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The time of festivals is upon us and with each weekend comes another local festival with food fun, and probably a little sneak into the local heritage.

Here in Indiana, festivals are almost constant; with several even in our coldest months. However, June through September seem to be the most happening times of all.

When planning to visit a festival there are many things to keep in mind. A guide below should allow for an easier visit the next time you hit the road to explore your local (or not so local) festival.

Make sure you have a clear route to your destination, along with a map or some type of gps device. Remember that even if you do update your program regularly it may not be alerted to all construction work currently taking place.

Which leads to the second tip, give yourselves plenty of time to get there. There is nothing like being an excited child in the backseat waiting for your family adventure and then arriving too late to enjoy any of it. Always, always leave before you think you should!

Have everything packed a day or two ahead of time. Things like a change of clothes for the youngest ones, sunblock, bug spray, sunglasses and activities to keep young ones occupied in the vehicle. Portable dvd players are a nice and fairly affordable luxury, but, books are fun as well. Don’t forget puzzle books and mp3 players!

It’s never a bad idea to have a small first aid kit on hand. A scrape, a bug bite or a mild sunburn are all possibilities when travelling especially if you’ll spend a lot of time outdoors. Keep a small kit in your vehicle and maybe stuff a bandage or two in your pocket. Peppermints are also helpful for those that may indulge in the local cuisine a bit too much.

The small canvas photo notebook is a great option for the older child. Have them document the trip. From the frustration and flurry out the door that morning to the beautiful field you picnicked in on the way. Your young writer would be thrilled to have this sturdy and attractive notebook that is personalized with their name and favorite photo.

The photo water bottle is a great addition to any trip and will come in handy once you have arrived. This item is an aluminum water bottle that can be personalized with your favorite photograph and words! This durable container holds 17 ounces and is easy to refill. Clip it on to your shorts, or bag and go!

The KaDoodle kit is a terrific addition to your road trip. This traveling kit comes in a sturdy travel case and is filled with personalized note cards and a pack of Crayola Crayons. The perfect choice for your artistic traveler. Ask them to draw pictures of the unique things they see along the countryside.

Snacks being packed the day before saves you time, money, and eating extra junk. The appeal for many when visiting a festival is the food. Whether it’s greasy, gooey carnival food, or specific food for an ethnic festival food.

Fill your cooler with water bottles and juice boxes. Don’t forget the raisins, carrot sticks, peanut butter covered celery and cheesy crackers. If a full meal is more your thing (and better for your time frame) Pack some cold fried chicken, potato salad and baked chips.

Remember to research the area prior to the trip. Are there parking garages nearby? Will you need to park in a field and walk a mile? Would it be easier to just stay overnight?

About 15 to 20 minutes before you reach your destination, take a potty break. The bathroom lines at these things are always terribly long. So save yourself the hassle and go to the restroom a few miles back. You’ll be happy you did when you pass those 30 person lines.

Don’t pack yourself down too heavy. That means, you don’t need to carry everything in your car on your person once you arrive. Make sure everyone is covered in sunscreen or bug spray (whichever the case may call for) grab a bottle of water or two, the camera and go. If possible put money in your pockets and lock up your purse in the vehicle. Being unable to comfortably join in the festivities is no fun!

Once you arrive take a deep breath and enjoy. It’s always a great idea to bring a camera so that you can snap pictures of this fun event, but, don’t be so busy taking pictures that you forget to have fun and take part in the events. When possible raise your hand when a volunteer is needed, and enter to win the greasy watermelon run. Festivals are about experiencing the local fun.

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