Keeping your cash and valuables safe at a festival
It's a dilemma. Do you take a load of cash to a festival. Or a card and hope for cashpoint machines? Or both?
Taking cash will save you time queueing at the ATM. If there are ATMs then they will probably charge £1.50 or so a time, so you'll need to keep the visits to a minimum, that's beer money going to waste! If you take cash you will probably spend it.
If you take a card it's only one thing to keep safe. But if you lose it you've lost all hope of a fun beer filled festival...and possible petrol for the drive home. Assuming you don't lose it, you will have extensive funds and when you see that sequined jumper with the fur hood at the retro clothing stall for £150 you will be able to buy it.
I tend to favour taking both, I budget for what I can afford and take that in cash, but I also take a card in case of the aforementioned fur and sequin thingy.
Whatever you choose, how can you keep your cash, card (and car keys, phone etc) safe, not only from theft (sadly there often is theft at a large event) but from loss too?
Here are some top tips.
- Spread out the cash. However much you decide to take, £30, £300, £3000 don't put all of your cash eggs in one basket. Spread the money equally around. If you travel in a group be sure you each carry some of the cash, and that each person spreads what they carry.
- Places to carry the cash (which you have split into equal bundles) include, the front deep pocket of your jeans, your handbag - some in a purse, some in a zipped pocket, a bum bag, your bra (this is easier for ladies, but makes paying for cocktails more fun), your pants (you can sew a small material pouch and safety pin it inside trousers or skirts), any zipped pocket in your clothing.
- When in the tent ensure your valuables are kept with you in the sleeping area, anyone could sneak into a porch area and take a bag in the night. Pushing everything down the bottom of your sleeping bag is safest.
- Don't leave bags with valuables in them laying about. If you phone is in the picnic basket, take it out and take it with you when you nip to the loo or ensure an adult is left in charge.
- Take care in the loos that you don't drop anything! Hang bags etc on the hook on the back of the door and don't leave your phone (or car keys!) in your jeans or you may hear an ominous 'splop' when you pull them down!
- Some festivals have lockers for valuables and you can hire these by the day. I've never used them and am not sure if they advertise you have valuables or keep them safe - I guess that they are not insured but many have security staff to keep an eye on them.
- You can hide money, cards and car keys in your tent but it's risky. Don't bother to use a tent padlock, that just tells people valuable things are inside, and most tents can be easily cut with a penknife (I know it's horrible to think people would stoop so low - but they do!) If you hide things try to pick places no one would look - not in a sleeping bag! - and that would take a bit of searching for, thieves are unlikely to want to hang around for long, as before don't put all the cash in one place. (but on the whole I'd advise that you don't leave valuables in the tent)
- Look out for the campers around you. Get to know the people camping near you and ask any 'stranger' who looks like they may be entering nearby tents who they are.
Have fun and stay safe - have I missed anything? How do you keep valuables safe at a festival?