Stags gone wild: How to survive your stag do?

The run-up to your wedding should be one of the most exciting times of your life, but there is one part that manages to strike equal parts excitement and dread in the heart of every groom: the stag do. Everyone has heard horror stories about stag weekends escalating beyond belief, from illicit substances to accidentally spending the night in a police cell. But there are a few little things you can watch out for, or even prepare for, to make sure you don’t wind up permanently scarred from your stag weekend.

Plan everything in advance

While you may be happy taking a ‘go with the flow’ approach to a standard night out, it’s probably best to have a more concrete plan for something as important and elaborate as your stag. Many guys choose to have their stag do abroad, which makes planning even more important, as you don’t want to be left figuring out what to do and where to go when you’re in another country. If you’re looking to take part in some classic stag activities, like paintballing, bar crawls, or a booze cruise, it’s best to book them in advance to guarantee a slot—or at least make sure the best man knows to call ahead.

It’s also a good idea to research the local area to figure out how you’ll be travelling from A to B. If you’re relying on public transport to get around, look into the timetables so you don’t get stranded, or research the average price of cabs. In the popular stag location Budapest, for example, trolleybuses, buses, and trams generally run from 4.30am until 11pm, so returning to your hotel after a night of partying would require a cab. According to stag do specialists Maximise, taxis start at a base rate of around £1.25, and each kilometre costs less than a pound, making it pretty affordable in most instances.

Take a break from drinking

Most stag weekends revolve around finding the next drink, and the majority of popular destinations have earned that status as a result of their cheap booze. Take Prague, which is one of Europe’s least expensive cities for beer, coming in at just over £1 per pint. However, if you’re going to survive the entire trip and avoid the intense hangovers, you should probably pace yourself—remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. So take the time to enjoy them, especially if you’re trying new beverages you can’t get back home.

We also recommend sticking to low-alcohol drinks to sip on during the day, instead of going straight in with shots and spirits. If you decide to drink Old Fashioneds all day, you probably won’t even make it to the club in the evening, while setting yourself up to be pranked in the likely event you end up face-down in a bar. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water in between pints. Alcohol dehydrates you, which will make your hangover even worse the next day, so start replenishing any lost fluids sooner rather than later. This lets you bounce back quicker the next day, so you won’t spend the entire weekend nursing a sore head.

Line your stomach well

Eat. Eat a lot. And eat often, especially if you’re going to spend your weekend drinking alcohol. Lining your stomach means the alcohol will take longer to get into your bloodstream, keeping you sober for longer. It also gives you the energy needed to party for longer, making it a win-win situation. Going abroad also gives you the opportunity to sample some of the local dishes, so fill up on the grub before heading out.

Research local restaurants around wherever you’re staying, and read recent reviews online so you don’t waste time and money somewhere that’s either bad or overpriced. Checking websites like Tripadvisor or Yelp can be a great option, or even searching through social media channels like Instagram.

Organise a stag kitty

Eliminate any issues related to whose round it is, or how you’ll be paying for group meals and taxis by putting together a kitty. Get everyone to chip in as soon as you’re all together, and remember to make sure everyone tops it up if need be. This keeps payments fair, and means you don’t have someone conveniently “forgetting” to get a round in for the entire trip.

However, the trouble with having all that money in one place means you need someone trustworthy to look after it. A huge £206 million worth of kitties were lost during stag and hen parties last year, so you really don’t want to add to that figure. Do your research and try to make sure you book accommodation with a safe to store all of the money, so you don’t have to take it all out with you every day.

Set your boundaries

Stag weekends are notoriously wild, full of pranks, strippers, and far too much booze, but not every groom will necessarily want that, even on their so-called last weekend of freedom. You should explain what you will and won’t be comfortable doing from the get-go and trust that your best man, or whoever is planning your stag, understands this.

If you don’t want strippers, you should probably say this in advance—but then at least prepare yourself for the probability that there will actually be strippers. However, if you feel like things are getting a little out of hand, don’t be afraid to say no before things escalate beyond control. After all, despite the teasing and pranks that will no doubt come your way, it’s still your celebration. But if things do get a little too wild, just make sure that whatever happens on the stag do stays on the stag do.

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