Now that Americans are able to go to stadiums again, they are filling the streets and making their way to watch their favorite teams. Oftentimes, fans will arrive hours ahead of kickoff to socialize with other fans, grill, and have a few pops before the game. Tailgating is a time-honored tradition that can trace its roots 150 years back to a Princeton and Rutgers college football game. Since then, football fans take their tailgating experiences very seriously.
Get Your Car in Tip Top Shape before the Game
- Check all fluid and coolant levels. Once the snow starts flying, windshield wiper fluid is worth its weight in gold.
- Make sure the tires have good tread and are properly inflated.
- Get an oil change. During the colder months, thinner oil may be used, ask your mechanic what will work best for your vehicle.
- Review your auto insurance coverage policy. Are you fully covered if something goes wrong along the way? SR22 insurance can help high risk drivers get back on the road.
- Test all of the lights. Polish them if necessary, for maximum brightness.
- Wash the car, not just for cleanliness but to get grime and dirt off of the windows, which can make it difficult to see out, especially during times of precipitation.
- Avoid allowing fuel to dip to E, fill up as often as you have to along the way, after all, you don’t want to miss the game!
- If you suspect the car’s battery might be waning in charge, ask your mechanic to check it out, replace it if necessary.
- Test both the heater and the defroster. You don’t want to get caught in a situation where one or both are not working.
- Pack a survival kit. This includes items such as blanket(s), first-aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, a knife, jumper cables, portable cell charger (fully charged), small shovel, snacks, water bottles, and an ice scraper.
Gearing Up for the Best Tailgate Party Ever!
- Arrive early. The whole point of a tailgate party is to have fun pre-kick off. So budget your time accordingly to allow for a few hours of fun in the stadium parking lot. Watch the weather! Bring extra gloves, hats, and scarves if the weather calls for cold and snow.
- Bring a trash bag. The stadiums appreciate that the fans bring them business and have fun at the games, but what they don’t want is an inordinate amount of trash and garbage left behind for them. Be courteous and keep your space clean by using a simple garbage bag.
- Pack a charged Bluetooth speaker. What’s a party without a little music? And if you think you can play music straight from your phone, the music is likely to be lost to the wind, causing your party to fall flat.
- If your game is in the south or southwest, blankets are not going to do you much good. Prepare for the hot weather (because you know it’s coming) by bringing a fan or even several handheld fans to keep the “nervous” perspiration at bay!
- Be prepared for photo ops. These days, who isn’t into posting pictures onto social media? Bring props for these photo opportunities, things such as footballs, banners, helmets, Mardi Gras beads, and don’t forget to wear your team colors (or jersey will do quite nicely!)
- Bring extra goodies. You never know just how many friends you’ll make when you’re hosting a tailgate party. So, if you are able to, bring a few extra sodas, water bottles, chicken wings or whatever it is you’re cooking up. Instant friendships are made over shared food and drink.
- If you’re a regular tailgater, keep a box of essentials in your car at all times. Things like spatulas, wet wipes, paper towels, bug spray, can opener, sunscreen, condiments, and seasonings.
- Label coolers ahead of time. If you live in an area of perpetual summer, you’ll want to label coolers appropriately not just for the convenience of it, but to keep the cold packed in longer.
- Use a six-pack holder to house hot sauces and other useful condiments. It’s easy to transport and guests will be able to find exactly what they want in no time at all.
- Freeze water bottles and use them in the coolers as ice, so that as they melt, they become drinkable!
It’s time to get back out there – to cheer on your favorite teams and have fun with friends. With just a little preparation and planning, you can have a successful tailgate party, and peace of mind getting there!