#1 Posted by friendlypossum (81 posts) -

Hey Duders!

Im heading to the US for Coachella next year and just wanted some advice. Im travelling with 3 mates and after the festival (or before I suppose) we wanted to do a road trip. We were thinking maybe Texas up the east coast to NYC then fly across to the festival (or the see the show, fly to Texas). Any better ideas? All suggestions welcome. We will have about a month all up to play with.

Thanks guys!

#2 Posted by EVO (3901 posts) -

Doing that in a month is pushing it. I did a road trip from San Francisco to NYC in six weeks, and that was barely enough.

#3 Posted by YoThatLimp (1906 posts) -

@evo said:

Doing that in a month is pushing it. I did a road trip from San Francisco to NYC in six weeks, and that was barely enough.

I drove from Chicago to LA and back through yellowstone in 12 days ~5000 miles, they have more than enough time.

#4 Posted by MB (12377 posts) -

I went to Coachella five times. It's both the best time you'll ever have, and the worst. Book your hotel rooms now if you haven't already, because every hotel, motel, and chicken coop in Indio and the surrounding areas will be completely booked months in advance of the event. One year we had to stay all the way out at the Morongo Casino, which was great but it was a long ass drive and a major pain to deal with at midnight or 1am when you're dead tired from being in the sun all day.

Speaking of the sun, it can get brutally hot in the Southern California desert during the summer. Some years it got up to 115 degrees. Bring sunscreen and stay hydrated. Make sure you have enough funds to cover all of the food and drinks you're going to need, because those days are long, food & drink is expensive, and there is no possible way you'll be able to leave the Polo Field once you're at the event. There are just too many people and cars and everything is too far away. Bring a canteen or a camelbak so you can refill it with water - bottled water is $2 which sounds alright, but if it's hot - and I promise you it will be - you're going to be going through a lot of water, and those little 16oz bottles won't last you long. You don't want to have to make too many trips back and forth to the refill stations especially if you've staked out a good spot for an upcoming show.

As far as hydration - I know this may sound like common sense, but do not underestimate the desert heat and what it can do you to. Every year an ambulance shows up about once a day to take someone to the hospital, usually for heat exhaustion and/or dehydration. Try to keep the alcohol consumption to a minimum while you're at the show - save it for afterwards. Not only is it expensive, but alcohol will dehydrate you even further and you're going to be struggling to drink enough water as it is.

I strongly encourage you to join the Coachella message boards and talk to people in the months leading up to your trip, there are a lot of helpful people over there and you can also join some meetups for travelers and things like that. Bring in extra sunscreen, lip balm, ear plugs, stuff like that. You're going to need it and there are always people around you that forgot theirs, too. You can get a big case of disposable Ear Plugs in plastic wrappers for so cheap, just stuff a bunch in your pockets and take them into the show with you. I promise you that there are always going to be people standing next to you with their fingers in their ears or covering them up with something due to the volume, it's a great way to break the ice and meet people and it will be well appreciated while costing you very little.

Hm what else...there's a lot. I strongly encourage you and your friends to designate an easy to find central meeting location in the event you get split up. This used to be more of a problem in past years than recently, but cell service can be spotty since there are so many people and everyone is streaming video or audio, texting, calling, and the like. At one point one year I wasn't getting texts until two hours after they were sent, so it will help to have a backup plan that doesn't involve cell phones in the event that service isn't available.

Happy to answer questions about Coachella and California in general if you have them. It really is a great time, just make sure you're prepared and all will be fine!

Moderator
#5 Posted by EVO (3901 posts) -

@evo said:

Doing that in a month is pushing it. I did a road trip from San Francisco to NYC in six weeks, and that was barely enough.

I drove from Chicago to LA and back through yellowstone in 12 days ~5000 miles, they have more than enough time.

Sure, it's doable. But not if you wanna spend meaningful time at each location. You could easily spend 2 weeks in California alone.

#6 Posted by Corvak (1062 posts) -

From my experience with big events in the US (mostly gaming and anime cons) - their mobile networks simply can't handle the load, and the roaming fees are insane. I've also run into a lot of dead zones, even inside major cities. The US has cheaper service than we do in Canada, but i'm learning that maybe there is a reason for that.

For a long stay like that, you will want to buy some prepaid phones to use while there, especially if you're taking long road trips, in case you get stuck with car failure or something - the US has torn out a lot of payphones recently, because smartphones are so common here.

Road trips are great - Google Maps is a huge help for planning them - but don't trust their traffic estimates if you're going into major cities. Always have some extra time in your schedule just in case you get held up, you don't want to get into a situation of having to drive hundreds of miles overnight to make a flight in the morning.

#7 Edited by Counterclockwork87 (662 posts) -

Sounds like an awesome idea but I hope you realize how far it is from Texas to NYC. It's a massive distance and it will take up a lot of your time. Before you hit the East Coast there will also probably be a lot of nothing to drive through. The flight from NY to LA is pretty long as well though doable. Sounds like a cool idea just be prepared for the difficulty. NYC is probably the hardest populated place in America to drive so it can be easy to get overwhelmed once you're there.

#8 Posted by friendlypossum (81 posts) -

Sounds like an awesome idea but I hope you realize how far it is from Texas to NYC. It's a massive distance and it will take up a lot of your time. Before you hit the East Coast there will also probably be a lot of nothing to drive through. The flight from NY to LA is pretty long as well though doable. Sounds like a cool idea just be prepared for the difficulty. NYC is probably the hardest populated place in America to drive so it can be easy to get overwhelmed once you're there.

Yeah I realise its a long way, I just wanted an epic road trip of some sort. We look like we will drive to Chicago instead from Texas....it looks like its only about 13 hours....then fly to NYC.

#9 Edited by friendlypossum (81 posts) -

@mb said:

I went to Coachella five times. It's both the best time you'll ever have, and the worst. Book your hotel rooms now if you haven't already, because every hotel, motel, and chicken coop in Indio and the surrounding areas will be completely booked months in advance of the event. One year we had to stay all the way out at the Morongo Casino, which was great but it was a long ass drive and a major pain to deal with at midnight or 1am when you're dead tired from being in the sun all day.

Speaking of the sun, it can get brutally hot in the Southern California desert during the summer. Some years it got up to 115 degrees. Bring sunscreen and stay hydrated. Make sure you have enough funds to cover all of the food and drinks you're going to need, because those days are long, food & drink is expensive, and there is no possible way you'll be able to leave the Polo Field once you're at the event. There are just too many people and cars and everything is too far away. Bring a canteen or a camelbak so you can refill it with water - bottled water is $2 which sounds alright, but if it's hot - and I promise you it will be - you're going to be going through a lot of water, and those little 16oz bottles won't last you long. You don't want to have to make too many trips back and forth to the refill stations especially if you've staked out a good spot for an upcoming show.

As far as hydration - I know this may sound like common sense, but do not underestimate the desert heat and what it can do you to. Every year an ambulance shows up about once a day to take someone to the hospital, usually for heat exhaustion and/or dehydration. Try to keep the alcohol consumption to a minimum while you're at the show - save it for afterwards. Not only is it expensive, but alcohol will dehydrate you even further and you're going to be struggling to drink enough water as it is.

I strongly encourage you to join the Coachella message boards and talk to people in the months leading up to your trip, there are a lot of helpful people over there and you can also join some meetups for travelers and things like that. Bring in extra sunscreen, lip balm, ear plugs, stuff like that. You're going to need it and there are always people around you that forgot theirs, too. You can get a big case of disposable Ear Plugs in plastic wrappers for so cheap, just stuff a bunch in your pockets and take them into the show with you. I promise you that there are always going to be people standing next to you with their fingers in their ears or covering them up with something due to the volume, it's a great way to break the ice and meet people and it will be well appreciated while costing you very little.

Hm what else...there's a lot. I strongly encourage you and your friends to designate an easy to find central meeting location in the event you get split up. This used to be more of a problem in past years than recently, but cell service can be spotty since there are so many people and everyone is streaming video or audio, texting, calling, and the like. At one point one year I wasn't getting texts until two hours after they were sent, so it will help to have a backup plan that doesn't involve cell phones in the event that service isn't available.

Happy to answer questions about Coachella and California in general if you have them. It really is a great time, just make sure you're prepared and all will be fine!

Lots to think about, thanks heaps! Can you get short term mobile plans in the US? Like can I join up for just a month?

#10 Edited by Andorski (5307 posts) -

@friendlypossum: Check your wireless carrier to see if they have international plans. My carrier lets me sign up for international plans a month at a time (although the rate is ridiculously high). You can also buy a cheap pre-paid phone once you get to the US, but I'm guessing getting an international plan from your current provider will probably be cheaper.

Adding to what @mb said (I've been to Coachella three times; going first weekend next year too).

  1. Coachella has free refill stations around the field if you ever need water. It might not be ice cold like the water you buy or the water you bring yourself, but it will always be available in case you need it (although there might be long lines for it, especially inbetween set times).
  2. You should have booked your hotel room once you got the tickets. Hotels around Indio, CA fill up fast and they shoot up in price immediately. When looking at places, you might find something that is only a 10 minute freeway ride to the event, but when coming back home after the headliner that 10 minute freeway ride turns into an hour ride back home. My friends and I have gotten into the habit of getting the same house we rent for next year's Coachella the day after the past Coachella ends. So make sure you get on that ASAP.
  3. Always have a lighter with you, even if you don't smoke. Great way to meet new people who are asking others for a lighter.
  4. If you are going with a big group, I recommend an app called GroupMe. Instead of burning through your text messages, it uses the internet to create a chatroom for everyone in your group to talk together. Also, your reception is going to go to shit once you get in there. So I would advise your group to always timestap any texts they send. You might be trying to meet someone in a crowd and they texted you they would be next to the soundstage; the problem is that they sent that message 30 minutes ago and now they are somewhere else entirely.