I like to think I'm no festival novice these days. I've come a long way from my Reading & Leeds festival days where we thought we could survive solely on alcohol for four days, which we obviously didn't. Instead, we forked out more money than we'd bargained for feeding our hangovers on overpriced egg and bacon sandwiches, watching enviously as friends whipped out their camping cookers and cans of all day breakfast.
So, with that in mind and with the fact that it's Coachella next weekend, I've teamed together with H&M to bring you a guide of what to take to Coachella. The key must have is, of course, a festival pass and a plane ticket, which unfortunately I seem to be lacking. However, for all you lucky souls heading to California, here's what I recommend you pack.
Clothes & Accessories
All clothing H&M Loves Coachella*
Obviously. Although, I've heard less is more at Coachella. Also, word on the street is that the festival is just as much about looking the part as it is the music. People are there to be seen and they're all looking good - have you not seen the Vogue street style gallery?
Good news - H&M have released H&M Loves Coachella. The design team have nailed every festival look from the tassels to the flowers to the gold chain headbands. The H&M Loves Coachella pieces don't break the bank either. I picked up a pair of suede shorts for £5.99 - madness.
Unlike the unreliable weather that we face with festivals in the UK, Coachella is likely to get hot so, sunglasses are a must and it would be sensible to accessorise with a hat of some sort too. If you plan to join in the crowd and unless you want your toes, it'd be sensible to stay away from sandals too.
Native Union Switch Speaker* & Jump Charger | H&M Loves Coachella Tee* | Apple iPhone 5s
If you don't document the festival on Instagram, did it really happen? I joke but it's unlikely that you're going to leave your phone at home so make sure to take along a portable charger if you're camping. No one wants to be spending money on that when there are plenty of other things that need paying for. For those down times in the campsite, the Native Union Switch Speaker is perfect to keep the music flowing. The volume goes loud and it's another portable phone charging device too.
It's a good idea to get old school and take along a disposable camera too. No one wants to be that person standing with their phone videoing everything all night long. There's literally nothing worse than having to watch a gig through someone else's phone screen. Put them away and actually experience the music, snapping pics of you and your friends that you can forget about and cherish a couple of weeks later when you get around to developing them.
Skin Care & Cosmetics
Left: Pampers babywipes | Aesop SPF 50 suncream & deodorant | Nip & Fab leg cream* | Bumble & Bumble surf spray* | Label.M dry shampoo* | Tangle Teezer hairbrush | Superdrug hand sanitiser
Right: L'Occitane BB cream* | Benefit 'They're real' eyeliner and mascara* | Stila Stay All Day lipstick | H&M lipgloss & flower headband
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with taking products to a festival. There's always that small part of me that wants to go barefaced and free and then I look in the mirror after the three hours sleep that I've just about managed and I remember why it was totally necessary that I brought them along.
The basics are of course deodorant, sun cream, dry shampoo and anti-bac. Babywipes are a God send, as are those miniatures you can pick up of your favourite products.
When it comes to make up, the less the better. It's going to be hot and you're likely to be out all day with little access to top ups so, brave that bare face. Some BB cream will double up as a suncream, moisturiser and a foundation. Brush on a couple of coats of mascara and a thin line of eyeliner and if you really must, a bright shade of lipstick. Make sure you pick one that lasts though - I can't recommend Stila Stay All Day lipstick enough for its stay power.
Food & Drink
In between all the alcohol you might fancy getting in something a little more nutritional that isn't from a vegan stall that'll leave a burning hole in your pocket. There's heaps of things you can take with you that will last the duration of the festival that aren't crisps, baked beans and bread.
Happy Coachella - we'll all be stuck here at home, scrolling through our instagram feed, green eyed and glum.
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with H&M.