Waving goodbye to one of your comrades as they take the well-trodden walk into matrimony can be a difficult experience, with the prospect of frequent 4am finishes and afternoons organised around Soccer Saturday firmly becoming a thing of the past.
Organising your best mate’s Stag Do acts as a fine distraction, however this in itself can be an unenviable task – making sure the whole group have a night to remember (or not, as the case may be) is difficult enough, and more and more it needs to be considered that not everyone can afford rooftop Jagermeisters in Vegas. Even without getting to an airport, the cost of a rousing send-off – taking into account food, hotel, the seemingly staple go-kart and paintball activities and not forgetting the night out – can leave everyone with a bill of £250-£300.
The good news is that the best of nights don’t need to be expensive. There are plenty of way to have a stag do on a budget…
Keep out of the capital
When selecting the scene for the various acts of debauchery to come, it pays to stay out of London. Whilst it can be tempting if you’re not someone that graces the Big Smoke often, the lower cost of beer, food and hotels found further north can make a huge difference to the total cost of the trip.
Whilst the groom-to-be is tied up copying his vows from the internet and choosing between 5 different types of Chrysanthemum for the bouquet with his beloved, it’s time for the Stag Committee to plan the what, where and when.
By not leaving it until the last minute and thinking ahead, you’ll probably be able to find better rates on hotels and trains, as well as making sure the people you want there aren’t booked up elsewhere. Also if you’re thinking of gracing Stag havens like Newcastle or Brighton, it’s good to get in early with booking your activities to make sure you don’t miss out.
Set a Stag do budget
This might sound simple but asking your mates how much they can afford is a great way of setting your financial limits. Once you have a consensus on the maximum everyone is happy to pay you can figure out where and when you can get best value for your money. Pooling your resources as a group can be a great way to get the best deals out there too!
The more, the merrier
Whilst you may not want everyone that the Stag has ever made eye contact with to attend, a sizable party has its benefits. A higher headcount gives you more leverage with group booking discounts on activities, nightclubs and hotels, bringing the cost down for everyone.
Apartments – make yourself at home
One of the largest, seemingly unavoidable costs a stag party faces is the hotel. Paying upwards of £60 per person per night is fairly common, which seems steep considering the amount of time you’re likely to spend there – plus it means you have to eat out morning, noon and night.
It could be far more cost effective to check into an apartment for a night or two. You can often sleep 4 for the money it costs to sleep one in a budget hotel, and it gives you the option to self-cater and keep your eating out bill to an absolute minimum.
Swerve the Go-karts
When people think Stag Do’s, some of the first things they think of doing are go-karting and paintball. However neither activity is original, both are expensive and dreadful with a hangover.
When choosing how you’re going to spend your day, think outside the box, think about who’s going, what they usually do – and try to stay away from it. By doing something different, it’ll instantly become more memorable.
Beer tasting can start from as little as £15 per person, or you can stumble into a Dodgeball tournament for even less!
Beers with the boys
The time between wandering out to crawling home will no doubt be hilarious, definitely hazy, but also heavy on the bank balance if you’re not careful. If you’re straying into unfamiliar territories, it’s worth checking where and when Happy Hours are running. Usually different bars have them on at different times, and with a bit of research, you could find that your Happy Hour stretches to a Happy Evening.
When you’re out and about and the drinks are coming thick and fast, it could well be worth staying in a smaller round to help you keep a tab on what you spend. If you find yourself in a round with 20 other blokes or putting in for a kitty, it’s easy to lose track of what’s being spent and you could suddenly be asked for £50 at a moment’s notice. Smaller rounds help you keep track of how fast your money’s being drank, and it’s less likely you’ll be paying for other people’s White Russians, when you’re content supping on a Real Ale.