Stag or Hen? Let the fun Begin...

Ian Hughes on 04 September 2017

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Times have certainly changed since the days when a stag or hen party meant a gathering of likeminded friends in a local pub or a night on the town. These days stag and hen parties are just as much a part of the wedding as the reception itself, and for many, this means planning them in the same meticulous manner. This has led to stag and hen parties becoming big business indeed. Specialist stag and hen companies exist in the UK and beyond, taking the pressure of the best man and maid of honour, whose traditional role involved the planning of such a night or event. Indeed, where previously a night on the tiles was the standard, these days it generally stretches to at least a weekend and often beyond. Personally, I have been on stags recently that have gone on upwards of a week! The low-cost airline industry has certainly revolutionised the way we look at the options available, with flights to Europe’s most popular destinations often a similar price or even cheaper to that of a train ticket to some of the UK’s most happening cities. The planning of such a trip can prove overwhelming, dealing with the tricky issue of gathering the finances to book large groups on flights, and the thorny problem of booking the group into a hotel adds to this. Some hotels point blank refuse to accept large groups, especially when they become aware of the reason for the booking, seeing it as less of a boost to their business and more of a potential problem in dealing with the high spirits and tomfoolery that inevitably follows. So with a minefield of options available and often a huge array of people involved where do you start with this now crucial aspect of the wedding? As a Travel Counsellor I have great experience in this area in both at home and abroad. We have contacts and contracts with UK and foreign hotels and airlines, allowing us to make the booking as smooth as possible from start to finish. With a specialist group department available we know the best places to book, and can even ensure excursions and activities can be booked ahead of time, so your itinerary can be as vague or detailed as you wish, hangover dependent! Knowing that you only ever have one point of contact in the Travel Counsellor also provides peace of mind, no call centres to deal with, just a friendly voice at the other end of the phone able to deal with your queries at a time to suit you, before, during and after the trip. One additional benefit is negating the need to be the bad guy, calling up your friends and acquaintances due to pay money for the trip can be a daunting task, but in an official capacity as the organising travel agent this is done for you. So you can concentrate on packing your bags and planning the pranks… So with the hard work and organisation delegated where are the most popular destinations to go? Well the variation in this sense is huge. Looking locally the UK has a huge number of options, from city breaks to London, Manchester, Liverpool and beyond, to more adventure style weekends incorporating activities such as paintballing, quad biking and clay pigeon shooting. For a more serene option, many hen weekends opt to look at spa retreats, with itineraries built around your needs and desires. Pampering, yoga sessions and a weekend of relaxation are often the choice for the more discerning customer. Though there is no reason why you cannot combine a lively city break with a day of pampering. Take to the town one day and soothe those aching hangovers the next day in the comfort of a robe and slippers, there really is no limit to your possibilities. There is also a growing market in spa retreats abroad with many specialist hotels available. So why not move your yoga class to the beach and top up your tan while you perfect your lotus pose? Staying on foreign soil, the most popular stag and hen trips these days are often city breaks abroad. With low-cost airlines flying to the most popular destinations in Europe, you could be off to Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, Barcelona, Krakow, Prague or Dubrovnik, no doubt with a list of “don’ts” from your betrothed in hand. Or then there is the more elaborate parties going further afield; Las Vegas, Mexico or Thailand perhaps? No doubt inspired by films such as the Hangover, these too are viable party destinations for a stag or hen party. With the world being so small comparatively in modern times anything is possible, if you can dream it, we can do it! These trips can be arranged around your needs, your desired budget and your timeframe. Wherever you have your eyes on, at home or abroad, the stress of the organisation no longer needs to be a part of it. No matter the party size or budget, as a Travel Counsellor I know how important a stag and hen party can be to those involved. I take pride in ensuring everything runs smoothly from start to finish and will go the extra mile to make it a special trip, just don’t hold me responsible for the hangover…

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