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Top tips for festivals abroad

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The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is expecting more music lovers to look to continental Europe this year for their festival fix. There are some great line ups available with the added bonuses of low prices, a foreign holiday and an adventure thrown into the mix.

When you’re at a festival, the rest of the world seems miles away but this doesn’t mean the rules that apply everywhere else are automatically void.Use your common sense and follow these top tips for a safe and enjoyable festival experience:

Before you go

  • Buy your festival tickets in advance from a reputable travel company so that you don't end up with fakes, or book with a specialist so your money is protected if anything goes wrong
  • Make sure you’ve covered. Check your insurance covers everything you’re planning to take and do. See www.abta.com/gotravel on what to look for in a policy
  • Get an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) if you’re going to Europe as this gives you access to state healthcare - it is not an alternative to travel insurance, you will need both
  • Book in advance to secure the best prices and accommodation
  • Plan your journey so that you arrive at the festival site at least the day before, giving you plenty of time to acclimatise and allow for flight delays or transport hiccups
  • Consider extending your trip so that you have a few days to relax after the festival is over, you can also check out the local area
  • Pack light and be sure that you can carry your luggage comfortably
  • Remember important items like a torch, decent footwear, a water bottle and the right clothing. Wet wipes are also indispensable
  • Leave your valuables at home. If you can live without it for a few days, don’t bring it
  • Consider hiring a tent or other equipment at the festival so that you'll have less to carry
  • Call your mobile phone provider and check that you’ll be able to make calls abroad, and take an adaptor so you can keep your phone charged
  • Check the weather and pack accordingly; make sure you bring plenty of sun cream
  • Learn a few phrases before you go, you’ll find it easier to communicate and the locals will appreciate your efforts
  • Don’t forget your ticket!
When you get there

  • Get your bearings and make sure you know where you tent or accommodation is; arrange a meeting point with friends too in case you get separated
  • Find somewhere safe to leave your passport, you’ll have to bring it to get there but most festivals will provide a lock up for important items
  • Make the most of being abroad. Try the local cuisine and ask around for popular foreign bands, you never know, you might discover a passion for Croatian dance music!
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended at any time
  • If you are offered legal highs, remember that just because a substance is legal, it doesn’t mean it’s safe
  • Be respectful of local laws and customs - it might not be appropriate to walk around in a bikini for example
  • Wear that sun cream you packed and a hat, there’s nothing worse than painful sunburn and it will save on the wrinkles when you get older!
  • Keep hydrated - lots of alcohol, dancing and sunshine means you’ll need to drink more water than usual
  • Enjoy the experience!
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