Planning a vacation to New Orleans, Louisiana, is exciting because there is so much to do, food to eat, and drinks to have! Not only is it a wonderful town to have a great time, but the history and architecture are unique.
In New Orleans, you will experience a melting pot of French, Spanish, Vietnamese, and West African cultures. These influences are found in food, music, and culture.
The first thing you need to know about planning a vacation to New Orleans – is how much this thing will cost me.
From inexpensive snacks like beignets and pralines to three-course meals at some of the oldest restaurants in America – knowing how much a trip to New Orleans will cost is a must.
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How much is a trip to New Orleans?
A trip to New Orleans lasts five days and four nights, and depending on which season you visit, the cost of the trip will vary. A trip in the fall will cost $1,600 per person with flights, hotel, food, and activities planned.
When is the best time to visit New Orleans?
The best time to visit New Orleans is February to May and October to December. During these months, the weather is more relaxed, and festivals are in full swing. By avoiding the Summer months, you do not need to worry about a hurricane ruining your vacation.
How much money do I need for New Orleans?
Flights and hotels are the most expensive part of a trip to New Orleans. Depending on how many activities, food, and drink you plan to participate in in New Orleans, La, you should budget for $171-$235 per person per day. New Orleans is not where you want to say no to food or drink.
Should I bring Cash to New Orleans?
Even though most places accept credit cards and you can easily find ATMs in every neighborhood, you should bring around $50 in cash daily. If you are attending a festival in New Orleans, $100 cash daily is recommended.
Is New Orleans expensive?
New Orleans is not an expensive town to visit. Hotels average $100-$200 a night, and you can easily spend less than $20 a meal in Crescent City and still get an excellent meal. New Orleans offers many free and cheap activities, including free festivals.
Do I need Travel Insurance to go to New Orleans?
New Orleans is a great place to travel, but accidents can happen before and during a trip. If your trip is during Mardi Gras, another large festival, or hurricane season – it is highly advisable to get travel insurance to cover any unforeseen canceled activities
Flight costs to New Orleans
Many major airlines travel to New Orleans, including Delta, Southwest, and Spirit Airlines. Flights can cost anywhere from $59-311 for a one-way ticket.
When planning a flight to New Orleans, make sure you book your ticket well in advance if you plan on coming for Mardi Gras or one of the major festivals. I tend to secure around $150 for a one-way ticket when traveling.
Example of flights for November 1-5, 2022. All prices are subject to change.
|Airline||From LGA||From ATL||From LAX|
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Hotel costs in New Orleans
After flights, hotels are the next expensive item to account for when booking your New Orleans trip. When booking a hotel, you want to ensure you are in a safe neighborhood and can walk to some of your destinations.
I tend to pay for hotels that are less than $150 a night and try to use points for hotels that are higher than $150 a night.
During the fall, you can bank on hotels costing around $200 a night. That price will spike up during home Saints Games, large festivals, and Holidays like Labor Day and Halloween.
If you are looking to relax in a higher-end hotel, these are the hotels I suggest staying in. They are all centrally located and offer something for each of the patrons.
Example of hotels for November 1-5, 2022. All prices are subject to change.
|Hotel||King Bed||2 Queen Beds||Price Per night|
Looking to spend a little less on a hotel but not comfortable with a hostel-style environment? These moderate hotels are perfect for two people traveling together.
Example of hotels for November 1-5, 2022. All prices are subject to change.
|Hotel||King Bed||2 Queen Beds||Price Per Night|
|New Orleans Marriott||$1,094||$1,094||$273|
|Hotel Indigo, Garden District||$917||$1,051||$246|
Vacation rentals and generally frowned upon in New Orleans due to the predatory nature of the companies that own the houses.
If you want to rent a Vacation Rental, please note that none of the rentals are legal within the French Quarter. It is better to rent a house where the landlord is close by or next door.
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Transportation Budget in New Orleans
Getting around New Orleans without a car is not a big deal – we recommend that you ditch the car! But if you are driving, you must park your car somewhere. The average price of parking a vehicle at a hotel in New Orleans is $44 per night.
|Hotel||Price To Park per night|
|New Orleans Marriott||$50|
|Hotel Indigo, Garden District||$30|
|The average price to park at a hotel||$44.54|
Getting around New Orleans, La, by foot or rideshare is the best to see the town. Most of the time, tourists stick to the French Quarter and surrounding areas. Besides the ride to and from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, an Uber can cost anywhere between $8-15 for a one-way ride.
Walking, on the other hand, is free! Just make sure you pack some excellent walking shoes to get around town.
Example of transportation for November 1-5, 2022. All prices are subject to change.
|Mode of Transportation||One Ride||One Day||Three Days|
Food Budget in New Orleans
Food is one thing in the budget that you do not want to skimp on! You can quickly get breakfast and lunch for less than $20 and dinner for less than $35 at most restaurants and come away with a delicious meal.
Even though you can quickly eat your way through New Orleans on cheap eats and poboys, there are some classic New Orleans restaurants you need to check out. When visiting New Orleans, La, I suggest scheduling at least one fancy brunch, lunch or dinner into your itinerary and taking in a leisure lunch.
There are also a number of dishes that you need to try while in New Orleans, you can learn about them in this New Orleans Food Bucket List Post.
Examples of popular foods
|9 Popular Dishes||Price|
|Boiled Crawfish (5 lbs)||$17|
|1/2 Fried Seafood Platter||$39|
Alcohol Budget in New Orleans
Alcohol is another one of those items that you do not want to skip. If you do not drink, you can skip over this section!
New Orleans is home to many classic cocktails and has an open container law which means you can take your drink and walk around any street – as long as it is not in a glass and you are over 21.
New Orleans is home to hundreds of bars, many of which are top-notch bars to get a cocktail or two. Make sure you are not just sipping on hurricanes and driving through daquiris (even though both cocktails are so much fun) but also trying out some of the best cocktail bars in the city.
Happy hour is another great way to ensure you budget for your booze. My Favorite happy hour off of Bourbon Street is Brennan’s. During happy hour, 2 pm – 7 pm, Monday-Friday, you can enjoy select cocktails and appetizers for $7 each.
|Popular Alcoholic Beverages||Price|
|Ramos Gin Fizz||$14|
Entertainment budget in New Orleans
Entertainment is a flexible budget category. I would budget at least $50 a day to explore areas of town outside of eating and drinking. There are so many free things to do in New Orleans that $50 is mainly if you want to visit a museum, tour, or do other paid events.
You could easily spend your whole time in New Orleans, La looking for Instagrammabe places or Murals while enjoying street musicians and not spending a dime on museums or tours.
A few free walking tours operate by donations only and are an excellent way to explore the city. I highly suggest $10 an hour per person for these donation-only tours if you found them helpful.
|Activity or Tour||Average Price|
|City Sightseeing Tour||$20|
|Go City Pass||$59|
|Longue Vue House and Gardens||$25|
|Mardi Gras World||$22|
|New Orleans Museum of Art||$15|
|Oak Alley Plantation Tour||$28|
|World War II Museum||$32|
|Average Price of tours||$25|
Souvenirs from your New Orleans Vacation
I am not one to buy souvenirs for other people when I go on trips, and when I buy something as a souvenir, it is usually something unique or edible. New Orleans, La, is full of cheap, made in china souvenir shops – but there are a few gems out there!
Local Art Work – There are many local artists all over New Orleans – if you see any art piece that speaks to you – and your space for it – buy it! Many tourists purchase pieces from the artists around Jackson Square. You never know if you are investing in a work of art that you might appreciate in later years.
Pralines – I have a weakness for pralines. Even though the incidents for a Praline are simple, I have never been able to perfect them. Buy a dozen or so to bring home an snack on when you get home – you will thank me late.
Postcards– Send a postcard to yourself! Sending a postcard might seem silly, but it is so much fun to buy a postcard and send it to yourself. You can write a fun story about the trip that you want to remember the trip by. A Few days after your vacation, the postcard will arrive, and you can relive those memories.
Beignet Mix– If you are a good cook, get a box of beignet mix! Luckily, I live close to a few beignet places, so I’ve never had to make them. But in college, my friends and I tried to make beignets, which was unsuccessful. But grab a box of beignet mix, and you will love it.
King Cake– Bring home a king cake (only if you are traveling between Jan 6-Mardi Gras Day) and enjoy it after your trip. King cakes freeze pretty well and are considered a carry on you fly home!
Finish Planning your vacation to New Orleans, la
A trip to the Big Easy needs to be on everyone’s Bucket List. If the price of hotels and flights are not within budget, try going during a shoulder season (primarily summer). The cost of the flights and hotels will make up for the awful Heat and Humidity.
New Orleans can quickly be done on a budget.
Your New Orleans Budget
I recently did a four-day staycation with my sister for a conference, and we could enjoy many things in the city. Over four days, the two of us spent $1,757.43 on hotel, food, drink, souvenirs, experiences, and transportation.
Even though our staycation was more on the expensive side – we had two fancier dinners while we were enjoying New Orleans. The prices below are the average prices that are spent in New Orleans. Of course, those will be an additional cost if you want to do other tours or road trips.
New Orleans is the perfect place to come when you are on a budget.
If you plan your trip, use point, or come during one of the year’s cheaper items, you can get your budget well below the $220 I spent a day.
New Orleans Travel Agents
Are you looking for a New Orleans local to plan your Trip to New Orleans?
Look no further than Sunset Chasers to create the perfect New Orleans Vacation package. The sisters are New Orleans Natives and can help you plan the perfect trip, from strolling down Magazine street to shopping the art galleries on Royal Street.
Please do not waste your vacation days and fill them with travel days. Give Sunset Chasers a visit today! Tell them Plaid Shirt Yoga Pants sent you!
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