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Group of teens arriving at summer festival

How to survive the festival season

29 Nov 2022


It’s no secret that festivals can be chaotic, messy and tiring…but the music and good times keep us coming back each year. So whether you’re heading to your first ever festival with a big group of friends, or keeping it low key and taking the kids along with you, it’s always good to have a few festival survival tips up your sleeve.

Keep an eye on the food

Festival food doesn’t have to be hazardous. If you’re planning to live on barbecues, make sure any food is piping hot and well cooked through – especially with something like sausages – before eating.

If you’re going for picnics, don’t leave food sitting out for too long as bacteria can accumulate, and always cover it to protect it from flies. If you’re using a cool box, or portable fridge, put covered raw meat at the bottom and covered ready-to-eat food above it to avoid harmful bacteria transferring from one food to another.

When buying from food stalls, pick busy stalls where you can see the food being freshly prepared and cooked in front of you. Make sure any salad is freshly washed and prepared using bottled water too.

Prevent insect bites

Midge bites or insect stings can ruin a camping trip. Keep biters at bay with a few drops of citronella oil in a burner, or add a few drops of tea tree oil to your moisturiser for a natural alternative to chemical sprays.

Try not to scratch any bites, and use aloe vera gel or lavender oil to calm and heal the skin. A small electronic ‘clicker’ can also provide relief from the itching.

Keep stomach bugs at bay

Festival toilets can leave a lot to be desired! So it’s even more important to wash your hands, or use antibacterial wipes, after going to the loo. Kids pick up bugs easily from not washing their hands after using the toilet, so check they’re doing it properly. Also, remember to clean your hands properly before eating or preparing food to limit the chances of spreading any bacteria.

Using a local water tap? One top festival tip is to add some purification tablets to your water carrier to prevent any contamination, and take a good friendly bacteria supplement for extra digestive support. Or stick to drinking bottled water to stay safe.

If you do get struck down with diarrhoea, take rehydration sachets to replace any lost fluids and body salts. These also work well if you’ve had too much to drink the night before!

Ease heat rash

Heat rash, or prickly heat, is caused when tiny sweat ducts deep in your skin get blocked, so sweat can’t filter out normally. Instead, it gets trapped, triggering inflammation. Babies and children are particularly susceptible as their sweat glands are under-developed.

Aloe vera is a fabulous anti-inflammatory, while a few drops of lavender oil in a moisturiser can help soothe the skin. Natural antihistamines such as quercetin, nettle, bromelain and vitamin C may also be effective.

Avoid another flare up by ditching any man-made fibres – leave the festival onesie off for the day – and choose loose-fitting cotton clothing so your skin can breathe.

And don’t ‘swamp’ your skin with heavy moisturisers, perfumes or antiperspirants that stop your skin sweating efficiently.

Look after your skin

It’s no secret that facilities at festivals can be a little basic. Combine this with being outside in the sunshine (if you’re lucky), alcohol, and muddy fields and your skin can take a bit of a beating. Don’t worry though. As long as you’re clued up on some smart skincare tips, your skin will stay healthy and survive even the most epic of festivals.

  1. Moisturise

Keeping your skin moisturised can help it to stay glossy no matter what a festival throws at it. You might want to bring along some Rosehip oil or Aloe Vera gel if you suffer with really dry skin. With limited packing space, it can help to bring mini products that have dual use too such as a tinted moisturiser with SPF.

  1. Hydrate

One of the best ways to get your skin looking at its best is to drink plenty of water. Stock up on lots of water and some super hydrating drinks, such as coconut water or this revitalising milk thistle drink that helps speed up hydration as well as soothing those nasty hangovers. Or, if you are feeling super-hot and sweaty after dancing for hours on end, there’s nothing better than spritzing your face with a refreshing and hydrating face mist.

  1. Protect

It’s the sun that can do the most damage to your skin during summer festivals, so bring sun cream with a high SPF. It’s easy to forget sun cream when you are having the time of your life, but the last thing you want to do is be nursing burnt skin at the end of the day.

Your hair also needs looking after in the sun. Use a UV-heat-protection spray and invest in a decent hat to cover your hair and the back of your neck – a classic spot for getting burnt.

  1. Nourish

If you want to be extra kind to your skin and body during a festival, bring some vitamins and minerals along to keep you at your best. This will give your immune system a boost and keep you looking healthy.

We’ve got lots of handy skincare products that you can throw into your festival survival kit. And if you want to save space and weight in your rucksack, pack these handy travel size packs. Stock up and stay radiant during summer festivals!

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