The Best Way to Pack Your Car for Festivals

Festival season is upon us, from Thousand Trees to Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury, Download or even food festivals. Thousands of people will be packing up their cars for a couple of days camping, enjoying music, catching up with friends and hoping that it doesn’t rain.

Life on a festival campsite is fun, but chaotic and the camping is usually secondary to everything else going on around you.

Most festivals start and end with a trek from the car park to the campsite and vice versa. There are ways to make those trips miles easier so you can start enjoying yourself sooner and get home quicker – when you desperately want a proper shower.


Be selective

Your festival prep should be like most camping trips, taking everything you need to get by. Festival sites are massive, bigger than most camp sites and often considerably busier. This means there are additional rules to follow to help make sure everyone on the site stays safe and has a good time.

These usually relate to what you can and can’t bring onto the site. From alcohol to BBQs, different events will have different rules in place.

Make sure you stick to them because it could stop you gaining entry and therefore wasting money. You also need to remember that you’re at a festival for a reason, there’s less heading off-site (if any), and plenty to do without bringing your own fun and activities with you. So, try to travel light if you can.

people sat in field

Share space to save room

Carpooling is one of the main ways people get to and from a festival. So, when you’re packing your car, you need to make sure there’s enough room for everyone’s stuff.

Sharing a tent, food, and other supplies helps to keep packing to a minimum. You should always plan ahead when it comes to the food you take too, festivals can be expensive so taking stuff that can survive in a tent (or at the most in a cooler) is a great way to save money.

How you pack is important too. Things that will get used up like food can be transported in a bag for life, or one of those collapsible plastic storage boxes. They fold flat or condense down when they’re finished with, so they take up less room on the return journey and save space on the campsite.

two girls in car

A picture is worth 1000 words (and saves a headache)

Packing a car for a festival can feel like trying to solve some sort of Crystal Maze puzzle. Eventually, though everything will fit in, and the boot will shut without you worrying about something breaking.

It’s incredibly satisfying, but it can also take ages. After a couple of nights in a tent when all you want to do is get home, repacking your car can feel like a nightmare. But don’t worry, there’s a handy trick you can use to repeat the process easily.

Take a picture.

Then, when you’re tired and just want to leave, whip out the photo, replicate it as best as you can (in theory you should have less stuff to pack for the way back), then you can get into the traffic trying to get out of the festival sooner.

Going to a festival is meant to be a fun and memorable, getting to the campsite and getting off the festival site shouldn’t be stressful, hopefully with these tips you can arrive and get set up quickly, then get home sooner too.

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