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Andrew Stuckey  •  May 15, 2020

Going on a city break with your mates is a joyful thing; bundles of laughs, endless pranks, not to mention the odd few drinks – never too many though…

However, these memorable times (for most) can soon add up to an extortionate cost, especially if you’re of the ‘stag do’ generation where trips are becoming more lavish than the last one. It’s fair to say that trips away with the boys can often end up costing a fortune - which can lead to you worrying about how you’re going to pay for the next without having to disappoint your close friends by not being able to attend.

Fortunately, with these money saving tips, you won’t end up being the only one to miss out on the party fun.

Location x 3

That’s right; we’re not writing location three times! Anyway, the location of your next lads holiday is vitally important. Choosing a destination that’s both exciting and affordable is key to your memorable weekend away with your homies. Although the dream of Las Vegas is on most of our bucket lists, the affordability of a long weekend in such a place is somewhat unrealistic for most when you add up the cost of flights, hotel and spending money, etc.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of cheaper alternative city breaks in Europe that have equal appeal for the party animal in all of us. Cities such as Prague, Berlin, Hamburg, Barcelona and Krakow are all known for being excellent destinations for a lads weekend, all of which offer affordable accommodation and flights. The cost of food and drinks are reasonable too, depending on where you go.

Top tip. Do your research beforehand to make sure you don’t end up in the most expensive bar, club or restaurant in town.

Compare flights

Almost every industry on the web has its own price comparison site these days and the travel industry is no different. Sites like Skyscanner can provide you with flight prices for anywhere in the world from anywhere in the UK. Do a quick search to see which countries and cities in Europe come up cheapest and pitch them to your friends as potential destinations for your next trip; you might be pleasantly surprised to see what flights are around.

Did you know, a return flight over the weekend to Berlin from London Gatwick can cost as little as £57 per person?

Stay in the UK

If heading to the continent is not on your list of things to do in a hurry, there are still plenty of amazing cities here in the UK which are perfect for a memorable lads break. Places such as Bristol, London, Manchester and Newcastle are a select few that stand out as epic weekend destinations.

Travelling to these cities could be kinder on your wallet too, with great deals available on websites such as MegaBus and Trainline. You could even get your mates to consider taking cars, and chipping in with fuel to reduce the cost of travel – just be sure not to start the session before getting there safely!

Choosing the right accommodation

Wherever you end up going, it’s vitally important to make sure you stay in decent accommodation. Fortunately in Europe, there’s a wide selection of reasonably priced hotels close to the city centres, which means you won’t have to spend each day on the local train or bus to seek out the best places to go.

Comparison sites such as Trivago are great for analysing where the cheapest places to stay are. Many hotels offer last minute deals so it’s wise to hold back the booking until a few weeks before – they’d rather fill a room for a cheaper price than having nobody fill the room at all. If you’re travelling in a large group, you could save money by searching for an apartment or house to rent for the weekend. Spreading the cost between you could vastly reduce your total budget for the trip.

Top tip. Some apartment sites like AirBnB have policies on accepting large groups, so it’s important to do your research first.

Spending money

All weekends away require a certain amount of spending money to get you by with food, drinks, local travel and excursions, however there’s no need to take and spend an extortionate amount. As with any city, whether it is in the UK or abroad, there’ll be cheaper options for food and drink at the local supermarket or shop.

Affordable fast food restaurants are in abundance anywhere you go these days, so there’s no need to go gourmet on your weekend away. Similarly, you don’t have to buy that extra drink just because your mates have. Save yourself a few quid, and maybe a hangover along the way!

Set a daily budget and seek out offers and deals in bars and clubs, you may even be able to haggle a few free drinks if you’re travelling in a large group.

Talk to your friends – it’s what they’re there for!

Even with these top tips to save money on your next lads weekend, you may still be found worrying about your financial circumstances. We understand you don’t want to disappoint your mates if you can’t afford to go, but as they are mates, they will understand – it’s what friends are for right?

In our recent survey of over 2,000 UK adults, we found that almost one in ten of us lie to our family or friends about the state of their finances and 43% of us Brits wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to friends about money issues. If you’re finding it difficult to talking to your friends about your money situation, you’ll find some helpful tips on how to approach them here.