Traveling with friends in the summer is one of the most fun and spontaneous things you can do, especially when taking a road trip to a music festival. Odds are, the music festival won't be your only stop, so you should be prepared to take your time and enjoy the journey.
When deciding what to pack for a road trip, it's important to know your destination. Are you traveling out of state to a new climate, or will weather and temperature remain relatively the same the whole time? If you're traveling a long distance, you might need to prepare for multiple climates.
Regardless of whether or not you think it's going to rain, prepare for rain. Pack an umbrella. Pack light layers that are easy to mix up if you end up being gone longer than you planned. Bring enough soap in case your friends forgot to bring their own. Trust us, it's better to lose some soap than to ride in a car for hours with someone who hasn't used any. It may sound obnoxious, but you're going to stop at a lot of sketchy bathrooms along the way. Don't get stuck; bring your own toilet paper.
While not everyone who goes on a road trip to a music festival is going to be drinking and doing drugs, we all know there’s a big chunk who will. Assuming some of your party are among this demographic, it’s important to come prepared. Pack hangover prevention pill packets in case somebody has one too many. Make sure to bring plenty of bottled water so those who are engaging in recreational use of drugs and alcohol remain properly hydrated. Have a game plan in mind in the event - however unlikely - that someone has an adverse reaction and needs immediate medical treatment. Enjoy yourselves, but stay safe and smart.
Given the nature of a road trip - multiple hours if not days of covering ground - there is ample opportunity to stop along the way. Consider using this opportunity to try new and interesting things members of the group want to do. For example, an avid outdoorsman friend tagging along to get a taste of an EDM festival might want to do some duck hunting. Indulge them with a detour to an out of the way lake. The shotguns and duck decoys for sale they bought for the trip won’t take up much storage space. Besides, if you personally don’t enjoy shooting animals, you can always aim off target and say you’re just a bad shot.
Prepare for the worst. What if your car goes out in the middle of nowhere? Have snacks and a first aid kit prepared just in case. Hide the snacks from your friends so they don't eat them in non-emergency situations. Make sure whatever vehicle is prepared for the trip. Run through all the basics, has it had an oil change? Do you have jumper cables? Does everyone have enough money to pay for gas along the way? These are not questions you want to ask yourself when you're already on the road.
When traveling to a music festival, remember to pack light and breezy clothes. You're going to be surrounded by tons of people who may or may not have remembered to bring soap on their personal road trips. Don't contribute to the masses of bad body odor. Wear and pack light and breezy clothes that won't make you sweat more than you're already going to. However, no matter how warm the weather seems to be, always pack a sweater or two. The warmer it is during the day, the colder it will feel at night.
Remember, you're going to a music festival. If you can, look up the bands you plan to see and bring their music with you. Practice singing along so that you can make the most of the concerts once they start. The feeling of being at a concert and not knowing the words is not as euphoric as singing along at the top of your lungs. Prepare yourself and your friends to have the best time possible.
Going on a road trip with friends is one of the most unforgettable memories you can make. Enjoy the disasters, have fun changing your plans last minute. Bring a camera or at least a phone with a good camera to take lots of pictures. When you get older and settled into life, it will be harder to find time for trips like this. Make the most out of it while you can.
Finally, enjoy the trip. Don't think about the people and the activities you're leaving behind or missing out on for this trip. Focus on the people that are with you and live in the moment. Soak up the sun and the memories and make this a trip you'll never forget.