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How to Party Wisely and Still Have Fun

Updated on October 13, 2014

When you go out for a night of drinking, you want to have a good time. Unfortunately, there are many things that can throw off your night, or even ruin it. I've accumulated a list of things that help with having an awesome night, and most are from personal experience.

Have a game plan

I'm not saying plan out everywhere you're going to go, what time, with whom and how drunk you're gonna get. The best nights are the ones that just happen. Never hurts to have a general idea, though. The most important things to keep in mind however, is how you're getting home. Make sure you do it safely.

Budget yourself

Drinks aren't cheap, and they add up quick. But that's why people do this thing called pre-drinking (see number 3). Choose (when sober) a safe divide between how much money you want to spend and how much money you can afford to spend. Remember cover fees. And money for pizza if you're the drunk one that makes a b-line for anything greasy and delicious. And enough for a cab, just in case.

Pre-drink

You'd be surprised how quickly you can go through twenty dollars at the bar. Depending on where you go, that may be four or five drinks tops. Take that twenty and go to the liquor store instead. Get a quart or a twelve pack – it'll last you longer and be more worth your money. Especially if you have a high alcohol tolerance, drinking at the bar to get drunk is expensive and sometimes impossible. Get a few drinks down range before you step out the door.

Charge your phone

Make sure you have close to a full charge when you leave for the bars. You don't want to have a dead cellphone when you need to call a cab or if there's an emergency. If your phone loses its battery quickly, turn off mobile data and wifi except for when you're actually using it. That half hour drunk phonecall to your ex might've been meaningful at the time but when you're trying to find a payphone because your phone's dead, you'll be wishing you had better conserved your battery.

Limit what you take with you

Things are easy to lose when you're drunk, so be sure you keep a good hold on your stuff. Bring what you need – money, ID, and phone. That's usually it when I go out. I usually don't even bother with a purse. Be sure you have a secure place to put these items, a pocket with a zipper or a small handbag is usually the best bet.

Find a median between comfortable and classy

Sure you may want to dress up, but will those shoes or that dress be comfortable at 3 am when you're walking home? Dress nicely, but dress comfortably. Girls, if you must wear the stilettos, it's always good to bring a pair of flats in your bag just in case. I've been that girl limping home barefoot carrying her heels, wishing to god that I hadn't decided to dance in them. Also, keep in mind of the weather and dress accordingly. You don't want to be stuck in the cold without a coat or gloves to keep you warm.

Stay with people you know

Keep at least one person you know close-by. It's not a good idea to be drunk and get separated from the people you came with. You can look out for each other and make sure that you stay safe.

Tell someone your plans

Make sure that at least one person outside of the group you're partying with knows where you are, that way if something goes wrong your whereabouts aren't a mystery. If necessary, even keep in contact with them throughout the night, or just send them a message when you're back safe.

Keep your drink with you

Leaving your drink unattended for even just a second is all it takes for someone to have the opportunity to put something in it. Take it with you, even to the dance floor. If you want to go somewhere where they don't allow drinks, i.e. Outside or the bathroom, finish it beforehand or just leave it behind. Telling your friend to watch your drink is common, I've done it, but say your friend gets distracted or feels sick, that allows for that dangerous window of opportunity. It's best to just keep your drink with you.

Be weary of attempted hookups

Sure, some people may come to the bar to hookup, but usually its not a good idea. It's natural that if you're not with someone, chances are that you'll end up being hit on at some point throughout the night. If you aren't looking for a time and someone approaches you who is, be sure that your clear with telling them you're not interested. If someone makes you uncomfortable, i.e. Touching you when you don't want to be touched, go to another part of the bar or notify the bouncer if they're particularly being creepy. Having your friends around helps in these types of situations.

Don't get into a vehicle with someone who has been drinking

Even if they had “just one”. It's not a good idea. You or others could end up dead. Don't allow your friends to do this either. Find a safe way home – walk, call a taxi or a sober friend.

Stay hydrated

Especially if you start to notice you're not feeling too well, or getting "too drunk", go get yourself a big glass of ice water. Most places it's free. To be on the safe side, the alcohol-water-alcohol method works wonders. Having a glass of water between drinks makes a world of a difference. Alcohol dehydrates the shit out of you, and although you may not notice it when you're drinking, when you wake up the next morning you'll most likely have a mouth like cotton balls and a pounding headache. Water is your friend.

Source: three years of college experience, two years in the army and countless outings to bars.

What's been your common partying mistake?

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