We’ve all experienced that moment of euphoria when we see a festival lineup drop with all our favorite artists playing. But, if the event is happening far away from home, it may cause some nervousness about how to get there. Don’t stress! This is your ultimate guide to planning a festival road trip. Grab your snacks, plan your playlist, and buckle up, because we’re hitting the road!
Make plans with your festival crew. I recommend driving with one or two friends in your car, if possible. This way, you can take turns driving (and napping) and you have a solid buddy system in place when you get to the festival.
Plan a few stops along the way. Yes, you’ll have to pull over for gas and bathroom breaks. Boring! It makes the trip way more exciting if you can stop at some cool locations along your journey. See if there are any fun state parks, museums, or outdoor areas worth exploring on the way. You can stretch your legs and make the most of your road trip.
Planning an overnight? Book a hotel in advance, if you can, to get the best prices. You can map out your journey and plan to split up the drive with a nice hotel pit stop on the way. Be sure to find a comfortable place to sleep after the festival, before driving all the way home. Driving while tired is extremely dangerous, so set yourself up for success by planning to rest before driving home.
Make sure your vehicle is safe for long distance travel before you leave. Get your oil changed, pack your AAA card in your wallet, make sure you have a spare tire on hand, and put plenty of air in your tires.
Pack safely. Avoid over packing your back seat so you can still see out of your rear view mirror. Take down anything hanging in your front mirror and avoid painting anything on your car or windows that could make police want to pull you over.
Keep your toiletries like your toothbrush, hair brush, and deodorant handy. If you need to freshen up along the road, you’ll be glad these are easy to access.
Pack some clothes for the drive home in a separate, sealed bag. You’ll be thankful to have a dry, comfortable outfit that doesn’t smell like a festival! This is especially true for a camping festival. I recommend keeping these items in your car or in a place where you can easily access them when you're heading out.
Load up on snacks, water, and energy drinks to keep you focused while you drive. If possible, try to pack some healthy snacks to keep your immune system boosted along your journey. You can always pack a small cooler to sit with you in the front seat, loaded with veggies and dip, iced coffee, or sandwiches.
Make a playlist for your road trip. This way, you won’t have to fumble with tunes while you drive. I like downloading long mixes that take me on a journey without the need to switch songs every few minutes. Don’t forget a charger adapter for your car in case you need to charge up along the way.
In the weeks leading up to your trip, be sure you have plenty of funds saved for food, gas, and any emergency car repairs or hotel stops. It's also a good idea to double check that you have your proof of insurance and registration in your car before you leave—and that you've gotten an oil change recently.
Don’t forget a spare car key! Give it to a friend you’re riding with for safe keeping, just in case you lock yourself out.
Remember to ask your passengers for help if you need anything while you drive, and keep your seatbelts on at all times. Avoid speeding and keep your eyes on the road. If you need to switch drivers or pull over to rest, speak up!
Now that you’ve read these tips on road tripping to a festival, where will you go?! With so many amazing events throughout the US, you’ve got plenty of choices. So, grab your festy fam and plan your next festival road trip!