summer in review: tips for international festivals


Fancy going a bit further for you festivals this year or just fancy the fun without the English weather? International festivals are for you. There are hundreds of music festivals happening across Europe each year in so many different countries including places like Spain, Croatia, Serbia and Portugal and they can be perfect for choosing a festival with the best line up to suit you whilst also being able to enjoy the weather and culture of a different country. This year I've done INMusic festival in Croatia and Benicassim in Spain so thought I would put together some tips for you incase your thinking of making any last minute plans. 

Book everything early
Not many international festivals come as packages so you're likely going to have to arrange and book everything yourself including your flights, ticket and transfers. If you know you want to go somewhere next year and aren't too fussed about the line up it's best to buy your tickets on the first release. This is usually not long after the festival and you can potentially get the tickets for half the usual price. Once you've got your ticket you're going to need a way to get there, plane tickets do not usually drop in price so buying last minute tickets could mean forking out a fortune, buying your tickets at least 3 months in advance and usually sites such as kayak.com and skyscanner.com can help you save and chose the best flight times. Considering other airports in the area can also help you find cheaper flights, the more flexible you are the cheaper you're likely to find it. Don't forget about the transfers! Easy to forget about but totally essential, work out how far from the airport to the festival site and get some transfers sorted if necessary, I usually use eufest.com, they're helpful and efficient and offer transfers to most European festivals at good prices but 
they can sell out quick as the festival approaches. 

Pack Smart
Okay first thing first - unless you're staying in accommodation ditch that suitcase! It's just going to be a pain to drag over a dirt track or grass or whatever. A large rucksack will be so much better, they are lighter and will hold so much stuff. Make sure you pack the essentials if you're camping, I would recommend two towels if possible as the one you use for the beach will also be your towel for the shower otherwise and after a while can get rather grubby. Also Suncream, sensible shoes, plasters etc, don't forget the usual festival & camping essentials just because it's a holiday! Remember you can buy some things out there such as air beds if you fancy something a little comfier!

Be Secure
It is so important that you're savvy at international festivals. Last time I was in benicassim I got my bag stolen on the first night and although I was lucky to have put our passports and my bank card into a locker, everything else got stolen! We had a nightmare trying to get someone from home trying to send us money. This year I opted for prebooking a locker at the festival and the first thing I will be doing is locking away passports and documentation, this way you can take a photocopy of your passport for proof of ID, most festival organisers will accept this. I've also got a Post Office Travel Money Card Plus which is essentially a Mastercard, it's great because it's not a credit card, you preload it with money but can check your balance and top it up at any time via the app. More importantly your covered if it's lost or stolen so you won't lose your money as you would if your cash was stolen. 

If You're on a Budget
This year since we have Ibiza following Benicassim the budgets are a little tight! Using the local supermarkets to buy any snacks or alcohol to consume pre arena is such a lifesaver. You're looking at £5 for a litre of spirits and you can drink this before hand to save money on drinks inside the festival which can be extremely pricey! 

Use Forums
Okay it sounds a bit dodgy but using festival forums is so handy! I follow festival forums for each festival I go to to see if there are any line up rumours or announcements coming up but also to see if anybody has any tips. The first time I went to Benicassim I didn't know what to pack or anything so I posted in there and got loads of useful advice. Obviously you get the usual annoying jokers who argue with everyone's music taste but just ignore them and take the free advice! Google efestivals forum and you'll find what you're looking for.

Get the App
I am not quite sure this applies universally however this year both INmusic festival and Benicassim have released apps for your phone prefestival so you have all info and maps in one place along with the line up! It's good to see the line up before hand so you can plan a little if you're like me and you don't like missing anything! I was able to set up reminders on the apps to remind me when certain bands were coming on, then you'll never miss a favourite because you spent too long on the beach!

I hope these tips help and if you're going to any festivals abroad this year please do let me know I'd love to know how they all are! Also if you have any tips share away! 

Jayde

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Jayde / 22 / North West England
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All items marked with an asterix (*) have been gifted or sent to me for review purposes.

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