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How to Go to Coachella - The Ultimate Guide
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

How to Go to Coachella - The Ultimate Guide

So you snagged tickets to Coachella this year? Congrats! You are, how they say: THRIVING. It is by far one of the most beautiful festivals, boasting a stacked and oh so eclectic lineup full of artists from genres you probably didn’t even know existed. No joke - the A&R folk at Coachella are quite masterful in their artist selection, in my honest and humble opinion. I find myself nearly salivating and gasping for air as I read the lineups each year and I do consider myself to be a virtual crate digger, if you will.

Getting to Coachella is tough. If you've managed to snag tickets already you were probably an overachiever in high school, but if not there is still hope for you. Aside from the tickets, there is a lot more to figure out and plan, but we've got you. Here is your Complete Coachella Planning Guide for 2022.

Weekend 1 or 2?

Coachella was famously one of the first festivals to do two weekends in a row with the same lineup. The two weekend-event lets more people attend the festival, and creates a different vibe for each weekend. The lineup is the same on both weekends, so you can go to either one and have more or less the same experience, but many people agree that Weekend 1 is best for celebrity sightings, special guest appearances and generally newsworthy surprises.

Tickets

Tickets to Coachella tend to sell out almost instantly. Weekend 1 usually sells out faster than Weekend 2, so even now there might be some tickets left for the second weekend if you're thinking about taking the plunge. Once individual tickets are sold out there are usually other options for getting tickets directly from the Coachella website (which is obviously the most trustworthy way to get tickets). I recommend checking out the hotel + ticket package options if you have a group of 2 or more interested in going.

The pass buying guide on the Coachella website will give you all of the information you need on how to get tickets.

Once you get tickets you'll need to secure a shuttle or camping pass separately. I recommend making your decision on where you're going to stay quickly, since hotels fill up fast and camping tends to sell out almost as quickly as the tickets themselves.

Pre-Festival

Let’s talk logistics. Although Coachella is a different beast than most festivals, you can take your existing festival expertise and apply it to how you prepare for Coachella as you find hotels or AirBNBs, plan your camping experience, or figure out the shuttle system. Perhaps there’s someone in your group that already has this all covered (lucky you!) but in case you don’t, here is what I would focus on first:

Where to Stay:

Hotels vs. Camping vs. Airbnb vs. RV

Camping: There are MANY camping options at Coachella, including but not limited to car camping (not to be confused with preferred car camping, which puts your car closer to the venue entrance), tent camping and for an astronomical price, including a ticket to Mars (kidding but maybe in the future that’ll be a thing!) –GLAMPING.

The camping options tend to sell out faster than the blink of an eye, so these options may not be available if you're planning a last minute YOLO trip. Bringing us to your next options or, maybe your first, (depending on the type of person you are) we have: off-site camping (which includes campgrounds vetted by Coachella) and hotels that double as shuttle stops.

Staying in a hotel is a great way to do Coachella, but keep in mind that the Palm Springs/Indio area is quite large, so you'll want to plan ahead on how you'll be getting to and from the festival. This also applies to AirBNB stays, which might even be a little more complicated since most of the shuttles go to and from hotels. An AirBNB is certainly a great option, and I would recommend finding the closest hotel shuttle stop to your AirBNB if walking to a shuttle stop is an option.

There are three main areas you'll have to choose from when picking a Coachella hotel or AirBNB since the Coachella valley is pretty big. You can stay in Palm Springs, the iconic town with lots of luxury hotel and resort options, and a lot of things to do outside of the festival. There are several hotels with shuttle stops in Palm Springs.

Your next option is to stay in the Palm Desert/Indian Wells/Indio area, which is closer to the festival but doesn't offer much in the way of local attractions. This is a great option if you're only planning on going to and from Coachella, and the hotels may be a bit more affordable (though keep in mind all hotels will have inflated prices during this time).

Finally your third option is to stay a little bit off the beaten path in Desert Hot Springs, a town just on the other side of Interstate 10 from Palm Springs and probably the furthest from the festival. There are several luxury resorts and affordable hotels in this area, so it might be a good option for last minute trips.

What to Pack:

This is by no means an exhaustive list on what to pack for Coachella, but here is a link to what is and isn't allowed at the festival on the  Coachella website, as well as some details on what to expect from the weather and outfit inspiration. I always recommend packing extra clothes to any festival, including some more comfortable options.

Weather in the Palm Desert.

Indio, California is the literal desert SO, although you are in sunny, beautiful, amazing California, you WILL definitely experience some pretty significant temperature drops at night. The Palm Desert is pretty hot in the day, so make sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses and a cute festival hat. At night the temperatures can drop down to the mid to low 50’s, so you’ll definitely want to bring some layering options and blankets if you're camping. Check out our selection of outerwear to help put together an epic yet functional outfit!

Outfit Inspiration:

This is the thing that so many people (I would definitely not exclude myself) tend to obsess/dream/freak out/have nightmares about - and with good reason. I’m not going to lie and say that fashion isn’t a big deal at Coachella because it’s basically like the MET Gala of the music scene.

I truly believe that fashion is just an extension of who you are and should be used as a form of self-expression rather than this self-imposed pressure to be iconic at Coachella. Although a lot of people do show out for other festivals like EDC, Burning Man & Electric Forest, there is just something so different about the fashion at Coachella that is so unique and inspiring. Check out our guide on What to Wear To Coachella for more fashion inspo!


At Coachella

Coachella is pretty damn big on keeping everything very sustainable and eco-friendly, so much so that they partnered with a company called Global Inheritance to ensure that festivalgoers leave no trace and create a conscious experience for all. Read more about  what it means to leave no trace here.

Getting around the Palm Desert:

Once you’re in the Palm Desert, there is definitely no shortage of ways of getting around. It’s worth it to peruse their “Getting Here” section of their website where they outline pretty much everything you need to know regarding travel. Here are some of the common travel options:

What airport to fly into?

The Coachella site provides a small list of airports, the first of which is the Palm Springs Airport. This airport is by far the closest (25 miles from the festival), with LAX being a close second, but you can also fly into Orange County, Burbank or San Diego but that’s quite the hike!

Although extremely convenient, flying into the Palm Springs airport may not be the most budget friendly, so make sure to do your research and hop on those deals quickly! If you do fly into any of the Los Angeles airports, expect to drive about 2 hours east on Interstate 10 to get to the Palm Desert. There are shuttle options through the festival, but you can also rent a car.

Or, you could try out a little thing called Carpoolchella: a reward system set up to incentivize Coachella attendees to minimize their carbon footprint by driving to Coachella together! Those who have done so in the past have had their entire passes upgraded to VIP FOR LIFE. No joke! It’s definitely worth looking into!

Coachillin'

A few extra  things to keep in mind to make the most out of your weekend:

  • Reserve a Locker: because temperatures drop, being hands free is a vibe and it really is so convenient. Keep your layers in a locker during the day for quick access when the sun goes down.
  • Budget: I’ve perused a few websites regarding how not to blow it all at Coachella, and the general consensus seems to be that if you aren’t camping, you could be spending a good $50-$75 per day on food and drinks. If you’re camping (or even if you’re not), you can save money on food by taking the free  supermarket shuttle to pick up some groceries. If you’re not camping, taking a shuttle will definitely be less expensive than taking an Uber or a Lyft, renting a car, etc.

Amalia Reyes is a blogger at iHeartRaves

TAGS: Author - Amalia Reyes, Coachella, Festivals,



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