Without question, the Dallas bar scene is one of the hottest in the country, offering everything from creative cocktails to just about every beer on the market. Whatever your forte, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for among the plethora of watering holes in and around the Dallas area. But before you gather your crew and get ready to get your drink on, be sure to keep the following tips in mind to ensure that you won’t wake up with any regrets the next day.
Plan Ahead – No need to get all ‘OCD’ about it, but it’s still a good idea to have a general game plan, at least from a safety standpoint. Most Dallas bars are within walking distance so it should be easy to leave the car at home and hit the town on foot, but if the spot you’re heading to happens to be further away, get a designated driver, or take public transportation, like the DART. This will ensure that you and everyone else around you can enjoy a safe, worry-free evening.
Pace Yourself – We all know that one guy or girl that gets a little too enthusiastic at the first stop and ends up completely wasted by the second. Don’t be that guy or girl. Otherwise your friends will be stuck dragging your drunk behind around or leaving you with the annoyed bartender. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. So while that line of whiskey shooters may seem like a great way to start the night, take your time, pace yourself and enjoy the evening.
Drink Water – One of the biggest causes of hangovers is dehydration. You can avoid this by drinking plenty of water beforehand and staying hydrated throughout the evening. As you make your way to various Dallas bars and nightclubs, remember to grab a glass of water every so often. This can also help you avoid getting too tipsy too quickly (see above). Remember – water is your friend.
Don’t Rush – They’re called pub crawls for a reason. If you were supposed to speed from bar to bar, they’d be known as pub runs. Not only do you want to pace yourself drink-wise, but also location. There’s no need to rush around. Take your time. Enjoy your surroundings. Unwind after a long day or week – you deserve it. Most Dallas bars and clubs are designed to make patrons feel comfortable and at home, so go with the flow and enjoy the experience.
Don’t Get Bogged Down – Ok, so we did just tell you not to rush, but you also don’t want to be stuck at one place all night – especially given the huge number of awesome bars in Dallas. It really is a delicate balancing act, but nobody wants to wake up the next day feeling like they missed out on an amazing night. Staying at one place too long can also make it more difficult to pace yourself because it can be tough to gauge how drunk you are if you’re not up and moving around.
Have an Agenda – One way you can avoid staying too long in one place is to have a general game plan before heading into each bar. Figure out how many drinks you want to have and how long you’d like to stay. Keep everyone in the loop so that if one person in your group seems to be lingering (or gets trapped in a conversation with a stranger at the bar) the others will know when to step in and move things along. You don’t have to stick to a rigid timeframe, but it’s good to have an exit strategy to fall back on.
Don’t Get Stuck Together – You may be traveling in a group, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick together at every bar. Then you’d never have the opportunity to meet other awesome people who also happen to call the Dallas area home. Feel free to mix and mingle at each locale and encourage your friends to do the same. Or, break things up into smaller groups so it won’t be so intimidating for others to join in the conversation. You don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity and wake up kicking yourself for it the next day.
Don’t Get Too Separated – While it’s perfectly acceptable, even encouraged that you all spread out and mingle, try not to get too carried away. Sticking together is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is ensuring that everyone in your party stays safe and makes it home ok at the end of the night. Give each other space, but keep an eye on one another as well. And, of course, keep your phones at the ready just in case you lose track of someone in your group.
Don’t Mix – As the night wears on, you may decide to change things up with what you’re drinking – especially since different Dallas bars will be offering a variety of drink specials. As tempting as it might be, the regret you’ll feel in the morning – typically in the form of a nasty hangover – will not be worth it. If there’s a particular drink you have in mind, stick with that, or at least some variation of it, for the night.
Have Fun – The last regret you want to avoid is not allowing yourself to have a good enough time. The Dallas bar scene is one of the best in the country and your friends are pretty amazing as well. Relax. Enjoy yourself. Experience the awesomeness of your surroundings, meet new people and make it a night to truly remember.