Gone are the days when the maid of honour or best man could get away with organising a night in town for the bride/groom’s hen/stag do. The past two decades have seen what was once a relatively minor celebration develop into something that often rivals the main event!
What is more, even what has become the traditional British hen or stag party is being replaced by altogether classier affairs. Whilst stags in drag or hens in heels far too high for them can still be seen boarding flights to Europe’s favourite destinations, many are opting for more unusual or interesting ways to celebrate their best friends’ last days as a singleton. The thought of plying oneself with enough alcohol to down a small rhino isn’t all that appealing to most anyway!
This means the task falling to the maid of honour or best man has become quite a daunting one. No longer are back of a fag packet plans going to suffice! But never fear – here are four fantastic hen and stag do ideas to suit any budget.
The first on our list is the adventure weekend. Instead of a booze filled bonanza, taking the guys or girls away in either the UK or abroad for a fun filled few days of exciting activities and exploration is a great way to catch up, celebrate and even make new friends. Sharing and active experience throws people together in a way that nothing else can, meaning adventure dos are brilliant for breaking the ice between those in the party who don’t know each other quite as well.
You could draw up plans for your own weekend of hiking, white water rafting, canoeing, sailing, cycling… The list goes on! Or, if you prefer something more structured, there are a whole host of companies offering everything from zombie experiences to paintballing, and kayaking to mountaineering weekends away.
The adventure doesn’t necessarily have to take up the entire weekend or even provide the focal point. A weekend away in a cottage in the country, punctuated with afternoon strolls, pub lunches and dips in the hot tub might be exactly what the party is after.
European City Break
Cast aside the image of drunken Brits staggering down the Magaluf strip or falling out of an East European bar for a moment and consider the numerous destinations on offer on the continent. Cheap flights leave more of the budget for accommodation and activities.
Travel east in Europe to discover fantastic cities such as Vienna, Budapest and Krakow; each brimming with history, culture and great food at affordable prices. The same can be said of cities in France, Spain and Italy, which are often more suited for those seeking the sun, particularly outside of the summer months.
Sun, Sea, Sand
A beach holiday is another increasingly popular stag and hen destination, giving travelers the opportunity to relax and enjoy the sun in addition to great food and ample sangria. For extra special dos, many opt to travel further afield than the traditional European beach destinations and search for somewhere a little more unspoiled on the shores of the Caribbean, the Canaries or the Adriatic.
The beauty of beach holidays is that there is so often something for everyone. A relaxed daytime atmosphere is on offer for those who need to unwind, but water sports or great food is never too far away for the restless amongst the group.
Finally, another up and coming tour is the sports tour – and you might be surprised it’s popular with hens as well as stags. Whilst golf is the traditional sports tour for anyone older than university age, there are a growing number of companies offering sports packages of all varieties to a variety of ages.
The companies can organise as little or as much as possible, although most prefer to look after the whole package (flights, accommodation, transport and sports fixtures). They get in touch with local teams of a similar ability to your group in order to arrange one or two fixtures of whatever sport you want to play. The result is a mix of city break or beach holiday with one or two days of sport. The teams are often well supported (they love playing the English!) and you get a brilliant opportunity to meet the teams and their fans over a drink after the game!