For the past five years, I’ve been going to one major music festival per year. It’s an amazing experience: a chance to disconnect from the digital world that I inhabit for most of the other 361 days per year; a chance to connect with a group of friends that I really value; and — of course — a chance to enjoy amazing music. But one thing it’s not? Affordable.
Music festivals have been gaining in popularity (and number) over the past decade — there are now more than 800 annual festivals in the U.S. alone. According to Eventbrite, millennial attendance of music festivals nearly doubled between 2014 and 2017 and, according to Billboard, a whopping 32 million Americans went to at least one festival over the past year. So yeah, it’s fair to say that festivals are firmly a part of our cultural milieu at the moment.
But like I said: They’re not cheap. Coachella — which unofficially kicks off the festival season and this year goes from April 13 to April 22 — costs $429 for admission. The travel experts at TravelPirates put together an estimate of how much a festivalgoer might spend to get to, stay at, and attend Coachella. They say if you allocate $350 for flights, $113 for a camping pass, $90 for food and drinks, and $50 for an airport shuttle, you can plan on spending $1,032 for Coachella. That’s about the cost of a month of rent in a major city.
Personally, I think their estimate is a little low. Plenty of people will spend more than that on flights and I can say from experience that it’s hard to resist that (overpriced) festival food. And if Coachella (or any other festival) is your thing, I absolutely get it. But there’s a lot you could do with a grand — and a lot of places you could travel.
So if you were really set on Coachella (or a similarly-priced music festival) this year and just couldn’t make it, take some joy and pleasure and this list from Travel Expert Calvin Iverson at TravelPirates of five vacations you can take for less than the cost of one weekend at Coachella.
1. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic: $699
"You can spend seven nights at an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic for $699," Iverson tells Bustle. "Not only does this cost significantly less than Coachella, it’s also all-inclusive."
2. Tokyo, Japan: $750
"You can literally fly around the world for the cost of a weekend at Coachella," Iverson says. "So allow us to be the first to tell you that for less than the price of two weekends at Coachella, you can stay in Tokyo for a week. Flights and hotels are included in this 7-night trip to Tokyo, JP for $750."
3. Phuket, Thailand: $687
"One of the trendiest destinations, topping bucket lists around the world is Thailand," Iverson says. "Phuket’s beautiful beaches and lush landscapes have made it an irresistible stop on the map. For $687 you can fly across the globe and enjoy seven nights at a four-star resort in Phuket, Thailand. We all love Indio, California, but can it really beat Thailand?"
4. San Juan, Puerto Rico: $326
"Just to show you how much more experience you can get for your money, check out this three-day weekend trip to Puerto Rico you can take for less than the price of just your ticket to Coachella," Iverson says. "This $326 trip includes round-trip flights to San Juan and three nights at the 4-star Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort."
5: Ibiza, Spain: $901
"If you’re looking for a party on the beach instead of in the desert, $901 can get you six all-inclusive nights in Ibiza. That means round-trip flights and six nights at the 4-star Occidental Resort. This all-inclusive, six-night trip rings in $132 cheaper than Coachella."
So there you have it: five fun trips that are cheaper Coachella.