Coachella Survival Guide: 10 Tips & Tricks

We’ve filled you in on potential Coachella fashion trends, and given you inspiration with what to wear. We made a list of 10 Must-See Acts that are guaranteed to slay on stage. Your transportation is settled and your hotels are booked. Now, you just need to know the secrets to having the best festival experience ever.

1. Hydrate!!

Really, guys, it goes without saying but we need to say it anyway. Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s during Week One, and with all that dancing and grooving you’re going to be doing, your body needs proper hydration. There are refill stations around the fields for CamelBaks, so you might suggest someone in your squad bring one.

2. Wear comfortable shoes

shoes to wear to coachella

Bethany Struble / Fashion Toast

Sure, those new wedges you got are super cute and great for hot weather but NOT for Coachella. You’re going to be on your feet all day long, and probably walking 4-5 miles every day. Just choose a pair you know won’t give you blisters. Athletic shoes, comfortable boots, preferably something closed-toe. You’re going to be in a crowd of people and your toes will likely get stepped on.

3. Take a photo of your ID on your camera

There are a lot of good people out there in Coachella land, so if you lose your camera and one of those Good Samaritans finds it, they can look through your pictures and see all your contact info right there. For cell phones, this works best if you take a screenshot of your friend’s phone number and make it your lock screen so they can call them. Every year, Coachella puts a bunch of unclaimed lost-and-found items online in hopes of finding the owners. Make it easier on them by preparing for the worst.

4. Leave for the festival early every morning

coachella parking

via Flickr

Traffic can get super backed up around the Polo Fields. Even if you’re staying at a hotel or rental that’s only a few miles away, it can take upwards of two hours to reach the festival if you’re driving any time between noon – 3 p.m. So leave early! Gates open at 11 a.m. It’s totally cool to get there before then. Bring some snacks, apply sunscreen, maybe stretch?

5. Have a meeting spot and time

Your cell phone reception will be awful. Decide on a meet-up point with your group. Hopefully you can be a little more creative than meeting at the ferris wheel when the night is over (everyone meets at the ferris wheel at night, it will be hard to find your friends) so think of something else, and be specific.

6. Print out the set times

Sometimes you can find a handout of set times, but don’t count on that. It’s better to have a paper sheet that you’ve highlighted or made notes on. It’s so much easier when you have a mapped-out plan right in front of you.

7. Consider a bathing suit

coachella bathing suit

Good, Bad & Fab

OK, we don’t recommend that’s all you wear to Coachella, but it’s not the worst idea to have one on under your clothes. If you plan on hitting the glamorous pool parties beforehand, just slip something on over your suit and, if it gets too hot once you’re roaming the Polo Grounds, it’s definitely not socially unacceptable to wear your bikini as a top.

8. (But) Prepare for night

Every year, people are super shocked about how cold it gets at night. After partying all day in the heat, 50-degree weather is going to be bone-chilling. We recommend renting a locker to stow all your nighttime clothing needs (jackets, scarves, possibly jeans?) so that you can change around 6 p.m. Use this site to book a locker. It’s also a good idea if the dust is picking up. Dust storms can get really bad at night in the desert. Use a scarf, bandana or face mask or you’ll regret it the next morning when dirt is caked in your nose and throat.

9. Save your cell phone battery

There are no charging stations in the festival grounds, unless you’re a camper, so bring a portable charger if instagramming the fest is going to be that important to you. When you’re not using your phone, close all your background apps, turn off your wi-fi, and even try turning on your airplane mode. There’s not a lot of reception and your battery will drain quickly.

10. Wear a backpack (or large, comfy purse)

coachella fashion bloggers

Natalie Off Duty / via Tumblr

You don’t want anything ruining your good time at the fest. So we’ve compiled a list of essentials that you should be carrying with you at all times.

coachella survival guide

(Clockwise from top left) Lacoste wallet, gum, breath mints, keys, deodorant, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, chap stick, waterproof sunscreen, aspirin, blister band-aids, ear plugs, your cell phone, a small flashlight, cheap sunglasses, oil blotting tissues, fresh spring water spray, hair ties, bobby pins all in a Lacoste bag

The low-down:

  • Gum, mints, deodorant… These are things that will keep you smelling fresh and feeling fresh. You wouldn’t want to stand next to someone who stinks, so let’s all keep our personal hygiene on lock.
  • The porta-potties are gross. You’re stepping into a small human waste box that has been baking in 90-degree heat all day. Baby wipes and hand sanitizer will get you far.*
  • Sunblock: Don’t let your first day of the festival be your only pleasant experience. We know, you’re trying to get a good tan but sunscreen is only meant to block the most harmful rays, so lather up and you won’t be sorry tomorrow! Same goes for chapped lips.
  • Take aspirin before you go to sleep, and keep some on hand in case you need it throughout the day. Thumping bass and alcohol can mess with your head.
  • Speaking of the bass, the music can be very LOUD! Especially if you plan on getting close. Ear plugs are small enough to slip into your purse or pocket. If you think you’re too cool for ear plugs, your ears will be ringing two days after the festival. There’s some permanent hearing damage for you.
  • A small flashlight is useful for the leader of your group to hold up while walking through the crowds so that the rest of the group won’t lose site of each other.
  • Don’t bring your most expensive sunglasses to Coachella. Go for your cheapest sunnies, and you won’t be super bummed if you break or lose them.
  • Water spray may sound silly, but it’s insanely refreshing when the sun is pounding down on you.

coachella new bathrooms

*UPDATE: For the first time ever, Coachella will have real restrooms. A permanent building has been built to host 324 stalls, complete with trough-like sinks. The bathrooms can be found near the food vendors in the terrace section, and they’re open to all festival-goers.

Most of all, have fun! You’ve scored Coachella tickets and you’re going to be the envy of all your friends who are stuck at home, so bask in the moment and don’t let anyone else bring down your good time.

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One thought on “Coachella Survival Guide: 10 Tips & Tricks

  1. Vicki

    What awesome recommendations and great pics to really get me in the mood for COACHELLA!! Keep em coming

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