So you’ve got your badge for SXSW 2018. Yay you! Get ready for one hell of a week including breakfast tacos, booze, parties and more. What else do you need to know? SXSW will be here before you know it and it’s best to prepare to ensure you have a great week! Here are five things to know before you board that plane to Austin!
If you’re coming into Austin make sure you give yourself enough time to rest from your flight. FOMO will be in full effect, but one thing to remember is SXSW is a marathon, not a sprint. You want to plan your first few days carefully. Start off slow. If you’ll be ridesharing, you’re in luck because Uber and Lyft are back in town. Make sure you download the apps and update card info to avoid delays. Make sure you have all your hotel, Airbnb or other housing arrangements in order. I always print out any info in case your phone dies or WiFi is not connecting.
First things first, you need a great backpack you can lug around all week. If you’re not a backpack person you can substitute a handbag, small bag or whatever you feel comfortable with. One thing you want to make sure is that everything you need will fit in this bag. I would leave some room for extra essentials you’ll want to add in and also, SXSW swag you’ll be picking up. I recommend Fjallraven because it’s stylish and can go from day to night if you’re headed out to parties later on in the night.
Break in your comfortable shoes and try on your outfits
This should be common sense, but you’ll need a really good pair of comfortable shoes. Yes, you want to look stylish, but after walking for hours in the Texas heat all over the downtown area from venue to venue, you’ll be happy you chose your pair of Vans and not those wedged heels. If you have a party you want to go and don’t want to wear sneakers, pack those in your backpack! If you want to avoid outfit panics, it’s best to plan out all your outfits for the duration of your trip and make sure you feel comfortable in them. For those who don’t have a thigh gap and will be wearing shorts, a great tip to avoid chafing is applying deodorant! (You’re welcome!)
Prep a SXSW Emergency Kit
This one is a biggie! You don’t want to wake up hungover and have to figure out where the closest convenience store to get something to alleviate the pain. Look, you may run on adrenaline the first few days and say “Hey, I don’t know what she was talking about, I don’t need any medicine, I’m feeling great.” Give it a few days. When you’re on your fourth day of drinking free booze and standing in the sun too long, you’ll thank me! Other essentials to pack in your emergency kit are: travel size sunscreen, travel size sanitizer, medicine (whatever you know works best for you), mini waters (look for freebies you can stock up on during SXSW events), snacks (also snag during SXSW) deodorant, a towel (to wipe that sweat off). The worst thing that can happen is to be caught off guard!
Electronics and chargers
You’ll be having the best week of your life and of course you’ll want to share it on your social media to make all your friend jealous. Well, wouldn’t it suck if you’re about to snap a selfie with Ryan Gosling and your phone powers down? If you don’t have a portable battery, buy one now! I bought two portable batteries at Sam’s club that can charge my phone up to three times when they are fully charged. Another thing, make sure you charge the portable batteries (not like this has happened to me). These packs take a while to charge and you’ll need to leave them overnight to recharge. Make sure you match all your power cords to all your electronics before packing them up. You don’t want to have to look for one when you get here and lose valuable time. Luckily, SXSW is really great at having powering stations all over, but when you have to be at a panel or wait in line for a film, you need to have easy access.
These are five ways you can get ready for SXSW before heading to Austin. Stay tuned for more tips to get you ready for SXSW! What tips do you have for first-timers attending SXSW? Let us know in the comments below! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated with the latest news here.
Expert TV binger and taco aficionado. Catherine runs this magazine with the help of sugar free Redbull and lots and lots of tacos.