Ever felt the pressure of planning or going on a hen or stag, or even a big group holiday? With more and more of us flying abroad for these trips we asked people what they really thought. 3 in 5 people we surveyed think hen and stag dos  are  too expensive  and involve too much  travel. When asked what they wanted from their dream trip and the answer was clear – having your closest mates with you, getting a good deal, great bars, nightlife and even trying something totally new. 

Looking for a great trip with a bit less hassle? We’ve got you covered with 10 tips to take the hassle out of planning and help you land your dream trip without needing to fly

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1) Unveil the UK’s hidden gems  

73% of people we asked agreed there are great choices in the UK for hen and stag dos. There are loads of hidden gems to be unveiled in the UK. Find your perfect activity from cocktail-making, to kayaking, life drawing, spa weekend or a UK festival. Take our quiz to help find your personalised UK hen or stag destination and activities. Some found hen/ stag dos too samey with too much focus on drinking, so why not try something new? 

2) Swap these common hen/stag do destinations

Fed up of paying a fortune to travel to another hen or stag abroad? We found almost a third of people have actually turned-down an invite because of the cost involved or time away. Below are some common henstag and group destinations reached by planeIf you’re feeling that pressurised air, why not try one of these better ways to get there or easy to reach UK destinations, rather than following the crowds?  

Barcelona -> Brighton or Margate for upcoming seaside kitsch, art, beaches and nightlife

Benidorm -> Manchester for characterful streets, indie shops, restaurants and bars and amazing music  

Ibiza -> A UK festival or spa weekend for total indulgence, escapism and relaxation 

Dublin -> Edinburgh for a concentration of bars and nightlife, charming cobbled streets and even plenty of laughs at the Edinburgh Fringe 

Berlin - > Glasgow or London, both brimming with culture, retail therapy options and a vibrant underground nightlife scene 

Amsterdam -> Take the train! From £35 one way and you’ll arrive in the centre of Amsterdam under 4 hours 

3) Get on board with a good deal  

Keen to get a good deal? Budget is important, with a third of people feeling resentful towards the bride or groom for the cost of a hen or stag. Secure a good deal and get a whopping third off train travel when 3-9 people travel together, usually off-peak. Alternatively, check out the many railcards on offer which can pay back in one trip. 

4) Stay somewhere extraordinary 

Stay somewhere extraordinary and make great memories without travelling far. Host Unusual has over 100 properties for groups in England from lighthouses to treehouses and old castles. Sleeps 12 or Big Domain are specifically designed to accept larger or single-sex groups. 

5) Make travel the trip   

How about making travel the focus of the trip? From hiring a narrowboat, paddle boarding or canoeing down some of the UK’s gorgeous waterways, there’s loads to explore. Alternatively, if you’re wheelie-up for it, try a cycle ride, such as the stunning coast to coast cycle route in Devonwhich is perfect for a long weekend. Check out the UK’s 7 most scenic train rides to build into your trip.  

6) Make miles of memories closer to home  

Want to make it special but spend less? Why not try something personalised, like creating a theme around the bride or grooms favourite thing or organising a scavenger hunt of clues relating to their life. There are apps to help! Photobooks, homemade videos or surprise parties are great ways to go the extra mile without needing to travel far and often they’re cheaper too 

If you’re still going abroad... 

7) Get extra leave if you travel on ground  

Climate Perks is a great concept where employers offer paid ‘journey days’ to staff who travel on holiday by train, coach or boat instead of flying. Sometimes travelling by land takes longer and so Climate Perks makes it feasible, plus you get the benefit of less hassle, more quality time and incredible views. What’s not to like? Hubbub is a Climate Perks employer, and you can get your employer on board too! 

8) Stay on track 

If you love your liquids and hate the hassle of airports, then swap queues for views and start your celebrations on your own schedule on the train. Seat 61 is the ultimate train traveller's guide, full of tips comparing the cost, time and ease of different trips across the UK and Europe.  

Eurostar do returns from London to Paris, Brussels or Lille from £58, plus other destinations like Amsterdam and Lyon. Book ahead and off-peak for the cheapest tickets. For European bookings, try Trainline and Rail EuropeRemember to compare the hidden costs of flying, like airport transfers.  

9) If you do need to fly...  

Travelling over-ground is a great, easy way to reduce your climate impact. Choosing Brighton over Barcelona for your hen or stag is the same as one person in the group going vegan for over 2 years or stopping driving a car for almost a year and a half. 

Holidays are a hard-earned treat for many, and we understand sometimes it’s necessary to fly. You can reduce your impact with a few simple stepsTaking direct flights, staying for longer, packing light and sitting in economy all help use less fuel. You could also consider offsetting the emissions from your flight by investing in reputable projects like tree planting. Find out how one journalist got on offsetting their flights. Want to learn more about the impact of flying and its history and future? Listen to our podcast, What On Earth. 

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10) Sign up for more inspiration and to win  

Sign up to our newsletter here for more tips and inspiration for stag-ing an amazing UK hen or stagBe in to win! Keep your eyes peeled as we reveal more prizes. If your hen or stag do plans are up in the air, stay tuned as we unveil more staycation stories.