Advice for Festival Travellers
With more and more festivals popping up, both in the UK and abroad, people are travelling far and wide in search of the ultimate festival experience. Whether you are planning a weekend catching the beats at one of the excellent dance festivals in Europe, or rocking out in the mud to your favourite band; it’s well worth being prepared so that you can relax and enjoy the party atmosphere.
Here are our top tips for festival success;
- Plan how you will get to the festival; look at time frames and costs, so you can be properly prepared.
- Always let someone know where you are going, take emergency phone numbers with you, plus a map of the festival site.
- Don’t bring valuables; it’s just not worth it! Valuables and festivals should not mix, imagine returning to your tent and finding your laptop has gone, or breaking your camera whilst moshing. Leave the valuables at home.
- Check what is and isn’t allowed at the festival with the event’s coordinators. For example are you allowed to cook food on the site? What facilities are there? Remember that glass bottles probably aren’t allowed on site.
- Check the FCO website before you travel and familiarise yourself with the laws and local customs of the country you are visiting, just to be safe. Most places have different rules about drugs, alcohol and behaviour; you don’t want to be arrested and carted away for something you thought was fine.
- Always get travel insurance, it will protect you if you face a festival disaster – for example a medical emergency.
- If you do find yourself in a difficult situation abroad, call your travel insurance company as soon as possible. They should be able to advise you how to proceed if your possessions are lost or broken, or if you need medical attention. Most festivals have a great medical and security presence, so always attract them for emergency help.
- Do not pack too much! Remember you are going to carry this bag everywhere, so be ruthless and only pack what you really need.
Depending on the weather, duration and location, you should include;
Should you be lucky enough to get some great weather during your festival experience then make sure you have sunscreen with you. The heat teamed with minimal shelter can end in some bad sunburn, not to mention embarrassing tan lines! Stay safe with the highest factor you can buy.
You can never predict the weather these days, even if you are enjoying a festival abroad. Don’t get caught out in the rain by ensuring you have a waterproof coat with you. Getting soaked and having to deal with soggy clothes for the duration of your stay is less than ideal.
Tent and sleeping bag
These are vital; if you forget your tent or sleeping bag then you are basically without a home for the festival! To ensure you don’t forget these make sure they’re the first things you pack and you’ll have somewhere cosy to rest at night. Your friends will be thankful that they don’t have to share their one man tent with you…
Comfortable shoes (waterproof)
As you will be on your feet for hours on end at the festival, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have comfortable shoes that you know won’t cause you any grief. It’s also a good idea to invest in some waterproof shoes should the weather let you down. They will also protect your feet from muddy floors and alcohol soaked fields.
Mobile phones are always a good idea to have on you during a festival as it is very easy to get separated from your friends among the crowds. However, it is known that thieves sometimes have a field day at festivals so it’s not the best idea to bring your brand new smart phone with you. Instead, invest in a cheap mobile from your local supermarket that won’t go amiss should it get lost or stolen.
Whether you are male or female, it’s a good idea to pack condoms in your case. Should you happen to meet someone that you take a liking to it’s always important to practise safe sex. Ladies, carry some on you in case your companion doesn’t happen to have any on him.
Multi-purpose hygienic wipes
Getting dirty at a festival is guaranteed. There will almost certainly be mud, alcohol and sweaty crowds, with the showers attracting long queues. Multi-purpose wipes are perfect for giving yourself an easy clean up without having to queue for ages.
Keeping yourself feeling fresh and clean is needed at a festival. As you will most likely be confined in a small space (namely crowds) it’s a good idea to make sure you’re smelling fresh and are protected against sweat once it starts getting warm.
Yes, the festival will have toilet roll but it will probably only last an hour. Make sure that you don’t get caught short by taking toilet roll with you. This can also come in handy if any spillages occur in your tent.
At least one change of clothes
Depending on how long you are at the festival for, you may need more than this. It’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes should the weather get colder or your current outfit gets dirty or wet. No one likes to be uncomfortable so bring a second outfit so you can remain happy.
These will come in handy for your dirty/wet shoes and clothes. When it comes to packing up and leaving your festival experience you’ll be glad you brought them with you as it will protect the rest of your belongings in your bag.
With so much excitement surrounding festivals it can be easy to forget to look after yourself, and the last thing you need is to catch an illness or feel unwell when you’re trying to have a good time.
If you drink alcohol then chances are you’ll be drinking at the festival but it is important to know your limits. Drinking and having fun is fine but try to keep track of how many drinks you have had otherwise you will find yourself feeling sick. Remember to drink water at intervals in order to keep you hydrated and to help avoid a hangover the next day. You don’t want to miss out on your favourite act because you have a headache!
If you require special medication make sure you bring it with you as on-site first aiders are not allowed to give you anything other than over-the-counter drugs. You can leave any medication that you have with the medical centre if you think that you may need it in an emergency.
It is always important to practice safe sex which is why we recommend taking contraception with you. Although many females are on some form of contraception at the present, it is still a good idea to pack condoms, as contraceptives such as the pill, the implant and the coil do not protect against STIs. If you need emergency contraceptive such as the morning after pill or condoms you will find them available from medics.
Keeping an eye on your valuables is important at a festival as if you have anything on display it could make you a target. If you need to bring valuables with you, most festivals have locker facilities for you to use to keep your valuables in. You can also make friends with your neighbours as you can look out for each other’s tents, although be wary they are strangers so don’t trust them with your valuables.
If in the event that you get separated from your friends, it’s a good idea to arrange meeting places for certain times of the day, for example ‘we will meet here at 2pm, 6pm and 1am’. This means if someone gets lost or you break off into smaller groups, you’ll be able to find each other again. It is also important to keep checking the battery levels on your phone. You don’t want your mobile dying when you need it the most. Most festivals have mobile charging points to allow you to charge up should you require it.
Be careful with your drinks. Anyone can spike your drink and you don’t have to be drinking alcohol for it to happen, soft drinks are also targets. Be sure to have your drink in your sight at all times and look out for your friends drinks as well, it only takes a moment whilst your back is turned.
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