In May of this year, I finally polished off my goal of saving $10,000 in my emergency fund, and set my sights on saving some money for travel. I wanted to go to New Orleans and I saved hard for two months to get together the estimated cost of $3,000 for my husband and I to go for five days. Two months of saving, for five days. Was it worth it?
I got back from my trip on Sunday night, and now that I’ve had some time to digest, I can say without a doubt it was totally worth every penny. Actually, we didn’t spend the whole $3,000. Based on some rough math, I’m guessing it was closer to $2,500 for the two of us, but my credit card hasn’t updated yet and I still need to pay back our travel companions for some expenses. But before we dive into expenses, here’s a brief recap on the who, what and where of the trip.
How To Secure a Round Trip to New Orleans for $250
First of all, getting to New Orleans was a little tricky. You see, as an Atlantic Canadian, it is almost always cheaper to fly domestic to the states. This usually means finding a flight in Portland or Bangor, driving down, leaving your car in long term parking, and flying to your destination. Unfortunately for us, Portland and Bangor weren’t offering cheaper flights for the dates we wanted, but Boston was…
Boston is a solid eight hour drive from my place, but the savings ($750 per person) was just too tempting. We couldn’t pass it up. So on Tuesday night, we hoped in our car, and drove eight hours to Boston. We slept in the airport overnight and boarded our plane at 9am on Wednesday morning. Was it worth it? Well, we managed to get both flights for just over $500 including taxes, and saved $1,500. Definitely worth it.
How to Explore New Orleans With Severe Sleep Deprivation
When we landed on Wednesday at around 2pm in New Orleans, we were pretty tired. Sleeping in a car, then an airport, then on a plane does not count as a decent sleep. As tired as we were, we were more hungry, so after dropping our stuff off in the beautiful hotel FinCon had recommended, we set out. Fortunately, even for the sleep deprived, Bourbon Street was easy to find, and we quickly acquainted ourselves with the dozens of lively bars and restaurants that line that street.
FinCon Was Great!
Of course let’s not forgot the inspiration for this whole trip – FinCon14. The whole conference was great. I got to catch up with some of my favourite Canadian bloggers including Cait and Jess and I got to meet some new faces like Melanie from Dear Debt, and Michelle from Fit is the New Poor. I also finally got to meet some bloggers that I feel like I’ve known forever including Lauren and Carrie. The sessions themselves were informative, and I’m glad I’m going to have access to all of them online, because I didn’t get to go to every single one. I would definitely go again, but I probably wouldn’t go with my husband and in-laws again, because I ended up torn between wanting to visit with my PF blogger friends and wanting to explore New Orleans to the fullest. Speaking of that…
Go To New Orleans If You Like Drinking and Great Music
Not that you won’t have a good time if you don’t like those things, I’m sure you will! I’m at my happiest when I’m in a bar with a good beer in my hand, listening to an amazing band. There was absolutely no shortage of this in New Orleans. After one night on Bourbon, my group ventured off the main drag to Frenchmen Street, where we visited bar after bar of great musicians playing some absolutely amazing music. My favourites were BMC and seeing Kermit Ruffins play at the Blue Nile (any Treme fans here?)
Go To New Orleans If You Like Excellent Hospitality and Customer Service
Another thing I thought I’d mention was the amazing customer service we experienced everywhere we went. Cait mentioned it in her blog, and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve never met more accommodating, more friendly, or more helpful people. Even in the vastly less commercialized areas we visited, like the Treme neighbourhood, everyone was friendly, and greeted us with a smile or a nod.
I don’t have a full cost break down for you just yet, but I will say that my husband and I ate and drank to our hearts content and we had money left over at the end of the trip. Honestly this was one of the most fun vacations I’ve had in my life yet, and I highly recommend this city to visitors!