New Orleans

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

New Orleans Money-Saving Tips

Sweat it Out and Save

You can book a New Orleans trip for a steal during the summer months when temperatures are soaring. If you can take the heat, go for it. We recommend also booking a hotel with a pool.

Bring a map

Don’t try to get around without a good map. Except for the French Quarter’s grid layout, the streets in New Orleans were built following the curves of the Mississippi. Locals, therefore, don’t necessarily give directions including North, South, East, and West, but with Up, Down, River, and Lake, which can be confusing to visitors. Some streets include the label North and South, but this refers to their direction relative to Canal Street.

Airport Transfers

Take the airport shuttle to the French Quarter which costs $20 per person each way, or $38 round-trip, as opposed to a car service which is double the price.

Driving in New Orleans

It’s not necessary to rent a car in New Orleans as most attractions are concentrated in the walkable French Quarter and along the St. Charles streetcar in the Garden District. If you do choose to drive in the city, be aware that there are no turn signals. There is a neutral lane in the median that can be queued in. When this median is too small, left turns are often prohibited and you should continue on until you are able to make a U-turn.

Park it early!

Parking is sparse and traffic regulations are strict. Commercial lots in the French Quarter provide the easiest means of parking and offer early-bird specials ($3.50-7 for all day parking) for those who arrive before 9am. After then, the prices can rise considerably ($10/hr in some lots).

Crime

Since Hurricane Katrina, crime rates in New Orleans have risen due to property destruction, resident displacement, and disruption of city services. The French Quarter experiences few violent crimes, though tourists should beware of pickpockets. Casual tourists should avoid the comparatively seedy areas of Central City and Bywater.

Vegetarian dining

Just because you’re a vegetarian doesn’t mean that the city of jambalaya won’t be welcoming. Many restaurants offer vegetarian gumbo or Creole chowders and a little research before departing will provide you with many dining options (start with a search for “New Orleans” at www.happycow.net).

Volunteering

Voluntourism – a form of travel that combines “volunteerism” and “tourism” – is popular in New Orleans, where there’s still much work to be done to restore the city to its former glory. The office of the Lt. Governor has formed Volunteer Louisiana, an official organization that matches opportunities with volunteers (www.volunteerlouisiana.gov).

Gay travel

With its large number of gay-owned (and gay-friendly) restaurants, bars, and hotels, not to mention the city’s defining easygoing spirit, New Orleans is one of the most popular U.S. cities among gay and lesbian travelers. New Orleans Online has an excellent GLBT Guide to New Orleans establishments (www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/glbt).

New Orleans Musician’s Relief Fund

In a city famous for its jubilant street music, it’s no surprise that many of the individuals misplaced by Hurricane Katrina were musicians. Musician’s Relief Fund, a grassroots organization created by fellow Katrina victims, is working to rebuild this vibrant NoLa community by helping musicians in need. Support their cause by purchasing t-shirts, donating cash, or volunteering (www.nomrf.org).

Print Out Coupons from NewOrleans.com

Check the New Orleans Tourism Board site for discounts at restaurants, tours, museums, and more. www.neworleansonline.com/tools/coupons.html

Use the RTA

The RTA (New Orleans Regional Transit Authority; www.norta.com) services include bus and streetcar transportation and each ride costs only $1.25. Bring small bills and coins as change is rarely provided.

Compare Rates to New Orleans






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