With the Super Bowl days out, Valentine’s Day under a month away and Mardi Gras in the calendar’s distance, New Orleans is filling up with travelers looking to take advantage of a little football, the romance that the city brings and its insatiable spirit for its biggest celebration of the year. New Orleans can be a dream this time of year, but booking a hotel in the Big Easy can be more of a nightmare. If the wrought-iron balconies and the abundance of beads are pulling you to New Orleans in the coming months, here are a few tried and tested tips and tricks for booking a hotel as easy as can be in the Big Easy.
Book Early: There are some cities in this world that if you don’t book your hotel early, you will have a hard time coming up with options a few weeks before your trip. New Orleans is one of those cities where constant festivals and events tend to bring in the masses. When I booked my hotel for New Orleans last spring, I waited until just a few weeks from my trip. I quickly discovered there were slim and expensive pickings for me, mostly because a festival was also taking place. If you want to save money and also stay where you actually want to, you need to book early for New Orleans.
Hold The Bourbon For Light Sleepers: For first timers to New Orleans, Bourbon Street tends to be this fanaticized thoroughfare where truly anything goes. However it is not always where you want your hotel to be. If you are looking to rest up at night, you might want to hold the Bourbon, or at least try staying a fair distance away from the street. While parts of Bourbon are quieter, the heart of the street can be noisy morning, noon and night. Steer clear if you are a light sleeper.
Consider Going Beyond Staying in the French Quarter: For a traveler looking to cut their costs on a visit to New Orleans, staying in the French Quarter is not always budget friendly. While it is hard to resist the charm of those wrap-around balconies and street musicians, there are other neighborhoods in this city with lodging. The Garden District for example offers smaller guesthouses and bed and breakfasts for those romantic trips for Valentine’s Day. If you in town on business or looking for more standard hotel rooms, the Central Business District has a wide selection of options. While the French Quarter is appealing to stay in, it can either be hit or miss as to what sort of accommodations you will get for the price.
Pony up For Parking and WiFi: If you need to park your car at your hotel in New Orleans, this can present additional costs for the traveler. Parking can be hard to come by, especially in those tight corners of the French Quarter. While there are parking garages, specifically around Canal Street, you should anticipate this cost in your hotel room rate. Many hotels have pay parking or valet that you can use instead, but it will cost you. Also on my hotel searching for New Orleans last spring, I found it difficult to find hotels with free WiFi. That is another expense that you might have to factor into your hotel budget, if you need WiFi in such a lively city that is.
Expect Minimum Stay Requirements At Some Boutique Hotels: As you go deeper into the French Quarter, you are more likely to encounter minimum stay requirements. Just as there are cities that require you to book your hotel well in advance, there are also those cities with an abundance of hotels with minimum stay requirements. Before planning the dates of your trip, be sure to do a check of these properties’ policies with minimum stay requirements. Generally they are more boutique-type hotels. You may have booked your plane ticket and have a hotel in mind only to find that your dates don’t match their minimum stay policies.
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