At their best, bachelor parties are a ritual send-off for the groom – a last hurrah, planned meticulously by friends, before the groom settles down to a life of domestic bliss. Sounds nice. But more often than not, bachelor parties are raucous endeavors that devolve into chaos as the night continues.
If your bachelor party is local, these raucous nights don’t need too much pre-planning; everyone can wear what they find in their closet that day, cab safely to their bed at the night's end, and slip into their sleep clothes.
But if you’re throwing a destination bachelor party, you don’t have as much improvisational freedom. You need to pack carefully and thoroughly to ensure that you enjoy a comfortable, put-together and safe bachelor trip. For all the guys out there looking ahead to a summer bachelor trip, this article is here to help. Below, explore tips and tricks to pack for a bachelor party abroad.
Clothing: Think Minimal, Versatile, Durable and Comfortable
Packing clothes for a bachelor party trip is a balancing act. On the one hand, you want clothing that’s sophisticated enough for a night on the town. On the other hand, the bulk of your time will likely be spent lounging by the pool, camped at a poker table or sipping cold drinks on the beach – so you also need to pack for comfort. The issue that many people confront is how to satisfy these opposing criteria without overpacking. (A weekend trip should ideally fit into a carry-on bag).
The solution is simple: Pack minimal, versatile, comfortable clothing. For your top half, opt for a neutral-colored t-shirt with a smart cut, medium drape and unfussy design – something that makes as much sense at a nightclub as at the poolside. For the bottom half, consider a simple pair of chinos (also neutral), dark jeans or above-the-knee khaki shorts (depending on how hot your destination gets).
And for the underwear layer, optimize for comfort. Pack a couple of pairs of merino wool boxer briefs and socks. Merino wool features odor-resistance, sweat-wicking fibers, extra durability and a snug fit – perfect for those hot days at the pool and sweaty nights on the dancefloor.
That’s really all you need for a weekend. Throw in a hat, sunglasses and a sleek pair of black sneakers, and you’re all set.
Personal Care: Compact, Sun-Safe and Next-Morning-Ready
As mentioned, packing for a weekend bachelor trip should be relatively minimal. Your friends don’t want to wait around the cab stand as you lug a dishwasher-sized suitcase from the luggage carousel. Keep it svelte and purposeful.
For personal care essentials – like toothpaste, hair product and deodorant – pack travel-sized bottles that fit neatly into a small zip-top bag. If you can’t find travel sizes of your favorite brands at the local drugstore, buy travel-sized bottles and decant the products yourself. And don’t even bother packing soap and shampoo; in the year 2023, nearly 100% of accommodations (including AirBNBs) stock the essentials for you.
Alongside your personal care essentials, pack a few sun-safe and next-morning-ready items. These might include a travel-sized bottle of high-SPF sunscreen, aloe lotion (in case of burns), electrolyte powder packets, and ibuprofen (which is easier on your body than acetaminophen after drinking). It’s also a wise idea to pack a collapsible water bottle – hydration is essential if you plan to mix sun and alcohol. Stay safe out there, fellas.
Electronics: The Bare Minimum
What do a laptop, an e-reader, and a smart tablet have in common? They do virtually nothing that a phone can’t do. Unless you have work obligations to tackle on your bachelor weekend, consider leaving the big electronics behind. Not only will they assume unnecessary space in your bag, but they’re a liability with pick-pockets and petty thieves.
Just make sure your phone has the following:
- A maps app for orientation with the map of your destination downloaded for offline use
- A books app, podcast app or streaming service to stay entertained on the flight
- WIFI-enabled modes of communication to keep in contact with your loved ones back home
- And enough storage on your camera roll to embarrass your friends on a night out.
Depending on the digital accessibility at your destination, you might also consider packing a compact power bank to stay charged and a portable WIFI device in case you need online privileges in an emergency.
Medical Kit: Ideally Unnecessary but Exceedingly Useful
Up until this point, we’ve advocated for packing only what’s necessary. Hopefully, a medical kit isn’t necessary for your bachelor party trip. But you should pack one nonetheless. A stocked medical kit can address minor scrapes and knicks without the need for medical intervention; it can also be an exceedingly helpful stopgap for major injuries as you await medical attention.
At a minimum, an adequate medical kit should include bandages, gauze, medical tape, pliers and antiseptic wipes. If you don’t have room in your carry-on bag for a medical kit, coordinate with the rest of the party to see who has space. As long as someone brings it, you’re all good.
Documents: Originals and Back-ups
Lastly, it probably goes without saying that you need to leave room for documents. Obviously, pack your passport (for international travel) or government-issued ID (for domestic air travel). It’s also good practice to back these documents up by scanning them and uploading them to the cloud. Bachelor parties can get wild, and the last thing you want is to misplace your identifying documents without a backed-up copy.
Depending on where you’re travelling (or how young you look), you may also need a secondary form of identification to get into bars and clubs. As with your primary identification, consider backing these documents up digitally.
Lastly, pack an internationally-recognized credit card. Most banks don’t need you to call ahead any longer when you leave the country – but feel free to do so if it helps you feel at ease.
With versatile clothing, minimal supplies, worst-case-scenario safety mechanisms and backed-up documents, you’re ready for an unforgettable bachelor party abroad. All that’s left to do is kick back and enjoy the vacation.