Summer festivals – how to beat the queues

festivals and how to beat the queues

So you managed to bag tickets to your favourite festival. You’ve checked the forecast, packed your ultimate festival survival kit and now….well, you just need to get there!

Given that some of the bigger festivals attract over 100,000 people, there’s likely to be a lot of traffic on the road. If you’re smart and follow our hints you can avoid the huge delays and get to the festival fresh, early and pitched up in time for the warm up acts.

Don’t go by car

Depending on how big your budget is and how far you’ve got to travel, you could travel by train or coach to the nearest station then catch a shuttle bus. Fly to the closest airport to shorten a super long journey, or if you’re feeling flush, hire a helicopter with a group of mates!

Head down a day early or arrive a bit late

Travelling at the most popular times of day, e.g. after work or to arrive for gate opening time, means you’ll likely get stuck with thousands of other people who’ve had the same idea. Instead, look at heading down a day early or driving in the early hours (as long as you’ve had enough sleep to be safe). You could also arrive a bit late. Ok, you might miss a couple of the warm up acts, but it might be worth the trade-off not to sit in hours of stationary traffic.

Check before you leave

The Highways Agency and Traffic Scotland will have up to date travel info on their sites, showing traffic, road closures and any delays. It’s also worth checking the festival organiser’s advice on the roads to use and the ones avoid. Organisers will often route traffic through a number of entrances, so make sure you know where to head.

Use travel apps to stay up-to-date on the traffic

Apps such as Google Maps and Waze (others are available) will automatically show you an alternative route if it will be quicker. You’ll also be able to see any sections of delay and get a heads-up on how long you might be stuck there. As they say, knowledge is power, so you might want to head off the roads for a while and relax somewhere more comfortable.

Research last year’s travel busy times

A quick Google of the major festivals will often show you the peak travel times in previous years. Use this to plan an off-peak trip with your festival pals.

Use your time wisely

If you know you’re going to be on the road for a while, why not use your time positively. Download some podcasts to help learn a new skill or brush up on your knowledge, or call friends and family you might not have spoken to for a while (on your handsfree). You may also want to pack a good supply of snacks and drinks, just in case you get stuck in the middle of nowhere. 

Checks on car

Check your car over before you set off, and you won’t cause any delays once you’re on the road. There are some simple car maintenance checks which you should do before any long journey like checking the tyre tread and pressure, reading the water and oil levels, and topping up the screen wash.

If you are a Sheilas’ Wheels Car Insurance customer, you can add RAC breakdown assistance to your policy today.