By Vicky Anscombe on 17 June 2015
Festival season's almost here - but the fun isn't just limited to the UK. There's so much going on in other countries - and we want to make sure you're always safe, and ready to have fun.
We've put together some guidelines which cover the best practices for avoiding theft, injury and illness while letting you soak up the carefree atmosphere.
How will travel insurance cover you?
- Medical care: Your insurance will protect you from unexpected costs, such as emergency medical care, ambulance fees and repatriation charges.
- Cancellation: If you cancel your trip due to an injury or illness, you are usually covered as long as you were not aware of the problem at the time you bought the policy. This should include the cost of the festival tickets as well as any pre-paid travel and accommodation costs.
- Belongings: Travel insurance will cover most of your belongings, but there will be a maximum you can claim for individual items. Mobile phones and other gadgets may not be covered at all - always check with your insurer.
However, travel insurance can't protect you from everything; here's what it won't cover:
- If you choose to take illegal drugs or drink alcohol and sustain a serious injury or require medical care as a result, the cost will not be covered.
- If you leave any valuable items unattended at any time (other than clothing or other non-valuable items) in your tent, you will not be covered.
- If a festival is cancelled. The ticket cost should be refunded by the organiser, however, travel and accommodation costs are not covered by travel insurance where you cancel a trip due to an event not taking place. Booking the trip through an ATOL tour operator should protect you in those circumstances.
Finally, we've come up with some do's and don'ts. No set of guidelines is complete without them.
- Ensure you have travel insurance as well as an EHIC card to ensure you are protected against all medical costs.
- Check your travel insurance policy cover and limits are adequate for what you have paid for the trip, and what you will be taking with you. Gadget top-up cover is a good idea if you want your mobile phone or tablet fully covered.
- Take copies of important documents with you, such as your travel insurance policy and emergency phone numbers.
- Report something missing to police within 24 hours and get a crime reference number.
- Check if the festival organiser has a lock-up area, these are usually free and a good way to protect your valuables.
- Always check the FCO website before you travel for up to date advice.
- Take unnecessary risks, such as crowd surfing, mud wrestling or flinging yourself from tall structures in the hope the crowd below will catch you.
- Don't forget to stay hydrated - it won't just help with your hangover; it'll also help you keep cool and keep a clear head.
- Don't leave valuable items unattended in your tent.
- Don't flash your cash, expensive jewellery or hi-tech gadgets. Thieves operate everywhere - including at festivals.
- Finally, never book through unauthorised agents, as you could spend a lot of money on your ticket and travel, only to find that you've bought a fraudulent ticket. If the ticket price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Upcoming festivals outside the UK:
- Sonar Festival, Barcelona (June 18 - 20): This is one for beat lovers; a great Euro dance event.
- Rock Werchter, Belgium (June 25 - 28): One of the five biggest annual rock music festivals in Europe.
- Roskilde, Denmark (June 27 - July 4): This festival is held south of Roskilde in Denmark, and is one of the largest music festivals in Europe.
- Hideout, Croatia (June 28 – July 2): An annual electronic music festival held in Zrce, Croatia on the island of Pag.
- Exit, Serbia (July 15 - 18): Exit takes place at the Petrovaradin Fortress, located on the right bank of the river Danube in Novi Sad.
- The Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Spain (July 16 - 19). Located close to several beaches, this festival focuses mainly on pop, rock and electronica artists, as well as having other elements including short films, fashion shows and art.
- Melt Festival, Berlin (July 17 - 19): Electronica meets rock at this quirky disused mine venue.
- Tomorrowland, Belgium (July 24 - 26), and Atlanta, USA (September 25 - 27): This has quickly became one of the most talked about and popular festivals in Europe - it's a fairy tale-themed electronic dance music event with over 400 DJs.
- Soundwave, Croatia (August 6 - 10): A three-day live music event that also includes five days of side parties.
- Sziget Festival, Hungary (August 10 - 17): One of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe. It is held every August in northern Budapest, Hungary, and more than 1,000 performances take place each year.
- Burning Man, USA (August 30 - September 7): Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada.
Image credits: Flickr, with thanks to Eva Rinaldi and adriagarcia