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How to stay safe at this summer's festivals

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It’s that time of year again: the sun is shining, you have finished all your hard work and no more studying is now required of you until September… you are now ready to fully embrace a summer of fun!

Festivals are always on the top of the list for things to do over the few months off, and going abroad to party is the new biggest trend. For those of you who are heading to one of Europe’s top party destinations this summer, i.e. Hideout and Outlook in Croatia, Benicassim in Spain, Awakenings in the Netherlands etc., then here is the ultimate guide about how to stay safe abroad, but still have the holiday of a life time!

Before going to the festival

One of the most important things to consider when you start planning your trip abroad is to take out comprehensive travel insurance - think about all the things that you intend to do whilst away, as you want to ensure that your policy covers everything!

When travelling to Europe, you must get yourself an EHIC card, which will cover you if you fall ill, and will pay for any medical costs incurred.

I always take a photocopy of my passport details with me when I go away, as if it were to become lost then this would help speed up the process of getting a temporary passport. I also leave a copy with my parents too, just in case, for extra back up! Also, it would be a good idea to fill out your contact details in the back of your passport, so that if anyone finds it, they know where to send it back to.

You must make a note of the local emergency number in the country that you are travelling to and the nearest embassy, just in case any trouble does happen to you.

During the festival

When I go to festivals, I always wear the classic 90’s bum bag around my waist so I can easily access my belongings and I know that they are safe and in sight.

Once you have had a few to drink, be careful when filming anything in a massive crowd, as once, I got so excited about an act, that I pulled my phone out too quickly and dropped it straight on the floor! I spent a good ten minutes using a torch trying to scramble through the piles of rubbish lying beneath my feet, however it had been kicked about and was unfortunately gone forever!

Use your passport as a form of ID only if you really have to, because this is the last thing that you want to lose in a crowd of people - as I said you will never find it again and may have to spend a few days in an embassy, which is not want you want to be doing during your holiday.

We stayed in a hostel all week so could store our valuables away in a locker if we needed to. However, if you are staying in a tent, I would suggest bringing a small padlock that you can place on the outside zip of the tent and one on the bag where you will store all your possesions.

Make sure that you have a fully charged phone every time you go out into the festival, and that the contacts of all the friends that you are staying with are saved securely in your phone. When we went to Hideout festival, my friend went to the toilet and when she came out, she couldn’t remember the way back to where we located in the crowd because it was way too packed and in the dark it’s so much harder to find everyone and regroup! Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to get hold of us because her phone had died and we were also meant to be catching a flight home, early the next morning! Luckily, she managed to meet someone that she knew and they messaged us to find out where we were, but the situation could have ended up much worse!

Try to watch whoever makes your drink at the bar, and and I would also suggest that when you enter the crowds, to keep your hand covered over the top of your drink, to avoid it being spiked.

Laws and customs can be different in other countries and penalties for drug possession can be severe, with heavy fines, imprisonment or even the death penalty. Don't risk it.

Help when abroad

Most festivals have information points you can go to for help and advice and lost property

If your passport is lost or stolen, you can apply for an emergency travel document to get back to the UK; you’ll need to get a police report if your passport is stolen, fill in an online application form if you can, pay £100 (online or at the consulate in local currency) and go to your nearest British embassy or consulate to complete the process.

For more information on the country that you are travelling to, visit the Foreign Office’s Travel advice page.

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