New Orleans is one of the most popular destinations in the United States. It has history, culture, and some of the best food you will ever eat, from Jazz to The French Quarter. The atmosphere here is electric. It is an anything-goes place where you will feel transported to a different time. A trip here can get pretty expensive, but this guide will help you save money on flights, parking and hotels to enjoy all New Orleans offers without breaking the bank.
How to save money on flights
If you plan to fly, I have a few tips to help keep costs down.
- Travel during the off-season, during the winter months. This helps you save money because fewer people are traveling then, so airlines can charge less for their flights and hotels can charge lower rates for their rooms.
- Check for cheaper flights on different days of the week than what you are currently looking at (i.e., instead of only checking Friday through Monday flights, check Tuesday through Thursday as well). You might find something significantly cheaper than you originally planned to buy!
How to save money on parking
In New Orleans, parking can be a considerable expense. If you are staying in a hotel, expect to pay around $35 per day for parking. The cost of parking at the airport varies based on which terminal you are flying from and how far out you are willing to drive before dropping off your car (and paying for another ride back).
The same goes for hotels in the French Quarter—they range from $15-$30/day, depending on location and amenities. If you do stay in this area, consider monthly parking in New Orleans; paying for parking by the month can be significantly cheaper than paying by the day. It is worth checking the prices to make a comparison. If all else fails, take public transportation instead to make your trip more affordable (and more authentic).
How to save money on a hotel
If you plan to stay in a hotel, you can follow these steps to ensure you get the best possible deal.
- Use a travel site – Travel sites like Expedia, TripAdvisor, and Kayak can help you find the best deals on hotels in New Orleans. You can also use these sites to see what kind of discount codes or promos are available for each hotel before making your reservation.
- Ask for a discount – When booking online, try asking the hotel if they have any special offers that aren’t listed on their website. Hotels often offer exclusive discounts if you book directly with them rather than through an online travel site.
- Try Airbnb or other vacation rentals instead of staying at a traditional hotel. These are typically much cheaper than traditional hotels and allow for more flexibility in where you go since there is no curfew.
- If this doesn’t work out for whatever reason, consider looking into hostels instead because they tend to be much cheaper than most other options available while still providing decent amenities such as Wi-Fi access and clean bathrooms!
How to save money at a restaurant
If you are dining at a restaurant, ask if they have any specials that night. You can also search online to see if coupons or discounts are available to print off and bring. Some restaurants even offer free meals on certain days of the week! It never hurts to ask!
If there is nothing special at your favorite restaurant, check out some online discount websites such as Groupon and Living Social. These sites offer deals from many restaurants in New Orleans, so chances are good that you will find something that interests you if you take the time to look around! Most of these deals will be purchased online, so take advantage of these great savings opportunities because they might sell out quickly when demand is high enough.
How to save money when you get there
While you are in New Orleans, there are some things that you can do to save money. For example, if you are staying for a week or longer, consider renting a car and driving around the city. Taking public transportation is another way of saving money on your trip; the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) offers discounted fares for students and seniors over 65. If all else fails and you have no other option but to take a cab, try using Uber or Lyft instead of traditional taxi services like Taxicab Bureau Inc. They will charge less.
Additionally, taking advantage of thrift stores may help save money on clothes. A few places worth checking out include Goodwill Industries International Headquarters, which has locations throughout Louisiana, and Value Village Stores, where clothing prices begin at just 99 cents.
You might need to invest more time than usual, but you can still have a fantastic vacation in New Orleans without spending much money.
If you want to save money during your New Orleans vacation, you can do so without skimping on the fun. Here are some tips for saving money on a trip to New Orleans:
- Plan ahead and look for deals. Unfortunately, many people come to New Orleans without planning their trip in advance, which can mean spending more than necessary on things like flights and hotels. However, if you plan and book well in advance, your flight may be cheaper than booking closer to departure time. Similarly, booking hotels early also helps ensure they are available when needed, especially during peak season (which lasts from late spring through early fall).
I hope you are inspired to make your next trip to New Orleans one that does not break the bank. I know it can be easy to feel discouraged when you look at all the tourist traps and think that you cannot afford to go on vacation, but with these tips in mind, I hope you can find a way! And remember: do not let finances stop you from exploring somewhere new—plenty of fun activities await you outside of Bourbon Street.