How to Plan a Trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras

If you are planning to head to New Orleans, Louisiana for Carnival season, be sure to know how to plan a trip there for Mardi Gras before you start making any reservations for flights or hotels. Knowing what your budget is, where to find the best hotel and what activities to do are all key goals, so keep them in mind as you research and make your arrangements.


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    Find and reserve lodging before you start looking into your flight. Having a means of transportation to New Orleans doesn't do you any good unless you have a place to stay once you arrive.
    • Because Mardi Gras is so popular, plan on booking your hotel well in advance.
    • Call a local travel agent to help you make the booking if you would like expert advice on arrangements to, from and in New Orleans.
    • Use websites such as or Travelocity to find a hotel room that meets your quality and price standard as well as has dates available for when you want to be in town for the celebration. Search by dates, price and/or hotel name to find the right lodging for you.
    • Consider a bed and breakfast as another alternative to a hotel or motel. You may have to search for them on the web using the phrase "New Orleans Bed and Breakfast" because many are not listed on the major travel sites.
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    Make your travel arrangements. Sign up for your rental car, or start looking into your flight options to New Orleans.
    • Sites like or Travelocity let you book your hotel, flight and rental car, or just your rental car and hotel as packages. So consider booking everything at one time to save money when traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
    • Consider using frequent flier miles to save money on your flight.
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    Plan an itinerary for your time in New Orleans.
    • Use sites like to find fun things to do during the daytime hours prior to your nights of partying.
    • Check out to help you find detailed parade routes, schedules, facts and tips to help you make the most of your trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
    • The weekend that falls before Fat Tuesday is the weekend that Endymion and Bacchus occur. These are two of the largest parades of the season. Both Saturday and Sunday of that weekend will be full of parade watchers.
    • There will also be another large parade called Orpheus that takes place the following Monday, and the Zulu Lundi Gras festival takes place all day that day. Fat Tuesday is another fun experience because in the French Quarter people will be wearing masks and costumes all day.


  • Waiting until the last minute doesn't mean that you have to miss out. Keep calling hotels to see if they have any cancellations, but be prepared to pay a premium price.
  • Make arrangements to stay at least 4 to 5 days if you plan to book a room in the French Quarter or the Central Business District. This is typically the fewest days for which most of those establishments will allow you to book.

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Categories: Planning Travel | United States