Surviving Coachella: 10 Essential Tips

Surviving Coachella

My 10 Essential Tips

coachella tips

Festival season is hereeeee y’all! I’ve been to over 10 festivals in the past 3 years & was lucky enough to go to Coachella in 2017. I’m such an extreme planner & do my research before any festival- weather, things to do, things to avoid, what to bring. If you’re like me and wanna plan ahead, here are some tips that helped me enjoy my time in the desert.

1. Bring a bandana and sunglasses- seriously. Do NOT forget them.

Everyone knows Coachella is in the desert. While I thought bandanas were only used for fashion, I was proved horribly wrong. Indio is SO SO SO dusty. I failed to bring a bandana and the first day, within the first few hours, I developed this nasty/raspy voice due to all the dirt being kicked up and breathed in. They even have a name for this- the “Coachella cough”.

Bring sunglasses and wear them the entire time too- the dust will do the same to your eyes. I would even say bring an extra pair in case your main ones break or get lost- this happens all the time at festivals!

2. Designate a “lost” meeting spot.

Find and establish a meeting spot for when you or your friends ever get lost. Ours was the big ferris wheel.

Festivals have absolutely no reception due to the high volume of people- even the best phone services won’t work. By creating a “lost” spot, you’ll be able to find your friends in the massive crowds.

3. Download the app and plan your days BEFORE you get into the festival.

Again- there’s absolutely no phone service. It’s also super loud and hectic once you step foot into the festival, so it’s best to plan your days (set-times) before you arrive. We had a group of about 20 people when we went, so what we did was take a group vote of which sets to go to, arrange the schedule on the app, and then enjoy!

We also set alarms on our phones whenever it was time to move on to another set so we weren’t late because it’s easy to lose track of time when you’re vibin! (Example: Kendrick is on at 10:30 PM, set an alarm for 10:15 to leave SZA’s performance and walk over to Kendrick)

4. Bring an empty plastic water bottle

If you don’t wanna pay for expensive water- bring an empty **plastic** water bottle. Do not bring those thermal/insulated or glass bottles- they are not allowed. They’ll throw them away at the gate.

We brought bags with bladders in them (Camelbacks). They have free water-refill stations inside the festival. Again you’re in the desert- I highly, highly advise you to drink water throughout the day.

5. Bring sunblock

Desert= lots of sun. There’s barely any shade at Coachella. And if there is, people are fighting for it. Bring sunblock! Or you’ll look like Larry the Lobster after the first day. Aerosol (spray) sunscreen isn’t allowed at the gate by the way, only cream.

6. Bring a portable charger

There are charging stations there but they’re away from all the stages- so if you don’t wanna miss out on the fun- bring a portable charger!

I’ve had multiple brands and this one is my favorite. It can charge up to TWO dead phones all the way to 100% and has lasted for years (all my other ones gave out after a few months). This one is also way cheaper than the rest- only $37 (as opposed to the $100+ ones).

You can get it here: (click pic to take you to link)

7. Choose air-conditioned shuttles

There are shuttles with air-conditioning and ones without. The ride to & from the festival is a solid 45 minutes, so you definitely wanna take the ones with air-conditioning or you’ll be completely drenched by the time you get to the gates.

Unfortunately these shuttles aren’t labeled, so to determine which ones are air-conditioned you’d have to actually step onto the bus (and then if it’s not air-conditioned, simply ask to step off). Thank me later!


The year we went a friend of ours, along with 20 other people, got their phones stolen in one swipe by a pick-pocketer. Yes, all in one swipe meaning he stole 20 phones in under a minute, all at once. There are PLENTY of pick-pocketers that go to Coachella solely to steal believe it or not.

Every year I’ve personally known a handful of people who’ve gotten stuff stolen literally from their back pockets. Keep your phone in front of you, deep in your zipped bag, or just in your hands. You don’t want your whole ‘Chella experience ruined because of a thief.

9. Wear closed-toe shoes

Your toes will get dragged to hell and back. They’ll not only look dusty, but there’s a 99.9999% chance they’ll get stepped on in the crowd- repeatedly.

Also for my female first-timers- wear comfy shoes. You’ll be walking around all day and trust me, your feet will hurt. Do not wear anything heeled- not even wedged heels.

Also good to know: My friend wore sandals one year and got blisters from all the walking- so now her trick is to put band-aids on the corners of her toes (where they meet the sandal) to avoid getting those. See picture below (in the red) is where she tapes her feet. Works like a charm.

10. Bring Ca$h

Cash is the way to go. A trick of mine to not over-spend: pull out cash and ration it throughout the 3-days. Only bring a set amount per day into the festival with you.

I brought $50 a day when I went and left my cards at the hotel. This is a good trick if you’re the overly-friendly type of drunk and act like Oprah “you get a drink! You get a drink! You ALL get drinks!”

Also, ATM fees at the festival are expensive and they add up.

That wraps up my top 10 tips to enjoy Coachella! Have fun and be safe everyone! Below are some pics from 2017 hehe 😉

coachella tips

If you’re interested in packing hacks, go to my post [here].

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