Originally this week’s article was going to be about how to be a student and do Oktoberfest without breaking your wallet.
Then I actually went.
And I realized that’s impossible.
With 10€ steins of beer and marathon-length days of drinking, spending way more money than you had intended is basically inevitable.
But there are ways that you can enjoy yourself more (or much, much less) while you slowly go broke and massacre your liver.
Here is a list of your basic dos and don’ts that will make your Oktoberfesting much better if (or hopefully just when) you have the chance to go.
Book at a campground
It will save you valuable money (that can then be spent on beer, hoo-ah) and you won’t have to worry about the typical protocol that comes with hotels when you finally stumble home.
But bring a sleeping bag
If you’re a real camper (which I’m not) you’ll know that sleeping straight on the ground is no fun, no matter how fluffy the blanket that you have on top of you is. Cold ground is quite unforgiving, and the tiny amount of time actually left for sleep is a great time to spend, you know, actually sleeping. Which is tough when you’re fighting a losing battle with dirt and hypothermia. I was sore in places I didn’t even know could get sore from sleeping.
Wear a Dirndl (or Lederhosen for the gents)
(photo via wikipedia)
It’s basically all tourists at Oktoberfest, but that’s no reason not to look traditional! Getting the outfit is way fun, and it will be a great way to remember your experience forever (you just might want to wash it afterward).
Don’t buy nice shoes to go with it
A cute pair of little white flats to complete your Bavarian look might seem like a good idea in the store, but they won’t be white for long. The ground is all dirt (especially if you’re camping), and Germany likes to rain.
Opt for durable instead. Nobody’s looking at your feet anyway.
Set an alarm
It may seem like a cruel trick of nature (and an absolutely terrible idea) to get up early for a day dedicated to drinking, but it’s the only way to go. Tents start serving beer at 10am, but you need to find a seat in a hall before then if you want to actually be served one. And those halls get crowded.
Keep your beer hall options open
Because the halls get so crowded, don’t have your heart set on just one. If you can’t find a seat, check out another tent – the smaller, the better. Even the little tents can be a great time, because they tend to trade out racuous parties for awesome German music that will get you totally hyped on Bavaria. Don’t be afraid to roam!
Remember to eat
I know, seems like something only your mom would tell you because of course you won’t forget to eat, you’ll be hungry, but that would be wrong. Beer has this sneaky way of making you feel full, and then not letting you realize until the end of the day or the beginning of the next that you ingested no real food since breakfast. And if you’re the kind of drinker who’s prone to illness, this is your most important point to remember: food food food.
Stay together (with someone)
At the end of the day, your new friends that you made at one of the beer halls will not be the ones who will get you home. If you’re in a big group you’re bound to lose some people throughout the day, but throw it back to elementary school and stick with the buddy system. You’ll be happy you did – two drunk minds are better than one when it comes to directions.
So there you have it – that’s how you Oktoberfest. Not that you’ll have a bad time if you do it differently, of course. We did basically all of this stuff wrong and still made it back alive.
Because honestly, with liters of beer coming all day long, how bad can it really be?
photos via Emma Dell unless otherwise noted
feature image via iStock