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Essential Tips for Going to a Remote International Festival Alone

Photo by: Ian Young
by Ian Young | @nounpusher Wed December 20, 2017 | 08:54 AM

You did it. You bought a ticket for that bucket list festival you’ve always wanted to go to. You know, the one in the South African desert or a remote mountain resort in Thailand, or somewhere so foreign Google Maps doesn’t even know it exists yet. So… now what?

At Everfest, we’ve been to events in every corner of the world, and we’ve learned a thing or two about how to survive (and enjoy) going to far-off festivals, especially if you’re going flying solo. Here are some essential tips to get you started.

Figure Out How Long It Will Take to Get There, and Then Double It

Splashy Fen 2017 Al Nicoll    1 Of 15

Flying to a major international destination is usually a breeze, but if you have to take three flights, a train, two buses and then hitch a ride on the back of a motorbike just to reach the festival grounds, that’s another thing entirely. Do your research to find the best route and then allow for twice that time to get there in case you miss a connection or schedules change.

Get an International Data Plan or Buy a Sim Card When You Land

Afrikaburn 2016 Migal Van As

Photo by: Migal Van As

We don’t have to tell you that your phone is your lifeline. Keep it alive when you’re abroad by making sure it’s unlocked for international use. You can either pay your carrier or buy a local sim card at the airport when you land. From getting directions, translating languages and of course getting notifications for set time changes or cancellations, having data can be a lifesaver especially when Wi-Fi can’t be found.

Know the Local Laws and Customs

Holi 2015 Tinka Kalajzi Faces Of Holi   31

Photo by: Tinka Kalajzi

Did you know that having a Buddha tattoo could land you in jail in some Asian countries? It’s always a good idea to know the laws that could affect your visit before you leave for the airport. In some countries, even legal prescription drugs are strictly regulated.

About Drugs—Bring the (Legal) Kind

Quest Festival 2017 Kyle Baird    1 Of 6

Foreign food, water and weather can wreak havoc on your body. Bring a small bag of over-the-counter drugs for headaches, upset stomachs and other common illnesses. Trust us, it’s much easier than playing charades with a foreign pharmacist to tell them you have, um, digestive problems.

Ask the Locals Who They’re Excited to See

Djakarta Warehouse Project 2016 Rukes 1

Djakarta Warehouse Project. Photo by: RUKES

While big, international headliners might get all the press, it’s the smaller, local bands that can make your international festival experience unforgettable. Strike up conversations with locals (especially if they’re sporting a shirt of your favorite band!) and ask them who they’re most excited to see—chances are they’ll have the inside scoop on which acts to check out.

Festival Security Can Be an Asset

Arrested4

Festivals want their attendees to feel secure and have as much fun as possible. If you feel uneasy or unsafe, find festival security; you don't want any drama ruining your epic adventure.

Lastly… You’re Not Really Alone

Sunburn Fest 2015   3

Sunburn India. Photo by: Sunburn Festival

Just because you’re going to a festival by yourself doesn’t mean you’re alone. You’re joining thousands of other like-minded people who all believe in celebrating the power of live music or ancient cultural traditions. So set forth and dance!