Free upgrades can include free champagne

Everyone should experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans at least once! It’s more than just crazy costumes and fancy floats…the Big Easy comes alive during Carnival season as all of our unique cultures come together to celebrate in the city, strangers become lifelong friends and the good times truly roll.

That being said, it’s also the busiest travel season for our lovely city. So the sooner you plan your stay, the better! Waiting until last minute to book a room may mean all New Orleans (and surround area) hotels are booked, leaving you in a lurch.

Don’t worry! Follow these tips to feel like a Mardi Gras pro!

Book your hotel near the festivities you’ll be attending: Plan the parades you’ll want to attend and other activities you want to do while you’re in town and book a room close by. Trust us; you do not want to be stuck in Mardi Gras traffic (not to mention parking!)—plus you’ll really thank us when you have easy access to your restroom!

Book near a streetcar stop: We recommend utilizing the streetcars during any stay, but especially during Carnival season. Whether your choice hotel locations are already completely booked or you plan to spend time in different parts of the city, the streetcar offers convenient transportation and will take you within walking distance of all major New Orleans attractions including the French Quarter and the parade route along St. Charles Avenue.

Timing makes all the difference: While Lundi Gras Day (the Monday before Mardi Gras) and Fat Tuesday are the most celebrated days of the season, the Mardi Gras season actually lasts a few weeks. Hotels are often cheaper and offer more availability during that time. Also, the crowds are quite as heavy. For some, the weekends leading up to Fat Tuesday are their favorite.

If cost is a primary factor, consider booking a hotel in Metairie: Metairie is a clean, family-friendly suburb right outside of the city and offers more affordable options for some. Depending on how much time you plan to devote to parades and other Mardi Gras festivities, this may be good compromise for you. However, we recommend planning your time accordingly as heavy traffic and parking will add additional time to your usually short commute.

We hope these travel tips help you plan the perfect stay for your Mardi Gras adventures! For more travel tips or if you have any questions like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We’re here to help!

Also, be sure to check out for all the latest news on parade routes, upcoming events, travel tips, and more!