How to travel to Coachella in style
By Aimee Heckel
There are already so many decisions to consider when you attend the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that takes place mid-April. Dropkick Murphys? La Roux? Red Hot Chili Peppers? Social D? Wait, is that Paul Oakenfield on the lineup? OK, maybe you can somehow catch them all.
With all that music scheduling, figuring out the logistics of how to get there and where to stay is probably the last thing on your mind. Let us do the dirty work for you (while listening to some old-school Social Distortion to set the mood, of course).
Here’s the low-down on how to travel to Coachella comfortably and in style.
Know where you’re going. Coachella is held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. (That’s in Coachella Valley, go figure). It’s deep in the California desert — an “unexpected desert oasis,” the Polo Club calls it — so expect temps to be extreme, sometimes hitting 100 degrees, yes, even in April.
Pack well. Know the weather predictions and plan accordingly. Dress in layers. Bring
things to cool you down, like cold packs and fans. Bring things to keep you feeling fresh, like deodorant and face wipes. Must-haves: sunscreen, toilet paper, any medications you might need, water, food and snacks and camping gear, if applicable. Also consider bringing ear plugs, Band-Aids for your feet, a cooler and comfortable shoes.
Don’t stay in a hotel, according to the the blog changchangtravels.wordpress.com. It’s not worth the extra costs and it separates you from the rest of the festival action. “Grunge it up, mingle with your kind and don’t be a pansy,” the site advises in an post called “How to Survive Coachella Music Festival.”
Go camping as a way to save money — but be prepared for a busy campground. (That’s the full festival experience, right?) Last year, more than 17,000 people (ages 18 and older) camped out. Coachella turns a nearby polo field into a campground, complete with a store, showers, phone charging stations and even an Internet cafe with WiFi.
Make sure you know the rules of the campground (and have a festival pass; otherwise, you’ll get the boot). Bring your own tent, and “you can have as many people camp in your spot as you can comfortably fit,” the website notes. Um, is that a challenge?
Another fun idea is to stay in a Lake Eldorado spot, where you’ll find a pitched and ready to go safari-style tent with four cots or — even better — a teepee with two cots.
Consider buying a travel package through Valley Music Travel. If you aren’t a fan of camping — not even cot camping in a pre-pitched teepee, Valley Music can hook you up with hotel deals. Three nights at the La Quina Resort and Club for two people starts at $3,249. This comes with three-day passes, shuttle transportation between the hotel and festival and taxes. Upgrade to VIP status and get access to VIP lounge and shade tents with a VIP-only bar, exclusive food vendors and “comfort stations.”