Hen nights abroad are increasingly popular these days; there are so many great places to choose from, you can top up your tan before the big day and lets face it – you can get royally smashed without having to worry about bumping into an ex-boyfriend or your boss.
We spoke with one bride, Janine who spent her hen night in the most popular destination to do so – Amsterdam. From the crazy outfits to losing members on the group, she tells us why a hen night Amsterdam weekend will be an epic one for you.
Janine: The second we got engaged, or at least within the minute I called Amsterdam for the hen party before Arky, my fiance, could call it for the stag do. He had been before, several times and loved it whereas I had never and, well, fair’s fair – it was my turn.
A girly weekend away with lots of booze and little or no sleep would be just what the doctor ordered to break up the long months of staying in, saving to pay for the big day.
It wasn’t so much the sampling of the smokey cafes and their exquisite muffins as much as the relaxed feel I always thought Amsterdam would have. The exact opposite of what the UK’s hen/stag hotspots have to offer (apart from the weather of course).
So, smug from “winning” Amsterdam, even though I kind of spoiled the romance of the proposal with my “Yes! I call the Dam” reply, I started to worry a little if all of the girls would be up for it, that it might be too expensive, or that some may feel it was more of a laddish venue.
Purple Travel: Did you find it was more difficult to round up your hens to travel abroad than to have a night out back home?
Janine: I actually found that the girls were VERY up for the weekend away, a couple raised an eyebrow at Amsterdam as first thoughts always turn to the Red Light District and the pot smoking reputation, but if it’s your do it’s your choice and eighteen of us travelled in all.
Purple Travel: Did your plans change when you arrived there? For example, was the Anne Frank museum at the top of your list before you arrived, but then you found you never left the cafes when you actually got there?
Janine: On the night of our arrival, Friday, we were made to feel so welcome by the locals, despite our noisy arrival. The Police at the railway station even staged my “arrest” and handcuffed me once they clocked the classy veil I was given to wear in the airport bar pre-flight. Indeed I was very well looked after in the bars that night also – if I stepped near to a bar the bartender would pour 2 shots, one for me and one for them.
The next morning the city looked so calm and classy I wondered if we would be frowned upon dressed as pixies, nymphs and fairies, but we once again felt welcome wherever we went. I just had to see the Red Light District and was surprised I didn’t feel shock, as the sights to be seen are certainly a world away from what we know. The area holds a vibrant atmosphere where you truly will meet all sorts, but everywhere and everyone were as chilled as can be, and the friendly locals and regulars were happy to direct us to the best bars and clubs where we were able to drink and dance til dawn.
I have to honest, there were no museums or homes of historical interest on the must-see list, but we did split up on the last day into smaller groups for a mooch around this beautiful city. For me this was my cafe day, dressed down and taking in as much as I could in what little time we had left. I do regret a little not finding time to look beyond the party side of Amsterdam, but that just means I’ll have to go again.
Purple Travel: Would you recommend spending your hen night abroad to others?
Janine: I would absolutely recommend having a hen party abroad, having been on both home and away hen parties I have to say going abroad offers so much more value for money as it costs so much more to stay in a hotel in the UK these days. I also feel there is a much more laid back approach to hen and stag groups abroad and the low cost flights make it so easy.
Purple Travel: If you could do it all over again, where would you go?
Janine: If I could do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing, I would stay in the same hotel and do all of the things we did. The whole weekend was perfect.
Janine flew Easy Jet from Liverpool John Lennon to Schipol. The Hotel was the Ibis Amsterdam City Stopera and they stayed for 2 nights.
You should read… The Ultimate Battle of the Sexes: Stag v Hen Dos