A quiet meal and a couple of drinks? Forget it. We present our pick of the best European destinations for a stag or hen weekend, all with cheap flights so you can save your cash for booze, sorry, the wedding.
Best man? Maid of honour? You've got a job to do: arrange a stag/hen do... that's not going to cost a bomb. You could hire a minibus and go paintballing in Wales, which might be great... you could just have a quiet meal, which would be showing serious disrespect for tradition... or you could do what you're supposed to do and what everyone really wants - to seriously large it in an unsuspecting European city where the grass is green and the girls (or boys) are pretty. Book your flights well in advance to keep the cost down and everyone will have more money to buy rounds of Jägerbombs.
1. Amsterdam from £55 return
The classic choice of many a stag do down the years, 'The Dam' ticks all the boxes for a wild weekend for the lads on tour. We will not delve too far into these boxes, but the questionable attractions of De Wallen will no doubt appeal to some. Just beware: everywhere in Amsterdam looks the same, especially after few lemonades, so be sure to mark the location of your hotel on a map and/or write down its address. And another tip - apart from that infamous district, Amsterdam is actually a really rather nice city, which can be enjoyed just as much without the aid of space cakes.
2. Riga, Latvia from £50 return
Hawaiian shirt? Football top? Custom ‘Steve’s Stag, Riga 2012’ t-shirt? Repertoire of Oasis songs? Seven pints of lager at Stansted? You’re well on the way to an unforgettable stag do of which there'll be large periods that you probably won’t remember, if that makes any sense, which it probably won't after seven pints. And that’s a good thing. The problem, or at least one problem is, that after several pints, Riga could be any one of several Eastern European / Baltic cities, so make an effort to actually leave the pub,
3. Barcelona, Spain from £56 return
Forget indeterminate post-Ryanair Eastern European / Baltic cities. They’re so 2006. Steve deserves a bit of class for his epic pre-marriage bender. So how about sunny Barcelona? Gaudi? Who? You're only here for the beer, so get stacked up on the old cervezas, check out Messi and co. at the Nou Camp, get stuck into the tapas, get back on the San Miguel…
4. Ibiza from £66 return
‘Av it! If ladies in minimal apparel appeal, and Newcastle is neither not sunny nor glamorous enough for you, it’s got to be Ibiza.. Don't bother with posing like a plonker in Ibiza Town - it's all maxi dresses and mojitos. It's got to be San Antonio, which is like one big British twon centre at 11pm on a Saturday night, but hot. They even have kebab shops. And Wayne Rooney had his stag do there, and what higher recommendation is there?
5. Edinburgh, Scotland from £50 return
Forget jetting off to Vegas and save your hard-earned dosh for the beer kitty. With almost as many pubs as betting shops, you won’t be short of things to do in the stately (until you arrive!) Scottish capital. In fact, who needs sights and attractions when you’ve got loads of pubs? If you hail from south of the border, wearing England shirts, especially in tandom with a sing-song of favourites like ‘Three Lions’, will guarantee friendly interaction with the locals.
Unfairly tarnished with a reputation that attracts beered-up blokes from Braintree and skunked-up scallies from Stockport, attractive Amsterdam is actually a lovely city for a hen weekend. Just avoid the Red Light District like a drunk usher at a wedding disco, unless you want to pick up an amusing novelty item, possibly in the shape of a, well, you know, from one its many curiosity shops, although it might be embarrassing when your bag gets searched by airport security.
L plates? Veil? Furry handcuffs? Glittery pink cowboy hat? Custom ‘Shaz’s Angels, Riga 2012’ t-shirt? Repertoire of karaoke classics? Bottle of fizz in the limo? That’s the spirit. Looking, and acting like a complete idiot, an embarrassment to your country on foreign soil, is not the preserve of the less fair sex. So get your best fake lashes on, babe, and hit up the old town in Riga. Or Tallinn. Or Budapest…
Maybe Eastern Europe is a bit too ladette for you? How about a spa weekend at a country houses in the Peak District? No, no, no! Next stop marriage, but first of all it's destination sunshine for you and the girls. Beautiful Barcelona offers that unbeatable combination of sun, shopping, sangria, seafood and sexy Spanish men that you won't find on your average Saturday night in Woking, unless you've passed out and it's all a dream. Or there’s Benidorm, but the shopping isn’t as good, and it's full of boozed-up Brits, and you're better than that, aren't you?
Idyllic at it sounds, going on a hen do that involves drinking champagne by the pool like Coleen Rooney does have its disadvantages. Like the weeks of waxing and tanning to achieve the perfect bikini body. But it’ll be worth it when you’re attracting the attention of Christiano on the dancefloor at Pacha. Unless Christiano is 65. Unless he’s rich.
Girls, you know what they say about a real Scotsman! Maybe you don’t, and it’s probably better that way. But there’s only one way to find out if it’s true, and that’s to go to Edinburgh for your hen weekend. With almost as many pubs as tanning salons, you’ll have ample opportunities to get so lashed you’ll have no qualms whatsoever about lifting up blokes’ kilts while they're standing at the bar ordering 28 Jägerbombs. You go, girl.
Need somewhere to stay? (Remember, you will need to sleep - man and woman cannot live on Red Bull alone.) Skyscanner doesn't just do flights, you can find your perfect place to lay your tipsy head down from Blackpool to Bangkok with our hotels search.