This year I made it a goal to travel more, even if it was just weekend trips, or day trips, the need for exploring is important for my life right now. Even though I’m in my last semester (graduating in May!) I want to see and explore more outside of Texas.
At the beginning of February, my best friend and I went to New Orleans, Louisiana to explore the city and Mardi Gras festivities. Our 3 day weekend was filled with lots of walking, partying, eating and trying not to get hit in the face with metallic beads.
With all the fun we had that weekend, I’m have to break this post up into 3 parts to make it easier for you all to plan your next weekend getaway!
Lets start with transportation and lodging.
My best friend and I took separate transportation methods to get to our destination, she flew and I took the Mega Bus. Now flying is a lot faster and sometimes easier but not always cheaper especially around Mardi Gras time. What we noticed when planning our trip is to book far in advance as much as possible (plan right now if you can) because prices will go up. Prices for flights vary during the week and weekend, so we were looking at spending $400 average for a round trip. Instead of flying, I opted for a 6 hour road trip with Mega Bus which cost me a total of $80 round trip! Riding on a bus for 6 hours might not sound as glamorous as flying, but with the scenery and being able to have more spending money for my trip, it was well worth taking a bus. As well, they have WiFi, outlets and are pretty comfortable.
So on to the next most important step in planning your amazing weekend getaway; finding a place to stay. Ok yall, so this part of the planning was tricky, especially since this was our first time to New Orleans. When we were looking at hotel costs, everything started at $300…PER NIGHT! *insert stale face here* I am what you call a “Baller on a Budget”, so there was no way I was going to pay $300 or more for a 3 day vacation. And the cheaper hotels were 10-20 miles outside of where the festivities were, so that wasn’t going to happen either. Our efforts in planning were grim, I honestly thought this wasn’t going to happen with our limited budget.
Then, my best friend brought up this idea about staying in a hostel, and my first thought was “WTF is that? And are we going to die in some strange place?” Ok, maybe I exaggerated, but the word hostel just brings up bad vibes. Have you all ever heard of that movie “Hostel?” Google it. Anyway I opened my mind up to staying here, because I really wanted to go, I had enough money and time to finally go, so why not to stay in a hostel? We found this cool website at Hostels.com and booked a room at the Auberge Nouvelle Orleans .
So let me give you a quick run down on staying in a hostel; you will be staying in a dorm-style room with bunk beds and about 6 other people (depending on the area), which can be co-ed or same sex. I stayed in a co-ed room with 10 other beds.
The Auberge Nouvelle Orleans was very welcoming and felt like home. They served breakfast from 7am-10am, and also coordinated group events for all the guests. Also note that when booking your room online, they will ask for your credit card information and not charge you right then. I would not have known this if my friend didn’t check her account (shout out to her!), so be prepared to pay on the spot when you arrive, either with a card or cash. For 3 nights we only paid $278.10, so much better than $300 per night.
Essentials for staying in a hostel:
- Shower shoes
- Lock for your luggage and other personal items (they have lockers)
- Extra towels and sheets
My overall experience staying here was amazing, I felt safe, especially with their tight security system, it was also very clean, and they had a super friendly staff. I definitely recommend staying there if you’re planning a trip to New Orleans soon. Oh! And I forgot to mention that we were right in the middle of everything, we were on St. Charles street where all of the parades and fun happened!
So that’s all for now on the logistics of our trip, next week I’ll share where we ate, partied and why heels are not necessary for strolling the unpredictable streets of New Orleans.