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Festival travel: which way is best?

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If you’re wondering how to get to and from your next big weekender, our list of pros and cons could help you make the right decision.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive to one of the UK’s fantastic festivals this year, there are a few things you should consider first.

PROS

Driving offers flexibility, and the peace of mind of knowing that you’re not relying on anyone else to get you there.

It can often be cheaper than a coach or train ride, and you avoid the hassle of travelling to and from stations.

Car parks can often be quite a trek from the campsite, though.

CONS

If you’re planning on driving a group of friends to a festival, work out if you’re going to have enough space.

Passengers and luggage can take up a lot of room, and you don’t want to have to choose between taking your beer or your bestie.

You'll also need to think about getting home. After a weekend of partying, are you really going to be safe to drive?

Driving safely the day after drinking is dependent on how much you’ve drunk.

You can find some helpful guidelines on the drinkaware.co.uk website, or use our alcohol units calculator for a better idea of how much you’re drinking.

If you decide to split the driving among a few of you, make sure that you’re all insured to drive the car. Check out our guide to driving other cars.

Car sharing

Car sharing is a growing trend where travellers can go online, find people travelling to similar destinations as them, and arrange to share the journey.

Companies like BlaBlaCar and Liftshare make it easy to find fellow travellers, and some people even find that they no longer need their own car at all.

PROS

Lex Barber, Community Outreach Manager of Liftshare.com, says:

"Lift sharing to festivals can make the journey a fun and sociable experience, while saving money by splitting petrol costs without affecting your insurance".

Car sharing is also great for the environment. Sharing a journey can double the efficiency of your car, helping to reduce your carbon footprint.

Plus it gives you a chance to connect with people. You might find your new best friend by car sharing.

CONS

The main concern for some is that you’ll be sharing a car with someone you don’t know, but a shared destination gives you instant common ground.

There's also the difficulty of finding car shares both to and from the event, but as the schemes grow in popularity, more and more journeys will become available.

A journey by car share might also take longer than other methods as the route you take will depend on other people’s availability.

But as they say, the journey is half the fun.

Train

Despite how most Brits feel about our train services, they are among the best in the world, and can get you almost anywhere in the country.

Most large festivals aren’t far from a station, and services are generally regular enough that you’ll find a space even during busy periods.

PROS

Train journeys can be cheaper than driving and give you the opportunity to relax instead of concentrating on the road - particularly useful for the trip back.

Train tickets are usually released 12 weeks in advance, so book then to make the biggest saving.

CONS

Price and reliability can vary wildly, and you’ll still have a lot of carrying to do between stations.

Coach

Coaches are one of the most popular – and greenest – ways to get to and from a festival.

Many festivals partner up with coach companies such as National Express and arrange services from locations all over the country, direct to the festival.

PROS

Coaches often take you direct to the larger festivals, and pick you up direct from the festival site.

It's often cheaper than driving or getting a train, and can have less of an impact on the environment than multiple cars.

CONS

Flexibility and space are usually the biggest drawbacks of these services. Book well in advance to avoid disappointment, and don’t expect the coach to wait for you if you’re late.

You'll also sometimes have a bit of a walk from a drop-off point to the festival campsite, which can be a chore with all your gear.

Campervan rental

You'll need to check with the event organiser if they can allow campervans and caravans, but these can be a great way to enjoy a festival in relative luxury.

Companies like Wicked Campers offer campervan rentals across the UK, which can completely transform your festival experience.

PROS

You'll sleep in relative luxury compared to a tent, and could wake up with essentials like a kettle or even a shower within arm’s reach.

You'll also benefit from lockable doors, and you’ll be able to squeeze in a lot more gear.

CONS

The cost of campervan rental can vary between companies, so shop around.  Spaces at festivals for campers and caravans are often limited, so you’ll want to book your space early.

Whichever option you choose, it’s important to stay safe, and legal, at all times.

Finally, having the right travel insurance in place could be a lifesaver if anything happens to you or your equipment.

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