So, you’re planning a foreign hen weekend? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you’ve taken on the challenge of planning your own hen weekend, or you’re planning on behalf of your bestie, I’m sharing some tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years.

Within my friend group, I’ve always been the planner and organiser. I’m the one who plans nights out, meeting for drinks, group dinners, days out and holidays. My friends know I enjoy planning and I (mostly!) pull everything off pretty well. Plus, it means less work for them and they’re not going to argue about that!

My love of planning and organisation comes in so useful at times and planning a foreign hen weekend is definitely one of them!

Decide on a guestlist

planning a foreign hen weekend

The first, and most important thing, is to decide who’s invited to the hen weekend fun!

Do you (or the bride if that isn’t you!) want to keep it small and intimate? Or is it a case of the more the merrier? Either way, it’s best to figure this out right from the beginning.

It’s also a good idea to think about whether it’s just ‘young ones’ invited, i.e. the bride and all her friends, or of family members are going to be included too. This means inviting mums, aunties, grannies and anyone else that’s related.

It’s important for the bride to make decisions about who’s invited right from the outset. This means everyone knows what’s happening and nobody is disappointed if they think they’ll be invited only to find out later down the line that they’re not.

Pick a date

The next thing to do is pick a date that suits everyone. Or, in reality, if there’s a really big group you probably won’t be able to accommodate absolutely everyone, but you’ll certainly be able to suit most people.

Get a list of dates sorted that suit the bride, the bridal party and her closest friends and then open those dates up to everyone. Whatever date most people can make is the date you should go for.

Consider the type of hen weekend

planning a foreign hen weekend

Next up, it’s time to consider what type of hen weekend destination you’re looking for.

Has the bride always dreamt of going somewhere warm and sunny? Or is she more interested in sightseeing than sun worshipping? This will have a major impact on where you actually go. 

How far are you willing to fly for a few days away? That’ll limit destinations that are a bit further afield if you’re strict on not wanting to fly longer than a couple of hours.

Think about budget

It’s also important to consider the budget of the hen weekend for everyone invited. Sure, the bride might fancy 4 nights in Dubai but can everyone really afford that?

It definitely pays (pun not intended!) to be mindful of how much cash people will be expected to part with for the occasion.

Where can you go? 

planning a foreign hen weekend

One of my absolute favourite features to use in a situation like this is Skyscanner’s ‘everywhere’ flight search. 

You simply put in the chosen dates and put ‘everywhere’ as your destination. Then, it’ll show you all the places you can fly to (directly or indirectly) from your chosen airport on those dates. 

Then, you can go through them and see where most takes your fancy. 

Someone needs to take charge 

If you’ve ever tried to plan a meal with a large number of people and faced people saying ‘I don’t mind where we go‘ when asked where they want to eat, then you’ll know getting a lot of people to give their opinions and agree is tough.

All too often people are happy to throw their opinion into the mix, but aren’t actually willing to do any planning or research themselves. This means someone needs to be in charge and this can be the bride (if she’s organising her own hen) or her bestie or maid of honour. 

This doesn’t mean the person who’s in charge becomes a dictator and only plans what she wants. Instead, she should take other people’s opinions into account and take group votes on big decisions. There just needs to be someone there who pushes things forward instead of everyone declaring they don’t mind! 

Group messages are your friend… 

planning a foreign hen weekend

…and your enemy. Group messages (Whatsapp or Facebook are my choices) can be really, really great. They make it so easy to get information to everyone quickly and easily and that’s what you need if you’re planning for a big group.

The downside to group messages is when they go way off on a tangent and you get 28631294234 notifications within 10 minutes. Grrr! 

But, they are perfect for getting everyone’s opinions quickly, sending out payment details and just general planning. They make everything nice and simply (as long as people actually reply!). 

Plan some activities (but not too many)

You’ll definitely want to plan a few activities for whilst you’re away. The trick is not to plan too many though as you’ll want to leave people with a bit of free time.

They can use this free time if they want to explore, catch up on sleep (after a wild night out!), relax or whatever. Because let’s face it, nobody wants to spend a lot of money on a weekend away and have every single moment planned out for them with no flexibility or free time.

And have fun! That’s the main thing! Happy hen weekend!