When planning a bachelor party, the single most important factor is location. The other factors—alcohol, friends, food, alcohol—will be subject to that first one. So the question isn’t so much what to do or who to do it with, but where to have your big bash. Here is a list of six categories to help you make this crucial decision.
In 2017, the average millennial guy could be expected to spend anywhere between $850 to $1,500 per bachelor party, depending on how far he had to travel and how nice a hotel he had to pay for. That’s a lot of guacamole. If money is no issue, then by all means just head to Dubai for the weekend in your Gulfstream G650. But if you’re like most of us and still need to worry about things like food and rent, look for a place that everyone can afford.
You may want to consider some fun cities that are slightly off the radar, and hence will offer cheaper lodgings and beer. Once you calculate airfare, hotel, entertainment and food costs, and factor in issues of safety and fun, you will realize the world is an extremely large place.
For example, if music is your thing, Nashville is a great place where you can find live bands playing in bars all day, every day and often pay no cover charge. Or consider Myrtle Beach, where beer and hotel rooms are cheap, and you can spend a spend your days jet skiing and your nights doing keg stands. If you like the idea of Florida, but Miami is too pricey, you can always settle for Tampa–a cheaper, Gulf Coast alternative where the cigars and Cuban sandwiches are just as good—but hotel rooms average a third less than in Miami.
If you’re the type of guy who likes to zig while others zag, consider a surprise destination. How about Newark, NJ? Nobody ever thinks of going there on purpose. But surprise: Newark has a fantastic array of culinary delights in its historic Ironbound section. Other off-the-beaten path ideas include Pittsburgh, where you arty types can visit the Andy Warhol Museum, and Portland, where you can now buy artisanal gluten-free gluten. (Also: for the moment, weed is legal in Oregon.)
For risk-averse types who don’t like their pocket pencil holders to get all out of whack, the greater Phoenix area offers year-round sunshine and superb golf courses, where you and your friends can mutter softly and wear sensible slacks. On the way back to the hotel, you can grab the early bird special dinner, perhaps enjoy some mildly ribald exchanges over a plate of steamed veggies, and then enjoy a refreshing decaf before bed.
Or you could decamp to Chesapeake, VA, where despite almost zero nightlife the city remains the ultimate thrill spot for guys who are into birdwatching and napping. (Chesapeake is also home to the Great Dismal Swamp.) If that’s too wild for you, or you want to go farther afield, try the island that’s also a city and a nation rolled into one—Singapore. Here the police will beat you and your friends with batons for chewing gum, signing on to someone else’s WiFi, or forgetting to flush the toilet.
If you’re a thrill jockey who likes to be able to tell the stories behind each scar, there’s nothing like a bachelor party in Lagos, Nigeria. After a night of clubbing, you will want to take a taxi home though—do not under any circumstances take a bus. Violent robberies, carjacking and mugging are carried out—even in broad daylight—at Lagos bus stops. Also don’t stop at red lights, because guys wielding hammers, knives, and guns will rob you through your car window.
Slightly less exotic, but still dangerous, is Cambodia. The ruins at Angkor Wat are the perfect place to nurse a hangover and there are almost no guard rails to keep you from plummeting to your death. Rad.
The Funnest Destinations
If you are serious about having fun, consider Jamaica. We have plenty of info about this island nation elsewhere, so here we’ll just stick to a few points. First of all, there’s the reggae. Second, while we’re not suggesting you visit a go-go club, if you do happen to find yourself in one, ask about the $22 dollar pum-pum. Third, if you suffer from glaucoma, Jamaica has all the medicine you need.
Or if rum is more your flavor, head to San Juan, Puerto Rico, which is packed with casinos, nightclubs and music venues and thrift girls wearing bathing suits that save a lot on fabric. Despite getting clobbered by Hurricane Maria in September of 2017, PR is slowly making its way back to full recovery, and your tourism dollars certainly won’t hurt. Or, if you really want to pin the fun meter in the red, head directly to Rio de Janeiro. Warning: the girl from Ipanema will ruin your life and you will never want to go home.
Sure, you can always go to Las Vegas—but maybe it’s time to think outside the box. When it comes to destination bachelor parties, go hard or stay home.