If you have decided on a set budget and the all-important date of your Stag Do abroad you can begin to put together an itinerary of how the party will be entertained and the essentials you will need to have in place before you arrive at your destination. Check the below text to find out some of the most common stag planning mistakes
“Booking accommodation for your party group with hotel reservation sites is always the best way to get accommodation” – WRONG!
As much as e.g.: booking.com is a great site and provides a huge choice of accommodation, you should be aware that in terms of booking accommodation for stag groups it doesn’t give enough advice on places’ policy for stag groups. Effectively you don’t really know if the place is stag friendly until you arrive, which sometimes is too late
You don’t also really get significant discounts for being a large group when using accommodation portals, whilst you can surely get some “free pax” when booking an accommodation package with a stag and hen operator, not to mention that they cooperate with dedicated and stag friendly hotels/apartments/hostel
” I will not let those greedy stag companies earn on me and will book accommodation on my own. “ – WRONG!!
Unless you’re planning to book activities directly with activity providers (meaning you plan to arrange and deal with transportation companies, shooting range, hire Reps or strippers, etc…) then booking a package deal with your stag operator is always more budget friendly. The reason is simple- the package combines several services which if charged individually would have a bigger margin, as the margin would be put on each individually. Local stag do companies (meaning the ones which operate and are registered in the country of your destination) usually have a margin of 30%. Other stag operators (which use the local ones as their ground agents) usually put usually minimum another 30% on top of the local operators’ prices. Most good operators can discount your stag do activity rates when you take accommodation package with them, and some even offer open bar weekend packages (e.g.: have a look here for some great Krakow stag do deals: https://partykrakow.co.uk/krakow-stag-do-packages )
“I can book it later with no stress- booking stag do activities and accommodation shouldn’t be a problem for a good stag operator?” – WRONG !!
Don’t leave it till the last moment ! Good travel agencies always block-book their central accommodation objects for high season dates. The problem is that the pool of central accommodation objects is limited and the places sell really fast. So in other words- if you book it advance you will most likely get an excellent central location at great rates. Booking in less than 2-3 months prior to the planned beginning of your event doesn’t mean you won’t get central accommodation- it just means the best objects might and will probably already be sold out by that time. Also convenient activity times can already be taken if you wait till the last moment.
“I want to book my stag weekend cheaply with a UK based company.” – WRONG!!
Booking with big UK based brands means paying more than you would pay if you contacted a locally based operator. It’s fair to say that they won’t be ABTA accredited, but many local stag companies provide different forms of insurance- some are tour organisers in the country of their operation, and some for example don’t require full payment until you arrive. If you opt for booking with UK brands you will likely pay 30-50% more than you would with a local organiser.
“I found it even cheaper than I expected- let’s go for it- the guy has a web and can even speak English” – VERY WRONG!!
Never use or attempt to use virtual companies who advertise unrealistic prices! OK, this sounds complicated, so how can you judge if a local operator is trustworthy or not ..? Well, you can try the following steps:
- Google it. Reputable local stag operators are well positioned in terms of SEO on Google. This kind of investment is not only time consuming but also quite expensive. Think about it- if a local operator pays thousands of Pounds for his web development over many years so that it is well positioned, then he must be seriously into business and it’s extremely unlikely he would grab your money and disappear!
- Ask your friends if they have heard about a specific operator
- Check online testimonials – good operators publish testimonials on relevant trust worthy sites (such as e.g: Trustpilot)
- Check how fast your local organizer responds to your calls/mails – a good company answers phones immediately or calls you back if the line was busy when you called. Also emails are answered within 24h at the latest.
” I can book my flights even a few days before the gig so why bother now” ? ? – WRONG!!
Never leave your flight bookings longer than 3 months before travelling- unless, that is, you are very rich and don’t mind paying whatever it costs for your flights to Krakow
” I’m in a foreign city- I will take my passport on a pub crawl in case I need it for some reason…” – WRONG!!
Don’t fail to advise travellers not to carry their passports unless they need them. Carry a photocopy of the page with photo but leave the original in the safe of your accommodation. Losing a passport on the town during your stag weekend abroad can prolong your stay for quite a few extra days
” Healthcare ? Insurance- who cares and what for “!? – VERY WRONG!!
Don’t fail to advise your group to obtain E111/EHIC certificates and carry copies. In case of an accident, this small piece of blue paper will entitle you to free medical services in Poland. Buying additional sports insurance would also be a very good idea, especially if you plan to take some sporting stag activities which are often classified as “high-risk”. Of course you may rely on your activity supplier or tour operator being insured against accidents, but the truth is that the easiest way to get money from insurance without having to go to court is when you buy yourself travel insurance. It costs only a few Pounds so don’t be tight and don’t save on your own safety!
“I will ask the lads to pay their deposits later on.” – WRONG!!
Don’t leave the deposits issue till the last minute! The sooner you collect money from members of your group and pay the security deposit to your travel agency, the less likely members of your group will be to drop out at the last moment. Besides if you pay deposit out of your own pocket, it might be the case that you will have to cover the cancellation fees out of your own pocket as well…
“They are cool and nice people- they don’t require any deposits and all this stuff- just want my credit card number for security issues.” – WRONG!!
Never leave your credit card details with any travel agency. Reputable travel agencies use payment systems in which they have no direct access to your Credit Card details. Also unlike in the UK, payments over the phone are uncommon- stay smart, and don’t hand over your credit card details to a company/person you don’t know over the phone or email.