Drinking Festivals: How to Stay Safe and Stress-Free

It’s that time of year again. The time of year where we travel to places and then get completely trashed while enjoying the local spirits. Actually, that pretty much happens all year round. Either way, whether you’re taking advantage of Oktoberfest or one of these other local festivals, follow these tips to make sure you don’t end up crossing that fine line between having fun and getting in trouble.

Go With Friends
Nobody is saying you can’t go alone to Oktoberfest (or any other drinking festival), but if you do, you should try to go earlier during the day and don’t make plans to get trashed. It’s always better to head out with a group of trusted friends who will notice if you’ve dropped off and will at least try to convince you that getting up and dancing naked on that table is probably not the best idea you’ve ever had.

Have a Plan If You Get Separated
Set up a meeting point that everyone will head back to if you get separated. It’s so easy to get separated and disoriented within large beer tents or on the festival grounds that you should plan on holding hands the entire time or set up a place that’s easy to find where everyone will head to if you become separated.

Stay Hydrated (with water, you guys)
The alcohol may be delicious, but try to pace yourself and ensure you stay sober enough to be aware of your surroundings and how to get. Bring a water bottle or alternate beer and wine with something a little less potent.

Don’t Bring Valuables
Leave the iPad and the expensive camera at home. If they don’t get stolen, you’ll either accidentally leave them under a table or spill a beer on them. Bring an ID and enough money to get you through the evening, but try not to bring anything else. Except for snacks.

Eat Something
Not to sound like your mom, but don’t forget to eat. Eating at festivals can feel like a waste of money for the penny-pinching traveler (you want how much¬†for that hot dog?!), but that’s not a good reason to skip out on eating. Either stick to the cheaper items (like bread) or pack along snacks and plan on eating a big meal before or after at a restaurant or hostel.

Ditch the Bag and Stick with a Waist Wallet
I wouldn’t recommend bringing a purse or a backpack (just one more thing to worry about setting down and forgetting to pick up), but if you have to, try going with a cross body sling pack like the Slingsafe 150. Otherwise, stick with a waist wallet like the Coversafe 25 Secret Wallet.

Watch Your Drink
From the time a server hands you your drink, do not take your eyes off of it. Keep a hand on the glass and don’t turn away from it until you’ve emptied its contents.

Emergency Contacts
Know the emergency contact numbers ahead of time and don’t leave the place you’re staying without knowing how to get back. Some people choose to stash a hotel business card in their wallets. While there are travelers who advise against doing this (it makes it that much easier for people to figure out where you’re staying), if that’s the only way for you to remember the address without tattooing it on your forehead, it’s probably best just to go ahead and grab a card. Doesn’t hurt to write down the number of a taxi company either.

By Nikki Hodgson

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