So next weekend marks a year of me getting the assembled Notts Uni and Trent army to a field. It has taught me the most important thing of arranging travel:
#1 If somebody else is willing* into arranging your travel for you – let them.
*Willingness is relative
But then there will come a time when you are the only guy or the guy in charge of that rubbish. Here are some tips I have learnt along my way.
GETTING OTHER PEOPLE THERE
#2 Know your limits
As helpful as you want to be there are limits to what you can achieve. Being in a rural area with poor travel connections means that transporting an army is harder. If you only organise for 2 mates you’re still being awesome – don’t let the extra guy who asked late make you forget that.
#3 Short sentences. Capital letters
When writing or explaining a plan really stress what they need to do. You can worry about the behind the scenes stuff but if a friend misses he needs a train ticket until on the day that can be a hefty increase in price. I know you’re skim reading this: imagine people will skim read your travel plan.
#4 Making a list and checking it twice
Make sure you have your times, important post codes, names of people you actually said yes to take, phone numbers for your taxi people and instructions of how to get to whatever wonderful field you have landed in, Pray you don’t need it – be an admin warrior if you do.
#5 The early bird catches the taxi
Taxis get booked up – especially the 8/16 seaters. You want to have numbers done by about a week before if you’re expecting a big bertha of a vehicle.
#6 Discount no means of travel
We saved a bag using a coach once and I’d never thought to look until a mate told me about it.
#7 Know your allies
So Trent gets free minivan rental. Less kit means hiring less taxis. Less taxis – well – you get the idea.
If you have drivers in the group or people who lived in that area once use their skills
#8 Long weapons are long
Cars have this habit of being just the wrong size for long weapons. If you have bulky or awkward items like banners or 7ft spears it’s something to think about before your tiny taxi arrives.
#9 I would not walk 500 miles
You feet are going to get busted at a larp event anyway. Walking pre or post event is best kept to a minimum.
#10 One man and his kit
When you’re booking taxis a good rule of thumb is every person with kit requires 2 seats. You may have a little room left over but this is much better than the alternative. We find that you can just about do 5 in an 8 seater and 10 in a 16 seater if needs be.
If a major part of your route is a one coach train in rush hour you might want to think again…
#11 Ticket to ride
Many taxi companies will ask for a deposit. Train fares tent to be best paid in advance. You can book a coach. You need to put a deposit on a van. Long story short don’t expect to pay on the day.
Rail cards, student discounts and shopping around are all really wise. If you use a company a lot for chunky trips don’t be afraid to ask for a good deal or shop around if they get pricey.
#12 Larper of the Land
If you can’t find a way ask. Betcha pound to a penny someone going to the site knows a good taxi firm or someone who has been there a thousand times can tell you the nearest station.
GETTING YOURSELF THERE
#13 Remember the number of hands you have
When arranging your pack to get it from your door to the start of your travel get it in such a way you can carry it. Two hands, one back, two shoulders.
If you are bringing suitcases make sure they can feasibly be carried or they have wheels (And if wheeling accept they will get a bit wrecked at the field)
If your tent is just a bag tie some scarves to it and suddenly you’re over the shoulder or you have a back pack.
#14 Plodding is no quick feat
Add on time to any walking you need to do. If you’re early just froth at the other end. If you are late you are sunk.
#15 Every knight needs a noble steed
I play a fully plated up Knight and I don’t know what I’d do without my bro who drives half my kit down for me. If you have a mate with a car find out their favourite snack, approach them in plenty of time with and see if they can do you a solid.
#16 Say Thank you
If anyone ever helps you get there it will mean the world to them.