FestPop’s Travel Guide to Coachella

Photo Credit: Rukes
Photo Credit: Rukes
Photo Credit: Rukes

Getting There

Road tripping is always a great way to get to any festival and Coachella is no different. Since it’s such a big event people drive from all over the country and if you don’t have a ride plenty of rideshare options are offered online and it is a great way to meet fellow festival goers on the way to the festival. Global Inheritance, a nonprofit sponsor of Coachella, even has a contest for people that car pool called #Carpoolchella that encourages everyone to decorate their cars and gives prizes to the best ones.

If you’re planning on flying to the festival you can fly into Palm Springs. It is the closest airport to the Polo Fields, but flights are usually more expensive. Flying into LAX, which is about 2 and a half hours from the venue, will offer the best deal on airfare. There are plenty of rental car and shuttle options available to get you on your way to Coachella.   Since it is Southern California traffic should always be taken into consideration since it can add a lot of travel time especially during the festival weekends.

Ryde (rydethere.com) , an event shuttle service, is offering rides from all over California and even Phoenix to the festival via luxury coach buses. If you aren’t camping or staying near the venue, Uber is available to get you to and from the festival safely.

 What to Bring

Spring in the Coachella Valley can be scorching hot with temperatures during both festival weekends often reaching over 100 degrees.  However, being a desert climate the temperatures can drop quickly at night. You should pack plenty of shorts, tanktops and tshirts along with hoodies or a light jacket to wear at night. Coachella is always big on the latest fashion so you should definitely do some research before you start packing. Some of the key things to have at Coachella are listed below.


Sunscreen | Sunglasses |  Reusable water bottle or Camelbak (has to be empty to bring into venue) | Face mask/ bandanna | Portable phone charger

If you are camping you should bring all the essentials: tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, etc. and make sure that everything is secure, especially when you aren’t there since the wind can pick up out of no where. It’s also a great idea to get the food and drinks you want before getting into the camping area to make things easier. If there’s something you forgot there are free shuttles to the store and basic necessities can be found inside the campground for a higher price.

Where to Stay

The best way to experience Coachella is camping. Especially, if it is your first time at the festival, you won’t regret it. There are excellent food vendors and activities to take part in before and after the festival starts for the day. The camping area also has showers (long lines should always be expected), phone charging stations, and a general store. Camping also makes it easy to take breaks during the festival especially if you get a spot close to the entrance. The camping area is great if you plan on partying late into the night as well, since it offers a silent disco and almost everyone is open to meeting new people and checking out other campsites.

If you don’t want to brave the elements, there are plenty of hotels in the area although you should definitely book far in advance as rooms sell out and prices go up. Renting a condo or house either in Indio or Palm Springs is also a great option for people in large groups.

Photo credit: Koury Angelo
Photo credit: Koury Angelo


Outside of the festival there are plenty of other, often exclusive parties and events. Most of these take place during the first weekend and some take place during the week between the two festival weekends.  A lot of hotels in Indio and Palm Springs host pool parties as well. Some of the top parties last year included LED Dayclub at Hard Rock Hotel, Lacoste #LiveBeautifully, Saguaro Desert Weekender, DoOver by Adidas, and Neon Carnival. Some parties sell tickets, but many of them are invite only. All the parties for 2015 should be announced soon, so be on the lookout.

Getting Tickets

Both weekends of Coachella sold out in record time this year, and tickets have become increasingly harder to find. This has brought up tons of issues with people getting scammed. The best way to find tickets is through friends that you trust or a third party site that can verify the ticket (StubHub). You can always call the box office and confirm the number on the wristband or ticket order. It is important that the wristbands are transferred to your name so you don’t have any issues at the gate.  Weekend 1 is always the most popular so it is easier to find tickets to weekend 2.

Photo Credit: CeeJay Photography
Photo Credit: CeeJay Photography

Things to do

If you plan on spending extra time before or after the festival there is plenty of experiences to be had near the festival. The area is most well known (besides Coachella) for it’s golfing, with seemingly endless world-class courses within a short distance of the festival. Hiking is another great outdoor activity in the area and a lot of trails in the surrounding mountains provide amazing views of the valley. After the festival you’ll probably want to relax and there are plenty of spas at the resorts in Coachella Valley to ease back into reality. Overall Indio is very welcoming of visitors for the festival and it is great to check out local shops and restaurants in the area.


Don’t try to split sets-  If you come across overlapping set times (you will) choose who you want to see most or haven’t seen before. Moving between stages always takes longer than expected and you will miss out on a lot of music.

Try the food- The food options at Coachella are next level. There’s tons of options in the festival with top restaurants and food trucks from around southern California cooking up a huge variety of food.

Do Lab- Check out the Do Lab, which has it’s own area in the festival featuring upcoming artists and entertainment from fire spinning to acrobatics. They also spray water into the crowd making it a great way to cool down.

Establish a meeting spot- Don’t trust cell phone service to be reliable. Set up specific times and places for your group to meet up through out the weekend.


Photo Credit: Matt Cowan/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Matt Cowan/Getty Images

Written by FestPop Staff Writer

Chris Rozzo

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