Spend less but have just as much fun

Glastonbury Festival has now officially kicked off, heralding the start of the festival season.

For many people this will be their first post-pandemic music event, for others it may be their first ever taste of a festival.

Either way, with the cost of living casting a dubious shadow over the rising prospects, many festival-goers will also be looking for ways to make their mini-break a frugal as well as fun affair.

From packing snacks in advance to sharing the financial load with friends there are lots of ways you can reduce your festival spend.

Here are some ideas, courtesy of seasoned festival-goer Alex Fisher and CashLady.com, to help you prepare for a thrifty but fabulous event.

  1. Don’t splash out on an expensive tent

If you don’t already own a tent, you can save quite a sizeable amount of cash by either borrowing one, sharing with a friend or – if none of these options is available to you – purchasing a cheap tent.

Alex said: “If you need to buy a tent for a festival, always go down the budget route. In my experience, cheap tents always do the job and can last for years, particularly if you’ll mostly just be using them for festivals.”

“Share your tent with a couple of pals and get them to chip towards the cost. At Argos, the cheapest two-man tent costs £20 whereas a four-man tent costs just £35. Get three friends together and pay just £8.75 per person – that’s £12.25 less than if you were sleeping solo.”

You can find more tips on how to save money on a camping here.

  1. Look into budget transport options

Alex’s top tip for travel – if you don’t have a lift or a car – is to go by coach instead of the train. With rail strikes making train travel more uncertain than usual, this can have an additional benefit.

Alex said: “Coaches may seem like the less luxurious option, but they will save you a good deal of money and take you straight to where you need to be. This option also means you can avoid the hassle of lugging your bags on and off connecting trains and taxis, it’s a win-win!”

  1. Plan your food and drink options in advance

Alex’s advice is to budget and plan for one meal bought at the festival per day. “On the first day, scout out all of the food vendors to work out which option is the best value for money (noodles are usually a winner for me) to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck,” she said .

“The rest of the time you can live off breakfast bars, pot noodles, bananas, crisps and nuts, all of which should be bought ahead of time.

“It’s hardly a balanced diet, but it’ll keep your stomach and your wallet full throughout the day.”

  1. Avoid buying brand new clothes

Festival fashion is very much a part of events like Glastonbury but splashing out on lots of new outfits before the event can be expensive and also – if the rain sets in – risky.

Alex said: “Don’t overestimate how many outfits you need – the likelihood is you’ll spend most of the time in a jumper and wellies given the British weather, so buying a new outfit for each day may end up redundant anyway.”

Her suggestion is to rework some old pieces from your wardrobe. If you do need some new clothes, try and buy as much as you can from charity shops.

“It’s cheap, ethical, and you’ll have a unique outfit that you can almost guarantee you won’t see on someone else around the festival,” Alex added.

  1. Don’t buy any equipment or merch at the festival

A bit like going to the gift shop at a theme park, buying merch or essential items at a festival will not do your bank balance any favours.

Consider, before you go, what camping equipment you’ll need and either borrow it or join together with friends to purchase it at the cheapest price you can find.

As for the merch, Alex added: “You may be tempted to snap up a moment of your trip whilst you’re there, but there will be the option to buy similar items online once you’re home. That way, you have more time to consider your purchase and shop around for better deals.”

The same goes for glitter. Festival stalls with professionals offering beautiful creations come at a price. Instead, Alex suggested buying your own. “You can usually get a tub of glitter for around a pound, so stock up, head to Pinterest and get practising.

“You’ll get a similar outcome for a fraction of the price.”

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