Some of the most important things you can do come in preparing for a summer musical festival. Check out the following list to see how you can make sure you’re most prepared to enjoy your summer festival experience.

Buy supplies. That means food. But it also means things like an umbrella, a tent/cover, a canopy. I spent nearly $100 on food at Bonnaroo and I brought my own snacks. I also filled up my tank, because you never know when you’ll be away from gas stations.

Carpool. I can’t stress this enough. Driving to a festival by yourself might be cool for some people, but having a full car made the ride that much better. I almost fell asleep driving a few times and was saved by my awesome co-pilot, but meeting new friends made my Bonnaroo experience that much better, and it also provided for a lot of gas money that helped me get closer to breaking even with the entire car ride.

Read your ticket and associated information. This sounds vague, but it’s not. When you get your ticket or wristband, there should be travel information on there. For the love of God, follow it. If not for yourself, for your fellow fest-goers, because it makes our lives all a lot easier if you just read what you’re supposed to.

Don’t smuggle. If things aren’t allowed, it’s for a reason. If you plan on doing these things anyway, most likely you can find them there. Sure, smuggling in more alcohol than required or certain substances might seem financially advantageous and sometimes they pay off, but more often than not, they’re just a nuisance to the festival safety staff.

Don’t decorate your car. If you’re like me, a Florida college student driving to Tennessee for Bonnaroo, the Georgia Highway Patrol already knows there’s plenty of us coming. And they know what people bring to Bonnaroo (who don’t follow the tip directly above this). Not painting your car allows you to evade some police presence, and that’s good even if you have no reason to be afraid. Unfortunately, my unpainted car still got nabbed for a speeding ticket in South Georgia, but I’m sure this routine stop could have been a lot worse if we were painted up.

Go with a group and then investigate group camping options. Groop camping (spelled correctly for us Bonnaroovians) was the best investment I made, bar none. An extra $35 to my ticket allowed me guaranteed camping with my friends, and a closer spot to the festival. It eliminated the stress of having to go around and find people, and keeping us all together was worth the expense. I’ll elaborate later on about whether or not solo or group is the better option – as both have ups and downs – but group camping is always a good decision.

I hope I was able to shed some light on some important pre-fest decisions. Stay tuned for the best decisions you can make at the festival and on your way back in the next few days.

[Image courtesy of Flickr user  Eva RinaldiLicensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.]