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Woman Dancing at a festival Unsplash
What's on
July 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes

With festival season in full swing, festival-goers preparing for a few days of music and sunshine can ensure they're pinching all the pennies they can

The money-saving experts at are offering advice and practical tips on how to pack for a festival on a budget, allowing Brits to enjoy summer adventures in the fields without draining their bank accounts.

Taking food and drink and avoiding over-priced stalls and vendors within the festival grounds are just some of the ways people can keep costs to a minimum. The team of money-savers also urge campers to get organised with people in their camp to make sure they have all the essentials sorted before they travel. Ellie Macsymons, an experienced festival-goer and savings expert at assures festival-goers that ‘with a little planning and some budget-friendly packing strategies, you can have a fantastic time without breaking the bank’.


Here are their top tips on how to pack for a festival on a budget.

Bring Your Own Food & Drink
If you’re trying to spend as little as possible, avoid the pricey food stalls by taking your own food and drink. Non-perishable items and snacks are perfect and if you pack a portable stove and some basic utensils you can also enjoy freshly cooked meals everyday. You should also check the festival regulations to see if you can bring your own alcohol. Stocking up on crates of your favourite beer or packing a few bottles of your go-to wine can really help keep costs down.

Plan Meals & Snacks
If you intend on bringing your own food with you try and stick to small, lightweight items that won’t take up too much room. You also need to make sure you remember things like bottle openers, tin openers and cutlery. Of course if you’re planning on cooking you’ll also need a cooler to store your fresh food. Tins of beans and pasta are also great items to bring as they’re easy to cook and cheap! Make a list of everything you’ll need before you start packing and divide the list evenly between your friends to keep costs and the weight of your bag as low as possible.

Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle
It’s not just alcoholic drinks you’ll find yourselves queuing for and spending money on during the weekend. Summer festivals usually bring the heat with them which often leaves people scrambling to buy overpriced bottles of water. Stay hydrated and avoid spending money by bringing your own reusable water bottle that you can fill and refill any time of the day. All festivals have water stations with taps so make sure you make the most of them!

Read More: 13 Festivals, Open-Air Theatre and Cinema Screenings Across the North East

Get Organised
When heading to a festival it’s not just what you pack, it’s how you pack it. Invest in a large practical camping bag or a trolley that’s sturdy enough to hold multiple crates and bulky camping equipment. The walk from security to the tent can be long and hard work so a bag with wheels might be a good idea to avoid giving yourself a bad back before the weekend’s even begun! Remember, the smarter you pack, the more you’ll fit in your bag and the less you’ll spend on food, toiletries and other essentials in the festival.

Don’t Pack Expensive Clothes
Although the weather forecast may predict sun, sun, sun while you’re living it up at your summer festival, the Great British weather is unpredictable. After a few hours of rain your campsite may well be full of mud which is bad news for any expensive outfits. Avoid ruining or losing your favourite items of clothing by packing affordable pieces you could live without. Expensive designer gear can easily get dirtied, lost or stolen so to save yourself some money in the long run it’s more sensible to keep the contents of your bag low cost.

Bring Cash
If you find yourself in an emergency, you lose your card or a stall you want to buy some water or late-night food from isn’t accepting cards, you may find yourself turning to the nearest cash machine. Festival cash machines will drain your bank account with extra charges and fees so make sure you avoid them at all costs. Instead, bring an emergency cash fund and keep it on hand just in case – it’ll save you money and hassle in the long run!

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