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The Changing Face of Stag and Hen Parties: Barcelona Most Popular European Destination; Culture Tops Alcohol and Clubbing in Pulling Power Stakes

Barcelona has become the top destination for Irish stag and hen parties, with demand for alcohol-free parties also rising in popularity.

A new survey, by international money app Wise, has unearthed some surprising demand trends amongst Irish stag and hen participants.

One-in-five people said they would prefer an alcohol-free trip so they could better remember the celebration.

More than 40% of people said they would choose activities and destinations based on cultural experiences, while just 38% were focused on traditional drinking and clubbing activities.

Also, perhaps surprisingly, 23% said the bride or groom’s parents should be invited to the hen or stag do.

Rather amusingly, 14% of people said having to spend time with a group is the most annoying thing they find about a friend’s stag or hen party.

Ultimately, however, cost is top of mind for Irish consumers with over half (56%) finding the most annoying part of attending a hen or stag to be the financial burden. The average Irish hen or stag party abroad now exceeds more than €1,400 per person, with guests typically spending €353 on travel and flights, €337 on activities, €375 on accommodation, and €333 on food and drink. Additionally, a third (32%) express frustration at having to dip into their savings, while 17% are annoyed with foreign banking fees when using their card abroad.

Roisin Levine, Head of UK & Europe Partnerships at Wise said: “Irish Stag and hen parties have definitely had an ‘upgrade’ in recent years but this can come at a cost – plus throw up all kinds of dilemmas. It’s particularly tricky for guests as they need to dip into their savings, book time off work, and feel the effects of the celebrations for days after.” 

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.
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