News story

Avoid pre wedding hells - don't forget your travel insurance

New research reveals that over one million Britons are planning to travel abroad for stag and hen parties this year, but they risk coming home out of pocket if things go wrong.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Around 1 in 6 will not have travel insurance and risk coming home out of pocket if they have an accident, get arrested or lose their possessions.

Waking upside down and naked inside a bin, being arrested in Poland for wearing a mankini and being chained to a police car are just some of the situations Brits have found themselves in while celebrating a stag or hen party abroad.

Maria Leng, Consular official in Spain, said: “Consular staff in Spain regularly handle cases involving arrests, hospitalisation and lost and stolen passports. Have fun, but remember - a combination of sun & alcohol doesn’t always mix.”

Other incidents cited by those surveyed included being thrown into a canal in Amsterdam and losing a passport, vomiting blood due to excess alcohol, being run over, falling off a hotel balcony and ending up in intensive care for four weeks.

Phil Lord from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Stag and hen dos are all about having a great time but the celebrations can come to an abrupt end if things go wrong. Cultural differences mean some people will take offence to risque fancy dress costumes and rowdy behaviour - so to avoid a hostile reception from the locals or even spending the weekend in jail, make sure you research your destination, and know your limits.”

Hen and Stag Checklist

  • Don’t rely on the Best Man or Bridesmaid for everything - make some of your own preparations to ensure you have a good time and don’t let the party down by getting into difficulties you could have avoided
  • Get comprehensive travel insurance to cover costs if things go wrong. Even losing your suitcase or smartphone could be pricey to replace if you have no insurance cover
  • Sign up to or to get up-to-the minute travel advice on the go
  • Take enough money and have access to emergency funds
  • Pack your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for free or reduced emergency care - you still need full travel insurance as the EHIC doesn’t cover private treatment or repatriation to the UK if you are seriously ill. Visit
  • Visit to read up on your destination so you know what might offend the locals or be against the law
  • Check your passport is valid before you travel - otherwise you risk being left behind at the departure gate.

Updates to this page

Published 21 April 2011