International Music Festivals: What You Should Know For Raving Abroad

Ever considered going abroad for a festival? With the ever-growing electronic movement, more and more festivals are starting to pop up in countries all over the world. With so many choices, it’s hard to know how to chose, let alone how to prepare!

New experiences can shape who we are and who we will become. They can be exciting and they can be crazy. They create memories that stick with us for a lifetime. Don’t let the unfamiliarity of a festival abroad prevent you from having a unique and awesome experience.

We pooled our collective festival abroad knowledge to help you take that first step in making this a reality. Take a look at what we think are some essential tips and tricks to ensure your international travel and experience goes as smoothly as possible. To set yourself up right, and make sure you have all your affairs in order, start with:

The Planning Phase

  • Moolah. Dinero. Yen. Paper. Money may be a necessary evil, but we gotta have it! Make sure you know what currency you’re going to need, and how to get it. Your bank or the currency exchange in the international airport should have this information. It’s always a good idea to carry some cash when you travel, so grab some beforehand. If you’re in a pinch, fret not. Most hotels will have currency exchange areas available as well.
  • Home is where your stuff is. Know where you’re staying. Festivals can mean one thing: lots of people. Ensure that you have your hotel, hostel, or even camping taken care of way in advance to avoid paying last-minute prices. Sites like Kayak, Expedia, and Trip Advisor are all great and will give a lot of insight and reviews to help you find the best (and safest) place suited for your needs. Often official festival websites will have recommended accommodations if you’re feeling really lost.
  • Get mobile. Look into your mobile carrier international plans and data usage. Once you cross those borders you succumb to foreign carriers and your Google maps may even convert to the local language as well. Call ahead of time to check rates and turn on your international plan if needed. Otherwise you might get gouged.
  • International chargers. Not all countries have the same plug-ins for electronics. Make sure you grab (the right) one before you leave to ensure you are charged and ready to go. There’s plenty online at Amazon or find them in your local office supply store.
  • Language books or Google Translate. Going to a country that doesn’t speak your language? While most do speak English to some degree it’s a good idea to learn some common phrases to get you through. (And often people will appreciate your consideration.) What’s PLURR in Spanish?
  • Get even more mobile. You’ll need to know how to get from Point A to Point B once you’re there. There are usually tons of options, and you can’t always relay on Uber. Have a plan and even a back up plan. Familiarize yourself with the public transportation, costs (is it cash only?), and whenever you can, travel in packs! Stories of “fake cabs” or tourists getting taken advantage of is no joke and safety is number one priority.
  • Inform your bank. Planning on using a credit or debit card abroad? Call your bank ahead of time to let them know where you’ll be. Many banks will assume foreign charges are fraud and can lock your account or even cancel your card without warning in extreme cases (this actually happened to one of the DMNW staff). Plan ahead – don’t get your account locked!
  • Be in the know. Take a minute to research the country you’re visiting to make sure there aren’t any specific travel restrictions or need for additional planning. For example, the policies behind the current travel ban that President Trump has put in place. Curious if the current ban may affect you? Read more about it here.

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to pack your bags. Aside from the normal clothes and comfy shoes, read on for some must-have items and some things to consider…

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