holiday. As a significant holiday in Morocco, many businesses will likely change their hours, so you may not be able to do everything planned. It also means that liquor stores will be closed, and you’ll be unlikely to be served alcohol anywhere but high-end bars and restaurants, which can get expensive. If you’re looking for a cheap yet boozy stag do, this might not be the trip for you. However, if you’re looking to soak up the country’s rich culture and try the huge range of food, this may well be your ideal stag do.
On the other hand, you may want to travel to another country specifically for a national holiday. Oktoberfest in Munich, for example, lasts for a full three weeks, making it a very popular choice for stag parties. With hundreds of tents offering steins of beer and food, it’s no wonder that thousands of people from around the world flock to it every year. If these sort of celebrations are more up your street, it’s worth doing some research into where to stay, how to get there, and how to reserve a table.
Appoint a treasurer
Taking care of money is perhaps one of the most important aspects. But when there’s a large group of you, it’s probably easier to have just one person in charge of a kitty that you all pay into. This makes paying for rounds of drinks and food much easier, and stops any cliques forming during the trip, as some guests try and split off into smaller groups for cheaper rounds. Pick the most responsible person in the group to be in charge of the money, and of making sure everyone pays into it fairly.
However, you should also be sure that your chosen treasurer is up to the task—a massive £206 million worth of kitties was lost on stag and hen parties in 2018, so there is a lot riding on whoever is in charge of all the holiday cash.