Research released today reveals that 70% of young Brits now prefer to travel abroad for stag and hen parties, but nearly a quarter of these (24%) have their celebrations interrupted by holiday horrors - from losing their travel documents to getting arrested.
The research found that the uninhibited nature of hen and stag parties means that this is the most likely group to experience problems abroad. Of the 24% who ran into complications, half lost or had money, credit cards or tickets stolen, just over a third became ill or were injured and a quarter were even arrested!
But whilst this group is so likely to get into trouble, they appear to be the least likely to prepare properly for their trip. Whilst most are ready for sun (65% pack sun cream), sex (38% make sure they have contraception) and looking good (73% buy new clothes) many don’t take the most basic and vital precautions - only 31% take a copy of their passport and nearly half put themselves at risk by travelling without valid travel insurance.
The research uncovered the main reason why so many of us travel on stag and hen parties ill-prepared; 57% of partygoers rely on the organiser of the event to make all the travel arrangements and to research the destination, not knowing themselves about the local geography, laws and customs or where to turn if things go wrong.
Steve Jewitt-Fleet from the Consular Communications Team at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), said: “Thousands of stag and hen parties are held abroad each year and most return having had a great time. However by their very nature, with guests out to ‘let their hair down’ they are at high risk of getting into problems. Many of these situations can be avoided if every individual in the group makes a few simple preparations before they travel.”
FCO advice to those travelling abroad for stag and hen parties
* Don’t rely on one person to make all the arrangements
* Know your alcohol limit - it can impair judgement, lead to accidents and can increase the risk of you becoming a victim of crime
* Read up on your destination so you have an idea of the geography - your hotel in relation to the main tourist area etc
* Know the local laws and customs e.g. acceptable behaviour and alcohol laws. Safer travel advice for your destination is available from the FCO website www.fco.gov.uk/travel, or by phone from the FCO’s Travel Advice Unit on (0870 6060 290).
* You may be going away for just a couple of days to Europe, but you will still need adequate medical and travel insurance before travelling
* From 1st Sept, the E111 is replaced by the European Health Insurance Card EHIC (apply online at www.dh.gov.uk/travellers, by phone on 0845 6062030 or at the Post Office). This entitles you to reduced cost, sometimes free, healthcare in most European countries* should you need it. EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance
* Online bookers should ensure they have a record of all relevant booking reference numbers.
* Remember to check that your passport is valid, in good condition and that the ‘Next of Kin’ details are filled in. Take a photocopy and keep it with you
* Ensure you take adequate back-up funds (credit or ATM cards, travellers’ cheques) for every eventuality and take copies of vital numbers
* Keep the contact details of the nearest British Consulate with you; they could prove invaluable in times of trouble.