HOW TO: Coachella for over 30’s

Never been to Coachella before and worried that they don’t admit access to anyone over age 25? Are you plagued with crippling doubts that you aren’t tanned enough or won’t be allowed entry due to unwillingness to glitter and publicly display the parts of your anatomy generally covered by clothing or at very least swimwear?

These are valid concerns. However, never fear. You can do this, and more importantly, you absolutely should!!! Here are a couple of tips to help.

First thing: tickets!

Standard tickets sell out about 15 seconds after they go on sale. But never fear- this doesn’t need to stop you! There is a way! If you want to camp and buy standard entry tickets you can keep an eye on the threads on the Coachella Valley Music Travel website for info. If you’re buying a hotel package, your tickets are included so you’re all set!

To camp, or to camp at the Hilton?

A lot of the articles I read when I was planning our trip had a lot of commentary suggesting that if you don’t camp at Coachella, you are skipping a rite of passage, or even cheating to a certain extent. I do get that perspective (it is really great to experience a festival that way), however I think if aren’t based in the US and potentially attending Coachella at all is a once in a lifetime kind of a thing, you should probably get extra credit for being there at all…well that was my logic anyway.

For us, travelling internationally to get there and having serious valuables with us, camping just wasn’t an option, so we did the next closest thing and shared a room at the Hilton Palm Springs.

I would highly recommend it (the Hilton I mean, although room sharing was pretty fun too!).┬á With all that dust, a high pressure shower is a very valuable asset. Also, the desert heat means pool access is a major plus! The pool party at the Hilton was also great, and had some really handy freebies (for example people that would braid and glitter your hair). Having said that, I’m sure any of the hotels would be great as a home base to freshen up.

Getting to Palm Springs

Head out the day before to avoid all of the traffic drama. I can highly recommend renting a car and spending a night before Coachella kicks off either around Joshua Tree National Park area or in Palm Springs itself, it is great to have a home base the night before to not feel rushed on the first day of Coachella.

Joshua Tree is a really beautiful place to visit, with lots of art, vintage stores, beautiful hikes in the national parks and importantly, excellent local bars worth checking out! There are some great air bnb options in the Joshua Tree area, and the Palm Springs/Indio area has plenty of hotels also.

The hotels only let you check in at 4pm, by which time you probably want to be in the gates on Day 1. So having a place in the morning to actually get ready properly means that even if you are switching hotel as long as you have what you need at the top of your bag for when you roll into the hotel after Coachella day 1, you are sorted. Screwing around and getting ready in a public hotel restroom or out the side of your rental car seems like it would be painful.

Plan your strategy for seeing as many acts as you can

Seeing as the lineup is out, you’ll already know who you really want to see. One of the best tips I saw was to put people in categories to help you prioritise, because you’re probably going to have a clash somewhere across the 3 days where 2 acts you want to see will be on at the same time.

TIP: It gets HOT in the sun (think 40 degrees celsius) and you could be standing in it for quite a while!

Just leaving this here, because, well, Beychella. Clearly I was too busy having the time of my life to nail photography in this moment, my bad.

A couple of other tips……

*Book a locker as early as possible, it’s worth it to have a stash of stuff on site (sunscreen, warm clothes for when the temperature drops inexplicably at night to below 10 degrees Celsius etc)

*Have a bag with you that won’t interfere with dancing but that will still be secure (think bumbag, backpack or crossbody bag) for emergency supplies of water & Hydralyte, sunscreen, snacks, money, etc.

*The Coachella app – download it asap, it will keep you updated and has helpful info for planning your schedule

*Don’t rely on having phone reception. Make plans to meet friends at specific times and places. And have a backup. Maybe 2.

*Clothes. Whatever you decide to wear, just make sure it’s comfortable to walk 20 kilometres in and dance for 10 hours, because both of those are likely. Coachella is definitely an anything goes environment, so embrace it! It’s not a judgement zone so dress to have fun, be comfortable and of course dance

*Get the shuttle pass. Basically, pay for anything that means you don’t have to use your brain. You’ve been working for long enough to afford it. Hand over your money. Just do it. If you’re booking a hotel package this will be included anyway.

*Recovery Day – Don’t be crazy. Extend your stay in Palm Springs (or wherever you decide to stay) for a day to a) dodge the crowd leaving town b) not have to check out when your body will be feeling like you have run seven marathons c) actually get to enjoy the area!

A couple of articles I found really helpful are below (and a shoutout to their authors for the tips!):

50 pro tips

Coachella Field Guide

Travel Grom’s Coachella tips & tricks

And this thread in particular on the Coachella forum had so much information to make the list making nerd inside me very very happy!!

We came, We Coachella’d, We conquered!

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Travel: 7 Ways to Travel in New York

New York City is a bustling metropolis with 1.6 million people populating the 87.5km2 Manhattan island alone. With so much to see on Manhattan alone, it can be intimidating to work out how to get from point A to point B while getting the most out of the experience along the way. Whilst most people who have lived in NYC their entire lives probably still haven’t seen everything there is to see, with some strategy and a few hot tips you can plan out your trip to make the most of your adventure!

Hop on Hop off bus

This is a great way to get a fairly quick but inclusive tour of Manhattan. These tours are great options for Day 1 or Day 2 of your trip to get a feel for the hustle and bustle of the city and all of it’s sights, smells, and sounds!! It also helps you to get an idea for places you may like to spend more time at, and even more of a bonus, it will take you past some places you may be happy to see from a bus, check off your list, and keep going onto the next thing (more time for shopping/Cosmos, etc!!).

There are a couple of main companies that run these buses, and with stops all around the city, if you strategically plan your accommodation to be near one of the drop off points you can save some $$ in taxi and subway fares as well

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NYC Yellow Taxi

The iconic New York experience -an absolute must (mostly for logistical reasons!), the cabs are reasonably priced and the drivers vary from insulting and offensive to knowledgeable and friendly! Worth it for the experience factor. Just pretend you are Carrie headed off to hook up with Big and jump on in (although if you are off to meet Big he really should have sent his driver, he is off his game).

Hot tip: Make sure you check out google maps before you get in a cab to make sure the traffic is headed in the direction you are wanting to go. With so many 1 way streets and heavy traffic, walking one block across can save you lots of $$$ for minimal effort (also, #exercise).

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Uber

Another cheap option to get around – if you don’t have the Uber app set up, all you need to do is download it, set up your details and use the app to order an Uber to your location based on your phone’s GPS. They send a text to let you know your car details, how far away it is, auto charge your credit card and send you a receipt! The Uber app also gets you to rate your driver, which tends to keep the cars clean and the drivers polite! Happy days.

Subway

Another iconic NYC experience, the subway system is comprehensive, efficient, and cheap. Use the subway to zip all over Manhattan, or if you are feeling more adventurous jump on the subway and head over to Brooklyn or beyond (channel your inner Dan Humphries).

Hot tip: Look for accommodation close to subway, and check out their multi trip/weekly options depending on how long you are in the city.

Hotter tip: For motivation on why you should ride the subway, check out the @hotdudesreading instagram account where you will find some VERY inspiring reasons ­čśë

Water Taxi

After you have braved the subway over to Brooklyn and checked out Dumbo, grab a shake at the Shake Shack, get some epic pics of the Brooklyn bridge and jump on a water taxi for some amazing views of the city, and some wind in your hair. With the US flags on the back this was a really fun way to see a different side of the city.

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You can then enjoy the ride for a few stops and hop back off on Manhattan.

Hot tip: The water taxis go most of the way around the island so definitely consider them if you are heading to or from another borough to mix it up from the subway.

Helicoptor tour of Manhattan

For the experience of a lifetime, head on down to the heli port at the south end of Manhattan where you will take off into the skies to have your mind blown.

For a first timer on a chopper, I spent the entire time gaping at view. Central Park from the air was a particular highlight, the contrast of the city and the park are quite simply incredible. The  September 11 memorial is another particularly memorable view.

If you are going to spend up on a transport option, this one is pretty special, just make sure to take it all in and not spend the whole time taking photos!!

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Circle Line Ferry

Circle Line Ferrys have been featured in hundreds of movies (think How to Lose a Guy in 10 days where they go over to visit the family) and is yet another must do. Personally the trip over was enough for me to check out the Statue of Liberty, I just turned on back around and headed back to the island! Lots of great photo opps of the statue and the island from the water.

Cold tip: If you are heading to NYC in winter, there are 3 relevant words for this ferry trip. LAYERS and FACE PROTECTION!!! The wind rips through you and brings the temp down ten degrees, instigating all sorts of frozen hands/selfie sticks/iphone loss fail situations. So layerr up and keep your tech close!

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