How To Plan an Epic Bar Crawl

In (d) Onesies Planet by threetigersmedia

Bar crawling is a popular activity that essentially involves moving through different bars and drinking at all of them. The term “crawl” in the name comes from the implication that the participants will not be able to walk by the time they are finished.

How do you plan an epic bar crawl? In order to plan an epic bar crawl, it is important to keep a few things in mind. First of all, you will need to have everything planned out to the letter, from locations to transportation. Make sure that you have a backup plan for everything in case something goes wrong.

When you are in the process of planning a bar crawl that will be considered epic, throw in some fun things that will make yours different from the usual. Create a theme for the crawl and include some games and challenges for each stop along the way.

If you have ever been to a bar crawl before, then you know exactly how fun it is to get wasted while walking through your city. However, you might not have thought about who actually put the entire event together.

Planning and orchestrating a bar crawl takes a lot of work, and it can become overwhelming if you do not take the time to strategize. Getting the idea to plan a bar crawl is one thing, but you will need to use the tips in this article in order to pull off an epic one.

How To Plan an Epic Bar Crawl

While a bar crawl might seem like something that is easy to put together, it is actually a lot harder than you might think. There are a lot of individual components that go into pulling off a successful bar crawl that works out perfectly without any kinks along the way.

Since bar crawling includes going from place to place and drinking, the last thing that you want to do is find out that you left some sort of gap in your scheduling after you have already downed five shots.

With that being said, it is increasingly important to follow through with a detailed process, while you are sober, in order to make sure that you will have everything that you need for the night of.

To begin this discussion on how to plan an epic bar crawl, we will first outline the general process that goes into planning one of these events regardless. The information in the list down below will give you an idea of what is required in order to organize and follow through with your very own bar crawl.

Here is how you can plan a bar crawl:

  1. Pick the location that you will be bar crawling in
  2. Find the best bars in the area
  3. Create a detailed map with locations in order
  4. Make arrangements for transportation beforehand (DD, Uber, planned cab, bus tickets, etc.)
  5. Take photos throughout the night and share/upload them

Before you can do any kind of detailed planning in regards to your bar crawl, you will need to first pick the location that you will be bar crawling in. This can be the city that you live in, or you can choose a nearby major city if yours isn’t that exciting.

On the other hand, you can also extend your bar crawl into something where you travel a little further than usual. Maybe you already have an organized vacation planned with your friends or family, and you will be planning this bar crawl while you are in the other city.

Regardless of where you choose to plan the bar crawl, the next step will obviously be picking the individual locations within the city that you will be crawling to.

It is important that you find only the best bars in the area. Even this part of the planning stage will require a lot of detailed research, even though it might sound the most simple.

You can conduct this research by doing some Google and Yelp searches for the best bars in the city that is in question. From there, you can map out where you will be going as far as routes in order to get from place to place.

Alternatively, if you are planning on being in only one area of the city, you can look at the maps on your phone to try and locate some bars within that vicinity. Searching zip codes or streets also helps in this scenario.

Basically, you can plan out your bar crawl in whatever way that you would like. All in all, you should stay within the areas that you are comfortable in, especially at night, and only choose the best bars that you and your guests will really enjoy.

After all, nobody wants to go to a bar crawl that features boring or run down bars. You want to get the full scoop on each location ahead of time in order to avoid any problems like this.

Now that you have gotten a  pretty good idea of where you will be going in the city, you will need to decide when you will be going. While it is true that you can make a list of 10 bars that are somewhere near each other, you and your friends will have no idea how to get there or which routes will be the best if you don’t plan it beforehand.

So, instead of looking like a group of drunk idiots in the middle of the sidewalk, you should have a detailed schedule and itinerary in front of you, which was put together well in advance.

Your itinerary should include all of the places that you will be going in order, with some rough time ranges next to them. Since we all know how it can get when you start drinking with friends, it is safe to say that you probably won’t be watching the clock too strictly.

However, if you have a time limit or you want to make sure that you hit all of the bars on your list, you can go by this a little bit more. On the contrary, you can include no times and just follow through with your itinerary as it feels natural.

In order to get from place to place, you will obviously need to have some kind of transportation. Since you and your bar crawling group will be drinking a lot throughout the night, you must make other arrangements.

These arrangements, in addition, must be clarified and planned out before you start your evening. This way, you can go forward with a clear and sound mind, knowing that your rides are covered without all of the unnecessary stress.

Your transportation arrangements can be anywhere from a designated driver that you trust to an Uber, pre-booked cab, or the bus. Calling an Uber is the most convenient impromptu option, but if you choose to go this route it would be smart to have your addresses written down so you know where you are and where you’re going.

Once your location, bars, and transportation plans are all mapped out in detail for every hour of the night, you will be ready to get going. Throughout your bar crawl, be sure to take tons of photos to be able to see the memories that you will create.

So, now that you have gotten the full scoop on how you can go forward with planning a bar crawl, there are a few small details that were left out, and that is how you can throw an epic bar crawl.

Sure, you can follow through with the basic steps and plan a pretty fun bar crawl, but you want to keep all of your guests entertained and talking about your event for the weeks to come.

In order to do this, you will need to spice up the original process a little bit by following some additional tips for an epic bar crawl. The list down below will give you a brief outline of how you can make sure that your bar crawl is epic while you are planning it, with more details to conclude this section. 

Here is how you can make sure that your bar crawl is epic:

  • Create a theme
  • Throw in some games and challenges at each location
  • Create a hashtag on social media for your bar crawl

First of all, you will need to create a theme. Nobody just wants to attend a regular bar crawl. While your friends or family might still come, it won’t be memorable or epic, and what’s the point of planning something that no one will really enjoy?

You can create a theme where all of your guests are required to dress in costume accordingly. For example, if you choose a Marvel super hero theme, your friends must dress the part in order to participate.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to force a dress code on your guests, you can incorporate your theme into other areas of the night’s activities, which brings us to the next items on the list: games and challenges.

There is no better way to make something interesting than to add some competition and laughter. You can make a trivia game or even a scavenger hunt with something at each bar. While this will definitely require some additional preparations, it will be well worth it to see how everyone reacts while they are drinking.

Finally, create a hashtag on social media that is especially for your bar crawl. Make it something unique that only you and your group knows about, or something that you all made up together before the night begins.

These hashtags can be used to post images from all of the different stops along the way, and you can all look back at the hashtag itself to see all of the funny memories that you made on the night of your first bar crawl.

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Tips For a Successful Bar Crawl

Regardless of what your motives and intentions are for planning a bar crawl, there is no doubt that you want it to turn out well. In this section, we will tie up this conversation by going through some tips for throwing a successful bar crawl.

Take a look at the list down below to get some ideas, and keep reading for all of the specific details on how to ensure that everyone has the best possible experience.

Tips For a Successful Bar Crawl:

  • Let the bar know you’re coming
  • Make sure your transportation arrangements are solid before going
  • Have a backup plan for everything
  • Pace yourself with drinks
  • Know your limits
  • Don’t skip the food!
  • Only invite people that you feel safe with and that you know will have a good time together
  • Don’t split up from the group

First and foremost, you should call or visit all of the bars on your list to let them know you are coming on the night that you are scheduling your bar crawl. When it comes to local bars, there are some late nights where there might only be one bartender on the clock.

If you swarm in with a giant group in the last hours of the night when the full staff is nowhere to be found, it will not be a good experience for anyone. The bartender will be stressed and running around, trying to make drinks for all of you at the same time.

This can slow down your plans for the night, and inconvenience everyone around you. Instead, you could give them a heads up so that they can be ready for you. Who knows, they might even give you guys a special reserved area for when you stop through.

Next, you will need to make sure that your transportation arrangements are solid before you go. This was mentioned in the previous section, but it really cannot be stressed enough.

Drunk driving is a serious issue, and it should never be done, no matter the circumstances. In order to avoid these types of situations, or ones where you and your friends are forced to walk aimlessly from place to place, which isn’t much safer, you should have a backup plan for everything.

For instance, if you have a designated driver or a planned cab and something goes wrong throughout the night, you should have the Uber app downloaded on your phone with pre-saved addresses just in case you need to use it for one or more of the stops.

Being prepared stretches into every other aspect of the night as well. Have some back up options for bars in the event that something doesn’t go as planned. One of your locations might close early on the night of your bar crawl, or be too crowded to even sit down for a drink.

All in all, it is best to have everything laid out for you, with the expectation that nothing will go as planned. When you are drunk and dizzy, you will really thank yourself for being so thorough.

While you are drinking, you should pace yourself. Keep in mind that you will be going to plenty of bars with tons of drinks, and it is ok to slow down. In other words, you don’t have to drink everything in sight at the first few bars.

To go along with the previous tip, make sure that you know your own limits and that you are abiding by them. There is nothing wrong with taking a few breaks if you are going to be sick or pass out. No one wants to babysit you if you can’t handle yourself.

A really important aspect of bar crawls that is often overlooked is the food part of things. Yes, it is true that bar crawls are meant for drinking at bars. However, what goes hand in hand with alcohol? Food, of course.

In fact, you will actually need to be eating along the way in order to pace yourself and remain healthy. If you have ever drank a lot on an empty stomach, you will know exactly why this is recommended, and if not, then take the necessary steps so that you never have to find out.

With that being said, plan out some quick food stops along the way. If you know there is a restaurant next to the bars that you are choosing, put some time on your itinerary to the side to stop there. This can even be something as small as a quick burger or taco from a fast food restaurant.

Lastly, only invite people that you feel comfortable being around and that you know you will have a good time with. Never split up from the group, and just make sure that you arrange a great experience with no potential issues.

To conclude, planning a bar crawl is something that is very detail-oriented and time consuming, but it is well worth it in the end when your event is the most epic of them all.