No summer would be complete without a festival road trip.
So whether you’re off to the likes of Creamfields and Leeds or something a little smaller, you’ll need to make sure you’ve properly prepped your car and packed everything you need to make sure your trip runs as well as it can.
Before you set off – Checking the car
Before you set off on any long journey, there are several checks you should carry out on your car. The good news is that there is a handy, festival-themed acronym to help you remember – FLOWER!
Fuel – make sure you’ve filled up the tank with fuel before you leave, don’t take any chances and set off with three-quarters or half a tank as you may get stuck in a traffic jam – and you don’t want to run out of gas while stuck on the motorway.
Lights – check that all of your lights are working, including the headlights, indicators, brake lights, hazard lights and fog lights. It may also be worth carrying a spare set of bulbs, just in case.
Oil – this is the lifeblood of your engine and if it runs dry, your engine is finished. So check the oil when the engine is cold by taking out the dipstick, wiping the excess oil from it, re-inserting it and pulling it out again. The level should be somewhere in the middle of the indicator, between minimum and maximum. If it’s low, top it up, if the oil looks milky, don’t travel in the car as this is a sign of engine trouble, such as a worn head gasket.
Water – while you’re under the bonnet, check the water levels in both the coolant and windscreen wiper reservoirs, topping up if necessary.
Electrics – check your battery is tightly in place, the positive and negative clamps are securely fastened and clean and that there is no acid leaking from it. It may also be worth taking it to your local garage to make sure it’s not losing charge and won’t pack in when you least expect it.
Rubber – finally, you need to check the rubber on your car – make sure the front and rear wipers are working properly and that the tyres are in good condition. To do this, carefully look and feel around the tyre walls for signs of wear and make sure the tread is good by inserting a 20p piece into it. If the outer rim is covered, your tread is fine. Then finally make sure they’re pumped to the correct pressure as under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 20%.
And with all that done, you’ll need to make sure you’ve packed everything for your festival…
Your festival checklist
Although it may be tempting to take half the contents of your house to cover every possible eventuality, it’s important to only take the things you really need – remember, once you get there you’ll have to lug everything from the car park to the campsite.
So make sure you just have these bare essentials…
- Festival ticket
- A reusable water bottle, to fill up from the free taps on site
- Sleeping bag
- Roll mat
- Wellies or sturdy boots
- Toilet roll
- Warm clothing (it may be summer but it can still get cold)
- Sun tan lotion (it may get cold but you can still get sunburned!)
- Waterproof clothing
- Enough change of clothes in case you get wet
- Medical info (if you have any allergies or medical conditions) and medication
- ID (you may need photo ID to get served alcohol, copies won’t do)
- Money (keep in separate places in small denominations)
- Bags for dirty clothes and rubbish
- Contraceptives (you never know!)
We asked our Facebook fans and Twitter followers to submit their ultimate festival survival tips. Here are some of our favourites:
Only take enough toiletries for the 3/4 days (e.g. toothpaste, moisturiser) buy extra wide straws cut them into about 4 sections seal one end using a lighter and squeeze it together fill the rest of the straw with your toiletry then seal the other end… Boom saves taking lots of big bottles taking up space! – Emma
My ultimate survival tip for the Wickerman Festival is be prepared to have the time of your life with your new mates & all the new ones you meet. Smile, be happy and share a can or two with your new neighbours for the weekend! - Anne
Invest in a solar powered charger or alternatively take a cheap Nokia along for the ride so you can keep contact with people all weekend. – Eilidh
What’s your ultimate festival survival tip? Let us know!