Friday, 18 May 2012

Planning a cost effective bucks weekend

Bucks weekends (or even just a single night) are one of those events that typically do not come cheap.  This is especially true if you do all the 'regular' bucks activities in the regular venues.  I know bucks that have done trips to Vegas, Hong Kong, the Gold Coast (for Australians) and everywhere in between and everyone has a great time though laments after the fact how much money they wasted.

Having had to plan and attend a bucks night recently I thought I would write a post on how to cost effectively plan a bucks night that did not skimp on most of the frills that people expect.  The first thing you need to establish is those things that the buck (and more importantly the other attendees) consider essentially.  Generally this list is not very long and consists of:
  • Alcohol; and
  • Female 'entertainment'
Everything else should be considered an extra.  I have outlined a 9 step checklist to plan activities that should not break the bank.  I'm going to assume that there are approximately 10 guests and ever guest is paying their own way.  I am also setting a budget of $300 per person for the whole weekend (if you think about how much gets spent on a weekend in Vegas / HK / the Gold Coast including flights / accommodation / alcohol / partying etc you will realise how cheap this actually is.

  1. Pick a location that is not typically thought of as a party location.  The fact is that when you're a group of 10 drunk males it doesn't really matter where you are.  You are kidding yourself if you think that in that state you're going to pick up women and bring them back to the share house.
  2. Book a spacious house with not too many neighbours around (~$800).  The biggest killer is when the police get called because you're being too rowdy.  You want to be rowdy so next to a golf course (or something similar) is perfect.  For that price you are getting a seriously awesome place
  3. Get every person to bring their own alcohol on the way up ($50 per person, $500 total).  This avoids the problems associated with you buying $500 of beer and there being some spirits only / wine only drinkers in the group.  Bars are also way over priced so if you can have the party at the house then you are much better off.
  4. Book the female 'entertainment' to come to the house your are staying in (~$500 total).  This amount of money should provide more than enough 'entertainment' for the weekend. Having done this recently the objective is to really embarrass the buck
  5. Book an activity for the Saturday morning - something fun and different that everyone can get involved in and doesn't depend on the weather (~$900 total).  When I planned this a few weeks ago we went trap shooting with ozshooting.  They were super professional and they do it whether it is sunny or raining.  It took a couple of hours and everyone had a blast.  The best activities are those which are perceived as 'manly' - paint balling and gokarting off the top of my head are other fun activities which will get people going
  6. Don't buy too much food!  This is a bucks weekend.  All you need to bring along is eggs, bacon, bread, cereal and milk for breakfast and some snacks (~$100 total).  When I went away this is all we bought and we had HEAPS left over at the end. 
  7. For all other meals go to a winery / order pizza or fish and chips in (~$200 total)  Guys really don't care that much for a bucks weekend so you should go overboard with meal planning.
  8. The person / people organising the bucks should have some pre-planned activities that will embarrass the buck.  Public humiliation type activities are always fun (e.g. getting them to wear a mankini in public) but there are heaps of activities out there dedicated to activities.  You should not have a rigid timetable but if things are starting to go quiet then pulling out one of those pre-planned activities is a good idea to get the party going.
  9. Drive if possible and take the minimum amount of cars necessary.  For 10 people 2 - 3 cars is more than plenty and will help keep the fuel costs down.  As I used less than half a tank of fuel on the weekend I went away I'm not counting this in the budget.
The total cost of the above weekend is $3,000 or $300 per head.  You would barely get flights and accommodation to Vegas / HK / the Gold Coast for that kind of price.  There is so much fat in that budget that you don't really need to skimp on activities.  I just had a look at the kind of places you could get for $800 for a weekend and there are some amazing options out there.

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