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Brits swap Hen-do’s for Zen-do’s in new survey

Women swap Hen-do’s for Zen-do’s as they scrap wild nights out and strippers for relaxing massages in beachside locations before they tie the knot

  • Three quarters (74%) of women today view a Hen-do as the perfect opportunity to enjoy a relaxing break before the big day
  • The vast majority (82%) want their Zen-do to be a celebration of friendship rather than fancy dress outfits and party games, with two thirds (60%) saying this kind of Hen-do is dated
  • Just 42% see a Hen-do as a bride’s last chance to go crazy and let her hair down
  • Over half (54%) of women have lied to get out of a Hen-do because of the activities planned
  • Strippograms, inflatable toys and Mr & Mrs games are the Hen-do activities Brides-to-be dread most, preferring instead a good meal, relaxing, massage and other beauty treatments
  • Half of women (50%) opt for a self-catered villa or even more unique accommodation to make their send-off stand out from the crowd

LONDON, UK: Once upon a time, Hen-do’s were synonymous with debauched games, strippograms and fancy dress to celebrate a bride’s final days of freedom ahead of her wedding, but women today have revealed these are the very things that would see them trying to avoid attending. Research commissioned by Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, reveals that a Zen-do is far more popular, with women preferring a sunny destination, a massage and some cocktail making as their perfect Hen-do ingredients. Shockingly, over half (54%) admit to lying to get out of a Hen-do if they didn’t like the sound of it!

Almost three-quarters of women (74%) view a Hen-do as the perfect opportunity to have one last holiday with the girls, but they’re not prepared to slum it! Camping is an absolute no-no, with only 1% of women surveyed choosing this as their ideal Hen-do location, and instead luxury and convenience came out on top. Almost half of women (43%) opted for the ease of all-inclusive hotels, a third (32%) chose a self-catered and a growing trend for unique stays came out in third place with almost a fifth (18%) choosing something a little more unusual including tree-houses, castles, yurts or farmhouses.

While women aren’t quite prepared to hang up their late-night dancing shoes on a Hen-do, the perfect balance is to combine this with more relaxed down-time during the day rather than planned activities – 29% hate the thought of a life drawing class or paintballing, while a quarter (24%) of women dread karaoke being part of the Hen-do itinerary.

What do women really want from a Hen-do?

Cocktail making

42%

A massage

37%

Relaxing at the beach

36%

A nightclub

33%

Some pampering (mani/pedi/facials)

30%

The Biggest Hen-do turn-offs

Stripper / Strippogram

57%

Inflatable Toys

43%

Fancy Dress

28%

Mr and Mrs Games

25%

L Plates

22%

Dreamy destinations

A cold and damp weekend will no longer do, with Zen-do’s today requiring a far more exotic, and instagrammable backdrop. In fact, from the top 10 destinations chosen, only two were close-to-home UK towns. The sunnier climes of Barcelona, Ibiza and Marbella topped the list for the best sunny Zen-do locations, while London and the Cotswolds flew the flag for the UK. Culture wasn’t off the table either, with both Paris and Amsterdam making the cut in the top 10.

And it would seem that getting some sunshine really was a top priority, so much so that 40% of women admitted to planning two Hen-do’s, with 70% of those having one in the UK and one abroad. Interestingly, 34% of women were so keen to get the exotic Hen-do of their dreams that they had a say in the choice of destination, while over a quarter (26%) said they were involved in every single part of the planning!

Most Popular Hen-Do Destinations

1

Barcelona

2

London

3

Ibiza

4

Marbella

5

Paris

6

Mallorca

7

Dublin

8

Amsterdam

9

St Tropez

10

The Cotswolds

With so many luxurious self-catering options for larger groups as well as an impressive and varied selection of luxury all-inclusive accommodation, Booking.com makes it easier than ever to plan an unforgettable hen-do. With unique stays taking third place in the poll, Booking.com are pleased to offer a wide range of accommodation offering an unforgettable experience from modern tree-houses to glamorous yurts and everything in between.

Jitka Foralova, UK Area Manager, at Booking.com comments:

“With the busy lives women lead it’s no surprise that they’re swapping the traditionally wild Hen-Do for some time to getaway and relax with their friends instead. And what better way to do this than to go somewhere sunny where you can recline by the beach and enjoy each other’s company. Women haven’t completely given up some of the more frivolous elements of a Hen-Do, but what comes through with this Zen-Do trend is a desire to combine nightclubs and dancing with daytime luxury, pampering and downtime in gorgeous surroundings. It’s also great to see the rising trend in women looking for something a little more unusual when it comes to their accommodation – castles, tree-houses and yachts are a great way to combine luxury with a unique and unforgettable experience.”

-Ends-

CONTACT DETAILS

For further information, contact the Booking.com UK Press Office;

lon-booking@ketchum.com / 020 3755 6400

NOTES TO EDITORS

Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among 1,006 female respondents from Britain aged 25-40. Respondent completed an online survey in June 2018.

About Booking.com

Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN), Booking.com now employs more than 17,000 employees in 198 offices in 70 countries worldwide.

With a mission toempower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, we connect travellers with the world’s largest selection of incredible places to stay, including everything from apartments, vacation homes, and family-run B&B’s to 5-star luxury resorts, tree houses and even igloos. The Booking.com website and mobile apps are available in 43 languages, offer over 1.6 million properties in more than 128,000 destinations in 228 countries and territories worldwide.

Each day, more than 1,550,000 room nights are reserved on our platform. So whether travelling for business or leisure, customers can instantly book their ideal accommodation quickly and easily with Booking.com, without booking fees and backed up by our promise to price match. Via our customer experience team, customers can reach Booking.com 24/7 for assistance and support in 43 languages, any time of the day or night.

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