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Stag Party Planning Guide

Congratulations on making it here! Man, have we got it sussed for you. With our years of experience planning stag parties, we’ve stored up all of our best advice for planning a stag do for the ages. Whether you’re a Best Man, Groomsman or the Stag himself, this guide will help take the stress out of booking an epic stag party that’ll satisfy your lads and go down in stag history.

You’ll find every detail you need to sort your stag do. From accommodation to budgeting, to planning activities and creative pranks, dares forfeits and ideas for the fun stuff. You’ll be well on your way to a hassle-free trip after reading our ultimate stag party planning guide!


Your Stag Party checklist

  1. Get the stag guest list right
  2. Pick your stag dates
  3. Plot your stag do pranks, dares, rules and forfeits
  4. Agree on a stag trip budget
  5. Pick your stag destination
  6. Book your flights or transport
  7. Choose your stag package and book for free
  8. Invite the lads and keep the payments simple


1. Get the Stag guest List Right

Before you can pick your stag destination, accommodation, activities and all the rest, you’ll need to have a rough idea of who’s going. Don’t worry, with The Stag’s Balls, you don’t need your final numbers yet – just an approximate idea.

To create your initial stag do invite list:

  • It may seem obvious but chat to the stag himself and see who he wants. There might be lads you’ve never heard of that are important to him. Or visa versa, there might be people he would definitely veto, so double check who’s on the ban list as well.
  • Also check with the stag if he’d like family members invited or if this is a friends only kind of thing.
  • Cross check with the groomsmen to make sure they agree and that you’ve not missed any essential people.
  • Also consider if any of the stag lads live overseas and how to communicate easily with them.

How to stay in touch with your Stag group

Once you have your stag party guest list decided, make sure you set up a means to stay in touch, to keep everyone connected. Transparency and easy communication between all the lads will be key to a smooth planning experience.

We know there are many ways to stay in touch these days, so we won’t patronise you and start listing social media platforms – just choose a place online that everyone can access. However, just as an FYI, you get your own stag booking page with The Stag’s Balls, where the organiser can:

  • Email everyone or individuals in the group
  • See the trip itinerary
  • See who has paid
  • Set a message at the top of the page about important/funny announcements
  • Contact your Stags Balls Group Specialist

Decide if the Stag gets to know the trip details

Some grooms are very involved in planning their stag trip. However, if you’re planning the stag weekend for the groom, then you should consider whether you’re going to let him in on the plans or if he’s going to be an unwitting victim of your devious schemes.

If you decide to keep everything secret from the groom, then you’ll need to make sure everyone else in the group is under strict instructions NOT to divulge anything that’s planned. It will also help your Stags Balls Group Specialist if you tell them this from the start, so that they don’t give anything away if the groom gets in touch.

Just remember that old Stag Do saying when deciding to keep it secret… ‘the first rule of the Stag Do is you DO NOT talk about the Stag Do’.


2. Pick your Stag dates

Possibly one of the trickiest things to get right, and from experience we know that it will be tough, is to choose a date that suits everybody! Lads are notorious for not getting back to each other, so our top tip is, once the majority of the group agrees on a date, then go with it and contact The Stags Balls to check availability! The longer you wait for everyone in the group to get back to you, the tougher it will be to secure the items you want.

If possible, avoid peak dates like bank holidays or dates that clash with big events. If that’s not possible, then plan early – these dates tend to book out fast! Giving places as much notice as possible will up your chances that they will be able to take your booking.

A simple online search will show if there’s any big events on at the same time. Events that will clash with your stag do are:

  • Football or other sports finals
  • Concerts / festivals
  • Public and bank holidays

It would be an absolute shocker if you booked a restaurant or section of a bar, only to remember it’s Valentine’s Day and the place is full of couples.


3. Plot your Stag Party pranks, dares, rules & forfeits

This is the fun part and, if you get the rules and forfeits right, this stag will definitely be a trip to remember. We have included a selection of our favourite rules and forfeits from our Ultimate List of Stag Do Rules and Forfeits.

Stag Party pranks

You can’t have a stag party without a few epic pranks to keep the stag on his toes and really mark the occasion. We’ve put together the best Stag Party Pranks Playbook going around on the interwebs, so check it out before you finalise your plans.

Stag Do rules

If Monica from Friends is right, then rules control the fun. Although in this case, the fun gets even better when the rules are broken! Depending on your stag guest list, pranks and forfeits could be a no go or they could make the whole damn party. You know your lads best!

Here are our Top 5 Rules:

  • The Golden Rule – What happens on the stag party stays on the stag party!
  • Everyone has to call each other by their full name (first and last), not by any short or nickname.
  • Anytime someone finishes a drink they must shout ‘sausage’.
  • Everyone must hug a stranger before they can leave each pub.
  • The last person of the group to leave a pub must buy a round of shots for everyone in the next pub.

Stag Do forfeits

There has to be punishment if rules are broken right? This is where you can put your mischievous mind into action and come up with some whopper forfeits. To help you along, here our Top 5 stag do forfeits. Remember to check out our Ultimate List of Stag Do Rules and Forfeits for more inspiration.

Grin & bear it

The unfortunate lad who loses this forfeit needs to find the biggest, beefiest man he can find in the pub and order him a Cocksucking Cowboy (butterscotch and baileys). Extra points if they give him a wink and a wave…

Raise the stakes: Blow him a kiss

Dancing monkey

Decide on a dance move (my favourite is the worm) and the unlucky lad must attempt this move when anyone in the group asks for it.

Raise the stakes: Find someone else in the pub to do it with them.

Fancy dress

This one needs to be planned in advance. Bring the most embarrassing, ridiculous costume you can find and have it to hand for each unlucky lad to try on when they break the Stag Party rules. A skimpy bikini and high heels is sure to get a few laughs!

Raise the stakes: Bring some lippy and mascara to complete the look.

The toilets

Every time they need a toilet break, they must run to the toilet shouting out of the way it’s a number 2 and I’m prairie dogging!

Raise the stakes: Use the ladies toilet.

The fantasy

Think of the weirdest fetish imaginable then watch as that lad walks up to a stranger and explains their fetish. Our favourite is Nasolingus… getting aroused by sucking on someone’s nose!

Raise the stakes: They must try and get whoever they talk to partake in their newly found fetish.

Honourable mention: Do you want a Stag Do theme?

A stag party theme isn’t for everyone but, if the groom has a passion for something or if you’d just like to take some hilarious photos of the lads in Darth Vadar costumes, then a theme might be the way to go. Depending on which type of nerd the groom is or how you’d like to humiliate him in public, some stag do themes to consider are:

  • Superheroes – These days, there’s no shortage of them to choose from.
  • Pub Golf – Goes especially well with the Pub Golf Game, 18 pubs, 18 pints!
  • Baywatch – Patrol the pubs in style and be ready to save a damsel in distress.
  • Horse and Jockey outfits – Guaranteed to get a laugh.
  • Identical – Try and find an embarrassing photo of the stag from when they were young and have the whole group replicate that look.


4. Agree on a Stag trip budget

Group travel can be stressful. A huge source of that stress is the money. Budgeting correctly for a stag do is no different but equally important to do right. Not all of your group will have the same budget or max spend in mind. This can come down to many reasons – most commonly, it will be down to each person’s means. Just something to keep in mind when planning.

It can be an uncomfortable conversation to have in your group, and some might keep quiet but deep down feel a bit railroaded into saying yes to certain stag activities or plans. Through whatever tool of communication you have chosen, ask the group to give a rough max figure they would spend.

Flexible itineraries & removing items before paying

When you book with The Stag’s Balls, each lad can untick any items they don’t want to do (or can’t afford) when they go to pay online. This just gives everyone that bit more flexibility to enjoy the stag weekend within their means.

Stress-free Stag payments

We’ll chat more about managing stag party payments later but we just wanted to let you know that, with The Stag’s Balls, you can:

  • Book a single activity or a whole stag do package.
  • Invite the lads into the booking so they can pay online for themselves – no collecting money!
  • Our system will email payment reminders to the lads, so you don’t have to do the chasing.
  • When paying online, your stag group members can untick any items they don’t want to do or can’t afford
  • The lads can even pay in instalments over time to help spread the cost.


5. Pick your Stag destination

If you’re hosting your stag party in your actual home, then you can gloat, chuckle and skip this section, caus you ain’t going nowhere!

The stag do destination is something that everybody will most likely have an opinion on and you and your mates will be thinking about from early on. Will you want to stay close to home or venture abroad?

You might be dreaming of a sunny beach getaway, a city stag soiree, a small town shindig or a quiet country house with stag do games and good food. There are so many options your stag group can do. It’s just important to choose something you think the groom would enjoy and that will give your lads a unique experience.

Our favourite UK stag do locations are BathNewcastleLeedsBrightonEdinburgh and Cardiff. The most popular Irish destinations are definitely GalwayCarrick-on-ShannonWestportCarlingford and Kilkenny.

If you’re planning to take your stag do abroad, then locations like AmsterdamPragueBerlin or Wroclaw are all popular stag party spots.

Your final stag location really comes down to the groom’s wishes (if you’re giving him a choice) and logistics. For some people, flying overseas isn’t financially possible, they can’t get time off work or they have family responsibilities. It’s important to be realistic so that as many of the stag’s favourite lads can join in the stag party trip as possible.


6. Book your flights or transport

Stag Party transport within your own country

If staying at home, there are many transport options to choose from. There are some amazing cities and towns in Ireland and the UK that are popular choices for stag dos as they offer such a variety in bars, restaurants and venues. Alternatively, you could get away from the city and go somewhere more rural where you can spend more time sampling the great outdoors than boozing.

If you have chosen to stay closer to home, then booking taxis or buses early will be important. Check-in with your Stag Do Group Specialist and they will be more than happy to point you in the right direction of local cab companies. Also, check if the destination is on a train route. Trains are a great way to get to/from your destination. You can sit back, relax and maybe even enjoy a few beers on the way. Better still, there’s no fear of you being over the limit for driving the next day.

When you have a good idea of what your final numbers might be, then the best thing to do is get any local transport that’s needed sorted. Make sure you order 8/9 seater taxis, as they usually will have a good deal per person. Same can be said for mini buses. Confirm a realistic time with the drivers for collection. This will especially be needed if you are staying a little out of the city or town centre.

Flights for a Stag Do abroad

Stag Do Abroad

If choosing to travel abroad for your stag party, make sure you do your research.

We know that any budget-conscious stag do group will think travelling abroad is another added cost. However, when you factor in that the cost of living in some destinations could be cheaper than home and with lots of cheap airfares available, then it could work out at the same cost as keeping your stag party local.

Airfares can be tricky and, if some lads leave it late to book their flight, they might end up paying more than others. Keep an eye out for when airlines are having sales as that would be the best time to get the cheapest available fares. Remember to check the flight times.

Booking a flight for 6am on the morning home might be the cheapest option, but we all know at least some of your crew will be borderline unconscious from the night before and will sleep in. Or, they will have the genius idea of just going straight from the nightclub to the airport – this never ends well!

When it comes to wondering where to stay, we recommend finding somewhere close to the city centre or if that’s not possible, somewhere close to a metro stop or bus stop for easy access.

Money-saving tip: Setting up email alerts for airline/accommodation websites can get you the best deal. Also, check out airline websites like SkyScanner. They and other websites will show you the cheapest price available for each day of the month.


7. Choose your Stag package & book for free

Creating a stag party package with us here at The Stag’s Balls gives you the flexibility to include what you want, with no hidden fees and it’s FREE to submit your booking!

To get the ball rolling, explore our stag do destinations and start building your package.

Choosing your Stag accommodation

You probably won’t be spending much time in your accommodation during your stag party. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of lads just treat their accommodation as somewhere to put the head down for a few hours. Nursing your sore head doesn’t count. However, with such a big group, standards will surely differ. One of your mates might not have any issues with sleeping two in a bunk or a bed. However, most of them probably might.

There are so many options out there for accommodation, ranging in price, a variety of amenities and overall value for money. Below are some pros and cons of each type of room on offer from any online agent.


Pros: Usually cheap as chips, can have a party vibe, a popular choice for stags, usually, there are social spaces and common areas to meet other (hen?) groups.

Cons: Possibility of sharing a bathroom space, a lot only offer dorms, lacks privacy, can be noisy.

Self Catering Hotel

Pros: Able to enjoy all the facilities of the nearby hotel, able to cook for yourself, more space and privacy, wouldn’t have to worry about annoying other guests on your escapades.

Cons: Cooking yourself, no daily cleaning of your room, you need to tidy up after yourself (the horror!).

Self Catering Hotel

Pros: Able to enjoy all the facilities of the nearby hotel, able to cook for yourself, more space and privacy, wouldn’t have to worry about annoying other guests on your escapades.

Cons: Cooking yourself, no daily cleaning of your room, you need to tidy up after yourself (the horror!).

Bed and breakfast

Pros: Great if you are looking for something more quiet and tame, big and traditional breakfast, very relaxing and you can find many in unique or stunning surrounds.

Cons: Inappropriate to be coming in drunk and loud, they might not be able to (or want to) accommodate a huge group, they might want lights out early.

Hotels 1-3 star

Pros: For a group on a tight budget, basic amenities will be included which might be all you’re looking for.

Cons: Very basic rooms, there might be issues with cleanliness, they might only supply a mediocre breakfast.

Hotels 4-5 star

Pros: A nice treat for all your mates, include a decent breakfast, it will be clean, it probably will have a pool, gym and spa and better amenities.

Cons: It can be expensive, they might not want drunk lads walking around the hotel at 2am.

Choosing your Stag Day activities

Choosing your stag day activities

Similar to other aspects of planning your trip, it’s important to factor in your stag group’s specific needs, personalities and maybe age groups. The good news is, here at The Stags Balls, we offer a wide range of activities in each destination to suit every stag party.

We’ve picked some options for those who enjoy adventure and also for those who would prefer something a little more reserved. This way, you’ll have no problem booking an all-inclusive stag do!

Adventure options

If your stag lads are ready for excitement, adventure and adrenaline, we have just the list of activities for you. The items listed below are available in many of our destinations if you book your stag party with us:

  • Paintballing / Shooting
  • Bubble Football / Inflatable sports
  • Go Karting
  • Quad biking
  • Skills course
  • Kayaking
  • Coasteering
  • Surfing
  • Indoor Rock Climbing
  • Zip Lines

Less extreme

If you are thinking of a slightly more relaxed stag party activity experience, fret not, we have come up with some laid back, alternative activities.

  • Private Poker
  • Whiskey tasting
  • Brewery Tours
  • Bowling
  • Escape Rooms
  • The Cube
  • Golf / driving range

Choose your Stag Do food

Stag Night dinner

Including food is a must! It’s important that everyone has somewhat of a lining on their stomachs before the stag night antics begin. We offer a huge selection of dinner options across our Irish, UK and European stag party destinations, so you’ll have plenty to choose from. Make sure to keep it within your budget and choose venues that have the ‘feel’ you’re going for in your stag night out.

Remember as well to let your Stag Do Specialist know about any allergies, vegetarians or people with other intolerances.

Recovery breakfast

If you’ve booked to stay in a hotel with us, then you may have opted to have breakfast included. But, if not, then check out the food options we offer in each stag do destination to see if we offer breakfast or brunch options where you’re going. You might not be thinking much about it now but, trust us when you wake up the morning after – you’re going to want something greasy and maybe even a pint to help you recover.

Choosing your Stag Night activities

Choosing your stag night activities

Planning your stag party night activities should follow the same principles as planning the day activities. Ensuring all members of the crew are kept in mind when planning is important. To give your lads some options, see below our best picks for stag-ish things to do when the sun goes down.

Bars & nightclubs

The worst thing you can do is leave the nightclub out of your stag party package and find that they won’t let your stag group in on the night. Keep it simple and book ahead so your lads have the peace of mind that it’ll be an epic night.

We offer the best local bars and clubs in each of our stag do locations, so check out the night activity options to find the venue that suits your lads best.

There are many other more unique activities that you can partake in. We have picked our top options available on our website.

  • Stripogram – Always a hit with stag groups!
  • Football / rugby match – Whether you book tickets through us for a Euro game abroad or book a reserved area in a great local pub.
  • Night at the dogs – Everybody loves a small flutter and it’s guaranteed to get the night off to a good start.
  • Lapdance club – Just remember the Golden Rule from earlier!
  • Pub crawl – A great way to see what’s on offer in the area.
  • Booze Cruise – Get out on the water, dance, drink and meet some local hen groups.
  • Casino pub crawl – Finish the night off with your best poker face, if you can still stand!


8. Invite the lads & keep the payments simple

Invite the lads into your Stag booking

The hard work is done. You’ve done your part and booked everything in. Now it’s over to the lads.

This promises to be an epic stag do and the final step is to get the stag crew invited. With The Stags Balls, you have complete control over your stag do booking and real-time visibility of payments with our bespoke stag party management system. You can invite the group members and keep tabs on everybody as they make payments for themselves and others.

All invited members will have the details of the stag do booking at their fingertips, so they won’t need to bug you for answers.

Easy Stag Do payment options

Individual payments online

Money collection can be the biggest headache of organising a stag party. Chasing reluctant lads and keeping track of who has paid what is something you just don’t need to do.

If you book with The Stag’s Balls, all you need to do is:

  • Invite the lads into the booking (using their email or by sharing a link).
  • They can then log in and pay for themselves online.
  • You can keep track through the booking page to see who has paid.

If you have collected money from any lads (maybe they’re a bit older or don’t have an email), then you can make an individual payment for them online. Or, if you’d really prefer, you can call us up and pay for one or more people over the phone in one transaction (with a small admin fee).


When booking in a big stag activity or meal, it’s common (expected) that the company or venue will look for a deposit to save your place. But who needs the headache of asking the lads to chip in for multiple deposits to secure your stag trip?

With us, the organiser only pays for their spot on the trip as the deposit to secure the booking. No collecting money from anyone else.

The rest of the lads can then sort themselves out and pay for themselves online later.

And finally…Let loose, have a pint for us & may the odds be ever in your favour!

Ok, so this isn’t really a step in your stag party checklist but it’s certainly the last stop on your stag planning journey.

We hope this guide has helped to de-mystify and de-stress the steps to planning a memorable stag do. Wherever you’re going and whatever you’re planning, we’re sure it’ll go down in stag party history!

If the wife-to-be is planning her hen party, don’t forget to point her towards our sister site, The Foxy Hen!

If you have any questions, you can chat with a Stag’s Balls team member online or get in touch.

Cheers / Sláinte / Prost / Salute!


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