Planning a Panama Bachelor Party is a legendary move. You will never forget Panama for how much it had to offer you and your group (and what an amazing price!). There is a right way and a wrong way to execute this trip – so don’t get caught with your pants down (figuratively) in this amazing place!
Top 5 “Don’ts” For a Panama Bachelor Party
Let’s face it, some things are better off un-done. Let’s get into some of the top 5 biggest bachelor party mistakes:
1. Don’t buy drugs off the street.
I’m sure you’ve all seen enough Narcos episodes to know that this part of the world is rampant with cocaine. Tourists should never try to buy drugs off of street dealers here. If you’re wandering around drunk asking for drugs, it’s not going to end well. In the best case scenario, you’ll end up with something in your hand, but it likely won’t be drugs. It’s probably a bag of detergent. More commonly, tourists give somebody money who simply disappears. It’s better to just enjoy your night the old fashioned way. Unless, of course, you want to check out the inside of a Panama prison cell – which could be entertaining for all of 30 seconds!
2. Don’t trash your house / hotel / Airbnb / accommodations.
We all love to have a good time, but remember that you’re staying in someone else’s home. If you trash everything in your house, not only are you likely to have to pay for it (or not get your deposit back), but you’re also ruining the experience for all bachelor parties to follow you. Our relationships with homeowners are the glue that holds these experiences together. Without it, everybody’s screwed.
3. Don’t be a d*ck to the locals.
Sometimes the culture can be drastically different from what we’re used to and locals might be seen as annoying or rude. This is likely not the case however, they are more likely hungry and desperate. Please keep this in mind when you are interacting with Panamanians. It’s a place built on good vibes, and the only time things ever go sour is when we get defensive and end up being aggressive in reply.
4. Tip graciously
Minimum wages in Panama are ridiculously low. Just because the food is cheap, doesn’t mean you need to be! A big tip can honestly make a server / taxi driver / bell hop or concierge’s entire week. Panamanians make around $2 per hour for the same type of work that we make $15 or more for in the U.S. If you genuinely appreciate the service you’ve been given, there is NO better way to say thank you than with a couple of greenbacks.
5. Don’t lose your friends and don’t lose your phones
Friends and phones have a sneaky way of disappearing once the music is on and the liquor is flowing. Usually friends end up returning, but most likely if you lose track of your phone, it’s not coming back. Wandering around the streets of Panama drunk and confused is a recipe for trouble and can easily be avoided if you just keep a head count and make sure to stay under control. If you leave your phone on the bar and turn around to talk to someone, that sucker can be gone in much less than 60 seconds, so be aware of that. It is what it is.
Top 5 “Do’s” For a Panama Bachelor Party
Now that we’ve got all that nonsense out of the way, it’s time for the top 5 must do’s for a Panama Bachelor Party
1. Bring enough cash with you. Don’t rely on card usage.
It’s probably more wise to bring cash with you from the U.S. than to rely on ATMs in Panama. In Bocas del Toro for example, there’s only one ATM and it often runs out of cash. It’s better to bring money with you. We recommend visiting a bank beforehand and actually asking for small bills rather than 20’s. If 20 guys show up to a third world country with nothing but $20 bills, your service providers are likely to run out of small change pretty fast. It’s useful in more ways than one to carry a fat stack of $1’s (and the local businesses will love you for it too). With all this being said, don’t bring all your cash with you on your person. Take only what you suspect you’ll need for the night and leave the rest locked up in a safe spot in your bag, locked in your hotel.
2. Learn some Spanish
Just do it. Communication is better and easier with your guide and your overall experience will be more authentic. Don’t take a sarcastic tone or make fun of the language, but rather get into the role. Free apps like Duolingo and Translate (by Google) will at least allow you to brush up quickly, even on the plane ride over. Your connection with the guide and your overall safety will greatly increase with even the slightest amount of spanish understanding. Make sure you understand numbers, at the very least.
3. Pack smart and expect some rain
Make sure you check out our Ultimate Panama Packing List for some ideas on smart packing for your Panama trip. You’ll want a small bag that has a city outfit, beach outfit, casual dinner outfit and rain gear. The weather here is notorious for changing on a dime and it’s always great to be prepared instead of soaking wet!
4. Make good use of your time
Check out our free Panama Bachelor Party Itinerary and use that as a guide. There are lots of way to get hung up on details and waste precious time in Panama, simply due to not being aware of the logistics involved. There are also optimum times for avoiding traffic, and only several flights per day to crucial areas of Panama.
5. Keep your hangover in check
A Panama Bachelor Party is usually fast paced and liquor heavy, so take precautions before bed to not end up with a huge hangover and miss the entire next day. There’s no point in spending your time in bed with a hangover in Panama. Try to remember to pound water before bed and don’t forget to have a solid breakfast on lock for the next day. Our Ultimate Panama Packing List has a few suggestions for hangover pills that actually work, if you want to get scientific about it. We can also arrange for private chefs to cook for you and your group if you’re interested as well.
So now you’ve got the basics – Go Execute!
We hope you guys really crush it down in Panama, whichever part you choose to go to. Don’t forget to check out our free resources if you need help planning your trip:
Ultimate Panama Packing List
Panama Bachelor Party Itinerary