Rocks Off's SXSW Survival Tips & Tricks

If you're like us, you've been counting down the days to South By Southwest for months. You've gone over the line ups as they've been announced, watched twitter feeds spring back to life after 11 months of silence, and followed the rumors about all the big names heading to Austin.

You've probably made a ton of lists: Twitter feeds to follow, parties with free food and beer, buzz bands to check out. You have a place to stay, people to hang out with, and cash to tip your bartenders. You're ready to make this a SXSW to remember.

Or at least you think you are. The fun stuff is always easiest to organize because it's fun to think about. It takes more than just a few hours of Web surfing and a smartphone to have a successful road trip.

Rocks Off wants everyone to have a good time out there, so we've come up with a list of tips to help you make it through the next few days.

Photo By Nicu Buculei.
Be Prepared In Advance: This last week has been a good example of that old cliché about Texas weather. We haven't quite made it to Spring yet, and the weather can change at the drop of a hat. Be prepared for both hot and cold weather, and that includes packing sunscreen and an umbrella if you're going to a lot of outdoor shows.

Medicine, snacks, lighters, backup flip-flops -- if you think you'll need something for the trip, get it ahead of time. Sure, there are stores in Austin in case you need something, but do you really want to take time out of your day to go shopping because you forgot to pack socks? Taking a few minutes to go through your travel bag before you hit the road can save time and headaches later.

Take Care of Your Ride: The drive to and from Austin will put at least 300 miles on your ride. If it's been a while since your car has had a tuneup or if there have been any nagging issues with it, get it checked out before you hit the road.

There is always the chance that something will happen to your vehicle no matter how much preventative care you give it but you don't want it to break down in a different city because you've been putting off taking it to the shop. You can get around Austin without a car, but eventually you're going to need to get back home.

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