Best Bar Apps

Here at the BarWhiz Blog we love to provide you with information about the best bars, clubs, and party cities from all over the world.

We are so passionate about helping you to find a great night out that we even have our very own app – (see below for our shameless plug).

However, we know the internet is a big place. There are hundreds of websites that will help you to find a great hotel, an awesome restaurant, or anything in between. We just happen to specialize in bars and clubs, and in our modest opinion, we’re one of the best – (at least our Moms think so).

That being said, we have put together a list of 8 pretty amazing bar apps to help you when you are out on the town. So without further adieu here are the BarWhiz Blog picks for Best Bar Apps:

Elbatrop

One of the top 10 navigation apps in the UK, Elbatrop.com has a Find Pubs & Bars app. Using your phone’s GPS this app can tell you where the closest bar or pub is. And although it is billed as a UK app, they state that they can find you a place to knock back a few cold ones anywhere in the world. You can get it here for free.

UrbanDaddy

UrbanDaddy.com‘s, The Next Move is an app specifically designed for some of the more popular cities in the US. Currently the app works in Boston, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, and the Hamptons. The idea behind this app is not only to find the best bar in the area, but it also helps you to find the best bar for specific occasions, such as grabbing a drink with the boys, going on a date, or even riding solo. If you find yourself in any of the cities listed above, you can download it here for free.

DrinkedIn

DrinkedIn.net‘s Bar Finder boasts over 150,000 bar and pub listings in and around the UK, Australia, US, Brazil, and Canada. The app will provide you with information about the bar including directions through Google Maps. If you want to give it a try you can find it here.

Happy Houred

AppsoluteMedia.com’s Happy Houred is all about finding the best drink specials. Although the app only works for cities in the US, it is quite extensive. Happy Houred currently boasts 22,000 entries located in over 2,000 cities. You can try it here for free.

UrbanDig

Currently UrbanDig.com‘s app only works for a few North American cities, namely Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco and Vancouver. However, due to its success there are plans to slowly add more destinations. What makes this app so great is that they have assigned specific ‘curators’ for each destination who truly know what the city has to offer. Urbandig’s specialty is uncovering the best local establishments that few travelers know about. If you want to feel like a local, you can download the app from itunes.

Findmytap

Available only in the US, Findmytap.com‘s draught beer app allows beer connoisseurs to find exactly which bar serves their favourite suds on tap. The app will provide directions to the closest bar from your location, contact information for the bar, and reviews from other users. It’s a pretty nifty app if you are looking for something specific to drink. Want to give it a try? You can find it here.

Find Craft Beer

Similar to the Findmytap app, FindCraftBeer.com‘s app will help you to find craft beers. What sets it apart form any other app is that it will not only points you to bars and brew pubs serving up your favourite craft brews, but it will also point you to the closest microbreweries, beer stores and homebrew shops that can cater to your needs. You can download their app for just $0.99.

BarWhiz App

**Shameless plug alert**
Of course no list of Best Bar Apps would be complete without the BarWhiz.com app. With our very own app you can literally find bars anywhere in the world. You can add and view reviews from other members, see pictures, and participate in discussions about your favourite venues. If you want to try it right now you can download it here for free.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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What To Tip Your Server

In a previous post we asked, “What kind of tipper are you?” Today we are going to provide you with some information on how much to actually tip your server.

If you already fall into the Big Tipper category, good news, you get to leave class early. Everyone else, please pay close attention, because there will be a pop-quiz after the lesson.

Argentina
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Many places may already include the 10% gratuity on the bill, but if you are levelling up to Big Tipper throw in that extra 10% anyway.

Australia
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Australian servers are usually paid a higher than North American wage to begin with, so tips are not usually required. The unfortunate part is this sometimes shows in the level of service you will receive, but if you get an exceptional server show them you appreciate it by adding the standard 10-15%

Bolivia
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Bolivia is another country that automatically includes the gratuity in your bill. The benefit being the server always gets a tip, even if they don’t deserve it. So if you get great service feel free to add a little extra. Again, we suggest the standard 10-15%.

Brazil
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Brazil will have a standard 10% service fee already included in your bill, so there is no need to tip any extra, but of course, by all means do so if the service was excellent.

Cambodia
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Generally, the standard 10% is reserved for ‘nicer’ establishments. For those hole in the wall type of places, leaving your change will usually suffice.

Canada
Minimum tip: 15-20%
Caveat: Some establishments will automatically bill in a gratuity of 17-20% for parties over a certain number, so make sure to check your bill for a service fee before you calculate your tip.

Chile
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Unless of course the gratuity is already added to the bill. But as mentioned above, even if it is, feel free to leave a little extra.

China
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Not only is tipping not required in most areas of China, but at one time it was actually against the law!

Colombia
Minimum tip: 7-10%
Caveat: Many establishments will add a service charge of 8-10%, but it is still recommended to leave an additional tip so the total equals 15-18%.

Costa Rica
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most places in Costa Rica already include a 10% service fee on the bill, so a tip is usually not required. Just check to make sure, or leave an additional 10% if the service was good.

Croatia
Minimum tip: 10-15%.
Caveat: The minimum tip of 10-15% is usually reserved for nicer restaurants. Anywhere else you would usually just leave your change.

Czech Republic
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There will typically be a service charge included in the bill, but it is always nice to round up the tip to 15% if you receive great service.

Denmark
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Denmark does not have typically have a tipping culture, but like many other countries, leaving a little something for the server is always appreciated.

Ecuador
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: A 10% service fee will already be tacked onto your bill, so although a tip is generally not required, adding an additional 5-10% is customary.

Egypt
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most of Egyptian bars and restaurants already include a 10% on the bill, but if you are feeling like a Big Tipper feel free to add an additional 5-10%.

Estonia
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There is not really a tipping culture in Estonia, but it is considered usual practice to leave a 5-10% tip a nicer restaurants when going out for dinner.

Finland
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There is no tipping culture in Finland, but you can try to leave the standard 10% for excellent service.

France
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most bars, restaurants and cafes will automatically include a 15% gratuity on your bill, so additional tipping is not required, but definitely appreciated.

Germany
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Germany has a similar tipping policy as France, so if the service fee is not listed on your bill consider leaving a 10-15% tip.

Greece
Minimum tip: 10-20%
Caveat: Your bill may include a service fee but it is customary to add an additional tip up to 20%, including the fee.

Hungary
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Most places will not add a service fee, so it is customary to leave the 10% in cash for your server.

Iceland
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There is not a big tipping culture in Iceland. That being said, there is already a 15% service included in your bill, so if the service was great think about adding an additional 5%.

India
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Some of the nicer restaurants will already include a 10% service fee, but it is still customary to leave 5-10% for your server.

Indonesia
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: A 10% gratuity will automatically be added to your bill, regardless of the service you receive. So if you get great service add 5% for your server.

Israel
Minimum tip: 12%
Caveat: In Israel some establishments will charge the standard 12% service fee, so it is customary to tip your server 12% if the gratuity is not built in.

Italy
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Service fees are usually not charged on the bill but double check to make sure before leaving a tip.

Japan
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There is no tipping culture in Japan, but it’s not a bad idea to leave something for really good service.

Malaysia
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: The majority of restauarnats and bars already include a 10% tip in the bill, but it is customary to round up or leave your change for your server.

Norway
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Service fees are automatically included in the bill, so no additional tip is required. However, it is customary to leave your server a tip if you are happy with the service.

Paraguay
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: A service fee will be included with your check and it is not common practice to leave an additional tip for your server in Paraguay.

Philippines
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most palces will include a 10% tip on your bill, if they don’t leave your server 10-15% depending on the level of service they provided.

Portugal
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Even though some restaurants may add a service charge of 10% it is still customary to tip your server an additional 10% on top of your bill.

Romania
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Tipping is customary in Romanian, everywhere from a restaurant or bar to taxis and even the hospital. Since tipping is expected the level of service you receive may be low. So for great serive add an additional 5-10% of the minimum.

Russia
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Although the bill may not include a service or gratuity charge, it is advisable to provide your server with a 10% tip in cash.

Singapore
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There is already a 10% service fee included in yoru bill, so although tipping is not required it appreciated if you round up your bill and leave the change.

Slovenia
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There isn’t a big tipping culture in Slovenia, however in tourist areas it is customary to leave a 10% tip.

South Korea
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: South Korea does not have a big tipping culture, so even though no tip iss required it is always nice to leave a little something for your server.

Spain
Minimum tip: 5-10%
Caveat: It is customary to leave your change or round up your bill in Spain. For nicer places a 5-10% tip is customary.

Sweden
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Sweden, like many other European countries, does not have a big tipping culture. Since there is no service fee included in the bill it is always nice to leave the server a little something if you are so inclined.

Switzerland
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: The majority of places will already include a 15% service fee, so unless your server provides you with top of the notch service, no additional tip is required.

Syria
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: It is customary to leave your server 10% in cash, even if a service fee is charged on the bill, although this rarely happens.

Taiwan
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most places in Taiwan already includde the service fee of 10%, if not leave 10-15% depending on the level of service.

Thailand
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Many nicer establishments may include the 10% service charge, but if not leave the standard 10% for your server.

Turkey
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Leave up to 15% for good service and try to tip your server in cash.

Ukraine
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: For really good service you may consider leaving an additional 3-5%

United Arab Emirates
Minimum tip: 15-20%
Caveat: In reality, 20% is really the minimum, and if you want to get extra special service make sure you tip the maitre d before you are seated.

United Kingdom
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most places already have a service fee built in, so leaving a tip is not always required, but will likely not be turned away if you are feeling generous.

USA
Minimum tip: 15-20%
Caveat: Much like Canada, some establishments in the US will add a gratuity to your bill for larger parties.

Venezuela
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most restaurants and bars will already add a 10% service fee to your bill, so essentially a tip is not required. However, if you receive excellent service a 5-10% additional tip is always appreciated by the server.

Vietnam
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Some establishments may include the 10% gratuity, so for those places a tip is not required, but it never hurts to leave a little extra.

Yemen
Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: For nice restaurants you may consider leaving a little extra than the standard 10%

Pop-Quiz:
What are some of the destinations, and their tipping policies, that we have left off the list? Leave your answers below in our comment section.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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The Best Backpacker Bars In Canada


Last year we discussed the top 19 party cities in all of Canada, but as you may very well know, one person’s party city is another person’s snoozefest.

A city can mean different things to different people based on their experiences. Whether you live in that city, were raised in that city, are tourists to that city or a backpacker just passing through, your wants, needs and expectations of a party may be different from everyone else.

Today we are going to focus on one particular group: backpackers. With youth hostels located in over 85 cities across Canada, the great white north is one destination with the backpacker’s travel budget in mind.

Not only can you find a cheap room at one of the many hostels across the country, but some of these hostels also have their very own bars! Cheap beers and cheap beds equal a fun time in my books.

So without further adieu, here are the best Backpacker Bars across Canada:

British Columbia
The Cambie Pub – Vancouver

When it comes to hostels, cheap, quality, and clean rooms are what is most important to many backpackers, and that is exactly what the The Cambie offers. What makes a stay at the Cambie even better is their onsite pub. Rated as the “#1 place to get wasted on the cheap” the Cambie really knows how cater to the backpacker’s budget. For more ideas on how to party on the cheap, check out our Miser’s Guide To Clubbing.

Alberta
The Storm Cellar – Banff

Billed as a True Traveler’s Pub, the Storm Cellar is the in-house bar for the HI-Banff Alpine Centre, one of the best ski and snowboarding hostels in the Rockies. The pub is a cozy place to unwind after a long day of hitting the slopes. Sip a few pints, play some darts, or take part in one of the many daily events, from Karaoke and trivia to live music from some great Canadian artists. If skiing is your thing, check out our list of the Best Ski Resorts To Party At.

Ontario
Mugshots – Ottawa

One of the more unique hostels in Canada is found in its capital city, Ottawa. The HI-Ottawa Jail hostel is located in the old Nicholas Street Gaol, which was built in 1862. Hostelling International purchased the building after it’s closure in 1972 and converted it into a hostel leaving much of the structure intact. Yes, that means you can spend a night in jail without the embarrassment of a having to call a friend or family member to bail you out. The jail’s chapel, which is typically only used in winter months, has been converted into the hostels on-site bar Mugshots. During the summer months the bar moves out into the courtyard, which was once the gallows and the place of the last public execution in Canada.

Québec
Tiki Bar Barbu – Sainte-Anne-des-Monts

Located 8 hours east of Montreal, right near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River is The Sea Shack, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts festive hostel. Ideally located to take advantage of all the outdoors has to offer, the Sea Shack hosts visitors all year round. Other than the amazing activities this hostel has to offer, from skiing to kayaking, what keeps people coming back for more are the famous parties hosted at the Tiki Bar Barbu. With live music acts from virtually every genre as well as many themed party nights, at the Tiki Bar Barbu the party never stops.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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The Boozer’s Bucket List – Wackiest Places To Have A Drink Before You Die

There are so many amazing bars and clubs around the world to have a drink in before you kick the bucket, it can be hard to choose which ones to add to your Boozer’s Bucket List.

To make things a little easier, we’ve put together this list of the top six wackiest places to have a drink before you die.

In a Tree

Every kid’s dream was to have a tree fort in their backyard. So it can be easy to assume that every adult kid’s dream is to have a drink inside a tree. No? Is it just me then? Well, thanks to the Baobab Bar those that are so inclined can do just that. Located in Modjadjiskloof in Limpopo Province, South Africa, this bar is situated inside a hollowed out, 6000 year old baobab tree.

Under the Sea

If trees aren’t your thing how about taking a page from Jules Verne and having a drink twenty thousand leagues under the sea. Okay, maybe it’s more like 5 meters below the sea, but the Red Sea Star Bar in Eilat, Israel is definitely another wacky place to have a drink before you die.

In a Cave

If you are afraid of water you can always head underground to the Alux Restaurant & Lounge. Located in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, this underground bar is deep within the bowels of a naturally formed cave.

In the Sky

If the cave has you feeling a bit claustrophobic maybe it is time to get some fresh air with Lounge in the Sky. This wacky experience hoists you up 50 metres in the air, where you can enjoy a few drinks with friends and be entertained by almost any form of entertainment imaginable. I’m not sure where the bathrooms are located on this thing, so it’s best not to break the seal before your adventure begins.

In a Jungle

If all the excitement has gone to your head it might be time to get back to nature and head into the Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle for a drink at the Kapawi Ecolodge. This remote, ecologically responsible and cultural sensible bar is located in a pristine region of the rainforest, so you can sit back and enjoy a cocktail without the sounds of chainsaws ruining your tranquility, and our planet.

In Outer Space

If you’ve had enough of this planet, maybe it is time to head to a bar that really is out of this world. With Virgin Galactic well on their way to making Space Tourism a reality, you too could one day enjoy a cold frosty one in the cold frosty vacuum of space. Currently a ticket to reserve a seat on the SpaceShipTwo is a only a mere $200,000.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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Most Popular Drinks Every Bartender Should Know

 
Hey, Bartender

Tip from BarWhiz: Also check out our Periodic Table of Alcohol which gives great information about popular drinks

Besides being able to pour a proper pint, every bartender should have a solid backing knowledge of the most popular drinks. Not every patron knows what they want to order and those that do know want it made the way it is supposed to be. Of course there are hundreds of drinks a bartender SHOULD know, but we’ve decided to go with the classics. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular drinks every bartender should know.

#1 Cosmopolitan (aka – Cosmo)

Cosmopolitan

Thanks to the ladies in Sex and the City, every middle-aged woman out on the town thinks it is not a complete night until they have consumed a multitude of Cosmos.

1oz vodka
½ oz triple sec
½ oz lime juice
½ oz cranberry juice

Chill a martini glass. (add ice, water) Shake the vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice in a shaker with ice. Empty the chilled glass, strain the contents from the shaker into the martini glass and garnish with a wedge of lime.

#2 Classic Martini

Classic Martini - Project Flickr: Drink

The martini can keep it dry or wet, clean or dirty, infused with apples or bacon. There are literally hundreds of variations of the martini these days with the production of flavoured vodkas and creative bartenders. Anyone who has ever seen a James Bond movie knows that he prefers his martini made with vodka not gin, and shaken not stirred. Keep it simple. There is a reason it is a classic after all.

2 ½ oz gin
¼ oz dry vermouth

If someone really knows their martini, they will certainly be the first to tell you how they prefer it prepared. If not, follow these and you will be safe. Toss a handful of ice cubes into a mixing glass adding the gin and vermouth. Stir or shaken (as denoted). Strain into a martini glass and finish with a skewer of olives or a twist of lemon peel.

#3 Bloody Caesar

Bloody Caesar

There is a Bloody Mary and there is a Bloody Caesar. If you are a bartender you know the difference. If you don’t know, then you are not a good bartender. I prefer to build mine from the ground up, and why not be a little dirty about it too (extra Worcestershire).

Here is my personal recipe:

1 oz vodka
7 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
pinch of salt & pepper
4 oz Clamato juice

Rim a tall rocks glass with celery salt. Squeeze a wedge of lime and drop into the glass. Fill with ice. Add vodka, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, and fill with Clamato juice. Bang salt & pepper shakers over the top two times. Garnish with a wedge of lemon & lime, a dash of horseradish and two skewered olives.

#4 Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple cocktail

Unfortunately the world is populated with people who do not imbibe alcohol but still like to pretend they enjoy a cocktail from time to time. It is also a standard for children at restaurants who want to feel like adults. Every bartender should know how to whip up a Shirley Temple.

2/3 cup lemon-lime soda or ginger-ale
2 tbsp grenadine
1/3 cup orange juice

Fill a tall rocks glass with ice. Add the soda, grenadine and juice; still until combined. Classic garnish is an orange skewered with a maraschino cherry.

#5 Screwdriver

Screwdriver Cocktail at Hostaria del Piccolo

Every woman loves them and men cannot get enough of them at Sunday brunch with the family.

1 oz vodka
½ cup orange juice

Fill a small rocks glass with ice. Add vodka and juice.

#6 Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre

If you had trouble with the Screwdriver, then this is probably going to throw you for a spin. Seriously. If you did not know what this is, if you even have to read what a Cuba Libre is, then please quit your job as a bartender.

1 oz white rum
½ cup coca-cola

Fill a small rocks glass with ice. Add rum and coke. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

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Best Nightlife in Spain

Elegant architecture of Madrid
Madrid

Following on from the BarWhiz guide to Europe, here’s a look at what the Spanish have to offer, from beers in the city to cocktails on a Mediterranean island. This guide is brought to you by Polly Allen, a travel writer on Spain with easyJet Holidays.

Major Cities

Madrid, being the capital city of Spain, has some of its best-loved bars, so choose your district wisely. La Latina has a student/hippy vibe, especially in bars such as Barrio Alto, whilst Huertas is popular with tourists but will generally cost more. The most famous place for cocktails is on the iconic main street, Gran Via, and is called Museo Chicote. Film stars and writers have been here, so why not follow in their footsteps?

Museo chicote
Museo Chicote

Seville’s Cerveceria Internacional is a haven for beer lovers, and a beer is una cerveza. Choices on tap include Leffe and Guinness, or you can enjoy a Spanish cider (Escanciador). If you’re going for bottled beer then there’s everything from Chinese (Tsingtao) to Czech (Budejovicky).

Cervecería Internacional
Cerveceria Internacional

Barcelona is full of cool places to visit, but its rooftop bars must surely be worth a mention. The Zinc Bar, on the roof of the Hotel Villa Emilia, has free Wi-Fi, an amazing terrace with large sofas, and a tempting wine list as well as mojitos to die for. Alternatively, the Hotel Pulitzer Bar is a good choice for those who can afford to splash the cash on elegant €12 cocktails.

Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona
Hotel Pulitzer Bar

Balearics

Majorca is an ever-popular nightlife destination for good reason: in Magaluf alone there are over 100 bars, many of which have a theme. The BCM Sports Bar is a good place to start thanks to its range of shots, beers and cocktails next to a giant TV screen for watching those sporting events, followed by a stay at the nearby Marina Barracuda Hotel, which has a cool BCM-themed entertainment area. If you’re more into classic drinking then don’t miss Ginbo in Palma, which has more than 100 different types of gin – just don’t try them all at once.

Ibiza’s Raco Verd, in San Jose, has been running for fifty years and doesn’t fail to impress, even today. Enjoy cleansing and refreshing juices such as the SOS by day and then upgrade to tapas and wine as the night falls, accompanied by the sounds of acoustic guitar performances. If you want something a bit livelier then try La Cava, which is a chic night spot in Ibiza Town with amazing decor.

Menorca’s many watering holes include Mambo, with its signature Mojito proving a favourite with tourists, and Jazzbah, which is a trendy bar and club that is perfect for catching up with friends over a few drinks in the chill out room or listening to DJs playing live sets.

Ibiza
Ibiza

Canary Islands

Fuerteventura is home to Agua, based in Corralejo, which comes highly recommended by tourists and locals. Expect to pay no more than €5 per cocktail and enjoy light tapas-style snacks with your drink – free of charge. The hot cocktails are certainly worth sampling.

Gran Canaria has plenty of cheap bars, but blogger Victoria (known as the Cunning Canary) advises you to go upmarket if you want recognisable branded drinks. Try the bar of the Soultrain Jazz Club in Las Palmas for excellent music and live jamming sessions as you enjoy a glass of something cool.

Lanzarote’s hotspots include La Esquina, which has half an hour of free Wi-Fi for everyone who buys a drink, and the bars around the Rubicon Marina such as Global House and Afrodite Little Italy, which has a wide range of wine.

Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria

Best of the Rest

Puerto Banus Marbella Spain yachts
Marbella

Marbella is a more expensive place to visit in Spain, thanks to its glitzy nightlife and gorgeous beaches which the cast of the hit reality TV show The Only Way is Essex have popularized. Bars to try out include The Champagne Room (for the obvious tipple) and The Library, which has over 250 types of alcohol.

The Library Bar
The Library

Valencia’s Montaditos Gratis will appeal to those of you needing to save your Euros. Small beers come with a small tapas selection and start from just €1,30, which is very wallet-friendly. At that price you can afford to be a bit more adventurous with your choice of drinks.

San Sebastian, in the north of Spain, has bars to suit all budgets, many of which either contain a version of tapas known as pintxos or huge bocadillos (baguettes) to accompany your drinks. Juantxo Bar is a bit of a student favourite thanks to its cheap food and beer, and look out for its special caipirinhas.

San Sebastián – Donostia. Taberna Juantxo.

Now you’ve seen the line-up, the hardest part is choosing which resort to visit first…

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The Complete Guide For Throwing A House Party On A Budget

house party

From posts about the best party cities around the world, to tips on how to party frugally, we are here to help you not only find party, but also how to party on a budget.

There is nothing better than a good old-fashioned house party, both for the party atmosphere and for saving some money. You might think hosting a house party is as simple as inviting over a few friends and opening up a bag of chips, but to throw a good house party takes planning, organization and some skill.

In order to help you throw your very own house party, one that will be talked about for weeks, we have put together this simple guide, which will help you with everything from choosing a guest list to coming up with a few party games.

So without further adieu, here is the Complete Guide For Throwing A House Party On A Budget:

#1 – Choosing A Guest List

the guest list

Before you even begin deciding on who you want to invite, you first need to think about the amount of people your budget can accommodate. The larger the guest list obviously means the more the expense, and usually the bigger the party.

Besides budget, you’ll want to ensure you have adequate space for the amount of people you are planning to invite. You will need enough room for everyone to fit, while still having space for people to break off into groups, and walk around to get food and drinks. And don’t forget about an area to dance!

A large house party would consist of more than 25 guests. With the large group you can afford to diversify your guests, inviting people from different aspects of your life. With a large group of people your hosting duties are usually minimal when it comes to getting conversation going. As mentioned, large parties can be quite expensive, so you can cut the costs by making it a BYOB.

A medium sized party will comfortably fit between 10 to 15 guests. With the smaller group you can afford to offer some drinks and a few finger foods without going over budget. If you get creative with the menu your guests will appreciate the effort.

A smaller house party would consist of fewer than 10 guests. These house parties are usually a little more intimate and work well where everyone knows each other. If you still want to invite guests from different groups in your life, choose wisely. Having people that do not feel comfortable mingling with strangers can make for an awkward party, one where you as the host will be doing a lot of the work keeping the conversation going. Small parties are also a great way to show off your culinary skills without breaking the bank.

#2 – Picking A Theme

3rd Annual Masquerade Party

Theme parties are a fun way to bring friends together and have a few drinks. The right theme can get everyone excited and allow your guests to really let go of any of their inhibitions – beer also helps too. However, picking the wrong theme can be a disaster. With the wrong theme you may find that your guests are not as enthusiast about the party as you are, and some may not participate or even show up.

Try running your theme idea by a few of your closest friends on your guest list to get a feel for how they are going to take it. Definitely pick something that does not require guests to go out and spend an inordinate amount of money looking for a costume, and certainly do not pick anything too obscure that those on your guest list will not be familiar with.

Once a theme has been decided you can use that to help you plan the other aspects of your party, from lighting and décor, to music and even the menu. The more creative you make it, the more memorable the party will be.

#3 – Creating The Proper Lighting

Tea Lights

Even though the theme may dictate your lighting choice, creating ambiance in your house party is one of the most essential aspects, besides the booze of course, at making your guests feel welcome and at ease with their surroundings. Even without a theme, lighting will play an essential role in creating a party atmosphere.

The most inexpensive way to create some ambiance is by dimming the lights. If you don’t have a dimmer switch, you can try using tea lights, making sure of course they are located out of harms way – i.e. from being knocked over during the crazy arm-flailin’, booty bustin’ dance off.

#4 – Arranging The Music

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Besides lighting, one of the other most important aspects of creating a memorable house party is music. Whether the music coincides with your theme or not, you should create a playlist, or ask one of your more capable guests to play DJ.

A good DJ always plays to the energy of the crowd, so knowing what your guest are into before hand will help you to create a playlist that will work well for your house party. Start with something light but upbeat to create the atmosphere, and work up to songs with more energy that will get the party jumpin’.

#5 – Planning A Menu

planning the menu

The size of your guest list will really determine your menu. As previously mentioned, the larger the party, the more the expense. So when it comes to planning a menu there are a few options to not blow your budget, as well as having to spend all day in the kitchen preparing.

With a large house party guests will not expect to be served food, but it is still a good idea to have a few munchies prepared. The classic chips n’ dip and other types of fingers foods, like fresh cut veggies, pitas and hummus, always go over well.

For the medium sized party you may want to throw in a few additional items, such as some canapés along with a cheese and fruit platter.

The smaller house party is where you can let your culinary skills shine. You don’t have to treat your guests to a full course dinner, but even making something as simple as handmade burgers for the BBQ will go a long way to impress your guests.

An additional way to save some money is to plan a potluck for the party, or even get everyone to chip in on some pizza, because remember, pizza and beer always goes hand-in-hand.

#6 – Coming Up With Party Games

Seize the second! swatch bestival 2007 twister

If done incorrectly, a house party can be a dime a dozen. Anyone can simply invite over a few friends, turn on some music and have a few laughs while enjoying a favorite cocktail or three. But these ‘parties’ are really just boring old get-togethers. With your house party you want to do something memorable. Something creative. Something fun that will have your guests talking about it for weeks.

Your theme can go a long way to helping you create this memorable experience, but with or without a theme, it really comes down to the party games that will get your guest involved. Party games work for all sizes, from large parties to smaller intimate ones.

When designing activities remember to be creative, make them fun, and know when to initiate them. If the party is already in full party mode it might be best to shelf the game until the party dies down a bit.

With the right mix of guests, a fun and engaging theme, lighting to set the ambiance, a playlist to get the party moving, some food, and a few party games, you can easily create a memorable house party, while still staying on budget.

Author: Corey Rozon

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The Miser’s Guide To Clubbing

Clubbing 2

After reviewing countless bars and clubs all over the world, we know how easily going out for just one beer can quickly turn into a $200 bar tab.

Hitting up the clubs can be particularly expensive when you factor in cover charge, coat check and the inflated cost of drinks. Thankfully we’ve learned a thing or two on how to save a few bucks when at the clubs. Some tips may obvious, some unorthodox, but they all work.

So without further adieu, here is the Miser’s Guide To Clubbing:

#1 – Pre-Party

Pre-partying is essential for any night out at the clubs. Walking in stone cold sober is one way to ensure your budget gets blown within the hour. So invite over some friends, have a few drinks and get ready for the night. If you are going out solo, and are the type that doesn’t like to drink alone, never underestimate the power of a shower beer. They’re so good you might even want to bring two.

#2 – The Early Bird Gets The Worm

One way to save a little money, and ensure that you will get into the club, is to arrive early. Sure, this might mean that you have to start your pre-game drinking a bit earlier, but since most clubs don’t get started until after 11pm you’ll have plenty of time. Be one of the first to arrive and you will likely get in without having to pay cover.

Choose your beer!

#3 – Never Pay (Full) Cover

One of the biggest burns to your budget is the cover charge. Going early might be able to save you cover entirely, but if you don’t want to be that guy, you might consider travelling in a pack. Many clubs will offer a discounted rate if you bring your whole entourage with you. It’s always best to call ahead to negotiate the price before you get there. The more women you have in your group, the more likely you will be able to get in.

#4 – Leave The Coat At Home

Most clubs have a mandatory coat check, and depending on the time of the year, a coat may be essential to your survival. If you can, leave the coat at home, or in the car of a designated driver. Failing that, try to double your coats up on one hanger and save a bit of money. For the ladies, a big purse and a thin jacket will work wonders.

Beer Bottle Cap Assortment

#5 – Where Everyone Knows Your Name

One of the best ways to save money is to become a regular. Get to know the staff and the owner. Becoming a friend will help you to get in on the busy nights, usually without having to pay cover. The wait staff and bartenders may even buy you drinks, or at the very least, have a heavy hand when they are pouring them.

#6 – Cash Only

If you really want to save some money you should only bring cash and your ID, leave all plastic at home. Never, I men never, use the ATM machine inside the club. In some instances you can end up paying up to $10 in ATM fees each time you make a transaction. And when you are buzzed, taking out extra money may seem like a good idea at the time, usually more than once in the night. It’s also best to stick to the budget you set for yourself and try not to borrow cash from that friend who always seems to have a little too much cash on hand.

#7 – Special Of The Day

Do a little research and find out which clubs have specials, whether they are Ladies Nights, happy hours, two-for-one drinks or just specials on specific brands. Drink on the cheap and you can drink longer for less. And if you are a guy on Ladies Night you can always ask the ladies to buy you a few rounds.

#8 – Price Is The Difference

The fastest way to blow through your cash budget is to order drinks without knowing the prices. It’s not uncouth to ask for a price menu before deciding on what you want to drink. Knowing where your money can be best spent to maximize your alcohol intake will help you to stretch out the night further.

Beers of the World

#9 – Keep It Simple

Now that you’ve seen the price list you’ll quickly understand that the simpler the drink usually means the cheaper the price. Unless there is a special on certain drinks or alcohol, domestic beer is typically the cheapest way to go, and draft even more so. If you are not a beer drinker, always order from the rail when ordering spirits.

#10 – It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Even if it is a two-for-one special you should always pace your drinking. These specials work in benefit of the club, the more you drink the faster you will forget about your budget and the more money you will spend. Remember, you have the whole night, so pace yourself and interject a bottle of water between every other drink. Not only will you save money, but also your body will thank you for it in the morning.

#11 – A Shot In The Dark

If you really want to blow through your money then order shots. Heck, buy a round of shots for everyone at the bar with you. But if you really want to save your money, then just stick with beer or whatever cocktails that are on special.

#12 – Be One Of The 10-15%

This may be counterintuitive if you are trying to make friends with the wait staff, but one of the easiest ways to save money at the club is to not tip, or at least not over tip. If you can, try to start a tab. If they won’t let you start a tab without a credit card then be careful with your tips. Tipping $1.00 with every beer purchase can quickly add up. If your beer is $4.00 that is a 25% tip, generous, but not needed. A tab will enable you to leave a tip of 10-15% on your total bill, but if you are unable to open a tab try calculating the amount of money you will spend in the night and leave the full tip at the beginning. Not only will that help you to curb your tips, but the move may also impress the bartender enough that you won’t have to wait for a drink the rest of the night.

Grandpa's Beer
#13 – Disappearing Act

When out with a group of friends one of the hardest things to do is leave early. No one wants the party to stop and you’ll usually be browbeaten into staying to have just one more. This quickly turns into another round, and before you know it you’ve closed the bar once again. In order to avoid this extended bar tour and save some money learn how to pull a Houdini. Simply disappear, apologize for it in the morning or send a text message while you are in the cab on the way home. Going home early is not a sign of weakness, your body, and your wallet, will thank you for it in the morning.

Additional Tips

  • For the guys: Try not to buy drinks for the girls, and definitely stay away from those girls who will only use you for drinks.
  • For the girls: Use men for drinks.

* As seen on Best Of Money Carnival and Totally Money Carnival.

Author: Corey Rozon

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