I love festivals, my first was Glasto age 12; year of the SMYTHS [sic] #ahem followed by years of one dayers, 2 dayers and then spreading out to; more recently, 6 days at Glasto...
In the hedonistic days of pre- child and only caring that I had a tent and glitter (and being fed by the Buddhists)
since then I grew up a little, I have always is gone prepared - my friends used to refer to my tent as the Mary Poppins as you could find everything from a toaster to mixed herbs. Cooking whilst camping is a love of mine and I have been known to serve up 13 fry ups for breakfast on one fold up army stove - the type with the little fire cubes!
This year Camp Bestival was going to be a struggle financially as I am brassick so I sold some stuff on eBay and manged £65 to take with me.
Evan is now 14 so he had £30 spending money which he earned by washing cars and saved the money to take with him. It is so much easier once they get older as they are far less inclined to go for the festival 'must have' tail or hat!
So over the year I pick up bits, just one or two at Poundland like extra pegs, water container, heat blankets, ponchos etc and put them away ... this saves loads as Cosy Camper for instance is not cheap if you have forgotten the essentials!
Biggest saver if you have little ones is to buy bubble guns/ wands/ shapers from Poundland / eBay and hide them until you get there. I was caught out in our 3rd year as Ev really wanted the gun and I remember paying £9 for it plus liquid and it was IDENTICAL to the £1 gun!
Fire toys sell some amazing gear but you can pick up diablos and LED poi for a fraction of the cost on eBay.
If you have girls - pick up pots of glitter when you see them going cheap - glitter is a MUST HAVE!
So this year for 5 - FOOD
Years ago (think it was 7/8) I invested in an IGLOO cooler - it has been the single best investment yet. If you fill it correctly it stays frozen for 5 days - I freeze all I can so milk, sausages, ice pops, bacon etc etc it all gets really frozen and packed in with the ice packs. Before you freeze things, take them out of the boxes and separate into freezer bags in portions.
The IGLOO is on wheels and pulls along like a suitcase, Ev could manage it age 7 at Glasto - so it is awesome!
We ate full English brekky every morning, lunch was BBQ or sarnies and evening meal was cheesy chicken pasta with salad etc it varied but you get the picture. Snacks and yoghurts/fruit etc that can easily be taken out with you. Ev is veggie so I have to think of that too - he did get his annual Corn on the gold plated Cob but it is darn good!
Beers/ ciders / soft drinks were bought in advance when on offer at the supermarket, then put in the igloo and were chilled all weekend along with the £2.99 bottles of Bucks Fizz!
If you do run down low on anything, there is a Spar in Wool (also has cashback facility and atm) just a couple of miles from the site & Holmes Nursery sell the best cider ever! Getting out and back in on the Sat/Sun morning is never a huge issue!
I take a small bag of spuds and slice thinly then boil then transfer to the frying pan for chips.
I cook it all on one stove and butane case (4 tins for £3.99 This is it).
Toast when you are camping is for some reason so much more tastier! It took years to find the perfect toaster and the Gelert Folding Toaster is the biz! Bread & Bagels no problem!
Gadgets are now amazing for camping - Biolite stove (charges your USB devices whilst cooking) , Roccbox oven and the incredible toasty maker from Ridge Monkey (which Matt brought along this year) are all just incredible and with kids makes things so much easier! I'm going to try and invest in all 3 for next year.
Just a tip if you want to make it fun saving for your kids spending money next year - start saving 5p's in a bottle - I did this last year for Xmas and a Jack Daniels bottle (1.5 litre) holds approx £115 !!!!
Visit the W.I tent - coffee/tea & cake for a fraction of the cost of buying in the Castle field. The Fika Volvo stand with the beautiful Vanessa and crew - provide free drinks and buns in comfy, cool surroundings!
Copyright Camp Bestival
We all chipped in for 1 programme bag and then photographed the schedule so we all had a copy. If you can't afford the extra £10 though just ask somebody to let you photograph the lanyard - I certainly wouldn't mind!
Solar showers are really cheap and this year heated to almost boiling point, bring swimming costumes for little ones and voila, much nicer than wet wipe washing, or get a collapsible washing bowl and hot strip wash!
ALWAYS take far, far more socks than you need!!
There is still no way to make the rides/ bouncy castle etc any cheaper - this is one gripe I have as I am so used to other festivals never charging for anything on top of the ticket. I always feel bad that if you have a few children, the cost of this on top is awful and they are obviously going to want to have a go!
T shirts etc... well Ev had a few over the years but he is not really bothered and the last 2 years spent his money on the skating wear Ezo stand.
I did buy myself a treat of an anklet, the adult 'Must Have' ;)
All in all though it depends what you are getting out of the festival - if it is your main holiday then eating out and trying new things is part of the whole experience. Festival / Event food has always been high - Wembley in the 80's would bankrupt you for a cheeseburger; so things don't change!
Children will always want stuff - Ev was ALWAYS set a limit and his money kept separate so he could see how he was spending, he didn't ask for one thing this year - so maybe I am doing something right!
I would however like to see more in the form of Welfare - if people are struggling and it happens! Unexpected occurrences can leave people frantic, so somewhere that the kids could have a hot meal, plasters for FREE (and not £5 unless you see the Doc!) etc would be a great asset and support to those who may need it (even knowing it is there is sometimes enough!).
It is a beautiful festival in gorgeous surroundings, it is hilly though as it is countryside! I completely understand the whole trolley issue... I never used one. I couldn't pull one if it was filled, and I know this so when Ev was tiny I bought one of these off a friend for £50:
Bike Trailer/Double Buggy
Only second to the cooler in best investments, they glide over terrain like it is nothing, will fill well over what you would expect and make excellent beds for babies at night. Pushing it up the hill of death at Glasto is no problem, well no more than walking up it!
Ours has now done 32+ festivals and still going!
So I hope any of these tips may help you if you decide to do CB in the future. If I remember anything else I will add it on; and if any of you have any tips to add please do so in the comments and I will credit it on here!
Maybe see you there in the future! #SilentDisco!!
Song For This Post HERE (Just HAD to)