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Two Ladies In A Casino

These days hen dos are about more than downing dubious drinks and watching a dishy bloke stripping down to his smalls. According to The Telegraph the “UK hen and stag industry is estimated to be worth up to £500m a year in the UK. Hen parties are routinely weekend-long (or more) affairs” . While many complain about the cost, which is estimated to be an average of £157 per person, most participants will admit that, “hen dos can be really fun; it’s an opportunity to spend quality time with girlfriends, there’s always the possibility that the random activity you’ve never tried before, say pottery making, might be your secret talent. And it’s a chance to get to know any new faces before the wedding.”

The Guardian listed a range of alternatives for hens sick of the typical debauched weekend. They suggested the “coast of Montenegro, a cheaper, quirkier alternative to Croatia or pretending you were to the manor born by taking over a country house.” But before you head off, be sure to consider the less-exciting but important factors of travelling abroad. Even though it’s only for a weekend, don’t forget to purchase travel insurance. It might seem over-prepared but if you consider the kind of high jinx that you’re likely to fall into, getting some basic medical and accident cover is wise.

Sense and sensibility

Another concern whether you’re travelling a short distance to the Continent or a little further to the States, is to think about money. Buying some euros or dollars in advance, for a fixed rate and loading it onto a travel card is the ideal way to manage your money while overseas. Having a travel card is as convenient as a credit debit card with the added bonus of being safer, because if it’s lost or stolen, your personal bank account won’t be at risk.

Finally, in the interest of those attending, keep the costs as low as possible. Research online with price comparison sites to secure the best deals on flights and accommodation. Often just by asking for a discount for a hen’s weekend, you will find operators willing to knock a little off the top. Consider bringing some of your own supplies like food, alcohol and whatever else you need to make it a memorable trip.

Whether your passion is for food and drink, active adventuring, pure pampering, or just having a grand old time, these are five destinations worth exploration.

Culture Vultures fly to Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona is paradise for hens looking for art, culture and food. Gaudi’s city is a riot of stunning architecture, packed with attractions to sink your teeth into; the Picasso museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and even a Chocolate Museum! Wander Las Ramblas and witness stunning street performance before heading off the main drag for sensational food – and, of course, big jugs of full-bodied sangria. A tapas trail is the perfect, relaxed way to make independent discoveries – ducking in for a drink and a bite to eat wherever takes your fancy, for as long as takes your fancy. Inspired by the food? Book your group into a Spanish cookery lesson to master the dishes you’ve sampled.

Lots of lovely wine in the Loire Valley

Exquisit Wine Tasting

If a tipple tickles your fancy and you fancy learning more about the tipple in your glass, head cross-channel to the Loire and take a tour of the area’s abundant vineyards. The river is the longest in France, wending its lazy way through the ‘Jardin de France’, which encompasses a quintet of wine micro-regions ripe for discovery. The Loire’s output caters for fans of Muscadet, Chenin Blanc, Vouvray, Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume and many more. Visit the area’s Chateaux independently or as part of a guided group – tasting, purchasing, learning, or just soaking up the sun and verdant, vinous atmosphere.

4×4 tour in Poland

4x4 in Poland

Tank Girl-types will be bored by a conventional hen. But there are plenty of destinations offering action-packed, hands-on activities to sate appetites for adventure. Jet off to Poland and discover the picturesque countryside in a 4×4. It’s a great chance to see wilder, unspoiled parts of the countryside, allowing access to minor roads and green lanes. Some tours are eco-friendly, perfect for petrol heads with a conscience. If you fancy learning about wildlife and history, these guided explorations are led by knowledgeable English-speaking guides. Self-driven off-road tours plan in stops at lesser-known places of interest, with participants traveling in small convoys of up to four vehicles. If you’d prefer rough terrain and getting revved up on adrenalin, try Krakow’s ‘off-road rampage’ experience. Just ensure your group has plenty of clean drivers’ licences, or no-one will be going anywhere at any speed!

Casino-hopping in Las Vegas

Hit up Las Vegas, where the stakes are high, the food and drink are cheap and plentiful, and even just playing a few slot machines and watching the weird and the wonderful of Vegas go by is experience in itself. Hotel accommodation is affordable, but the sights you’ll see are priceless. Wander the strip and take in the amazing neon illuminations, and catch a show or two – an Elvis tribute act, perhaps, an all-singing, all-dancing cabaret, or one of the big names Vegas regularly attracts.

Pampering in Phuket

Pampering in Phuket

Your hen weekend may well be the last chance you have to do absolutely nothing for a rather long time. If the thought of being stroked, pummelled, anointed and massaged into submission before being delivered to a stunning white beach to recover from all the relaxation pushes your bliss button, Phuket will suit you a treat. Patong is known for its massage parlours and skilled therapists, many using organic, natural products in their practice. Treatments cover everything from head to toe, quite literally, with both facials and foot massages on the menu. Local herbs often play a part in tonics and balms, treating every sense. A spot of pre-wedding refreshment and revitalisation will leave you relaxed and ready for the big day.

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Jessica Bourne reports from Chester and loves writing about a range of lifestyle topics from fashion and gardening to travel and finance. Jessicas’s mission in these miserable economic times is to help readers budget for life’s little luxuries. You can read more of Sarah’s articles in a wide variety of blogs and websites.

Comments on: "Top Five Destinations For A Wild Hen’s Weekend" (2)

  1. The usual spot for these types of events would be Vegas, but it’s nice to see that there are other great cities to visit as well! You can make any city as fun as you want it to be.

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