Rich with history, diverse cultures, architectural charm and unparalleled nightlife, New Orleans attracts travelers from every corner of the world. The city’s joie de vivre is evident around every bend, from its eclectic jazz clubs to classic restaurants to world-famous festivals, including Mardi Gras. The French Quarter is the city’s lifeblood and is where most visitors choose to stay. The options for airfare and hotels are boundless and finding cheap vacation packages isn’t always easy. But TravelMag.com has researched several websites and has found two — Priceline and Expedia — consistently offered the best vacation package deals to New Orleans.
For cheap vacation packages to New Orleans, Priceline was the low-price leader. In fact, 7-night packages on select dates in 2018 were as much as $300 less than booking airfare and hotels separately. For example, a week-long stay for two at a 3-star hotel in the French Quarter in February was $887 per person from Chicago, but booking airfare and hotel separately was $1,044 — a savings of $157. The same package out of New York saw equivalent savings, while even more discounts were to be had at a 4-star hotel — $236 per person. The greatest discounts were found on Priceline’s “Discount Flights,” which guarantee departure windows but not detailed flight information until after purchase. While travelers can upgrade to the specific rooms they prefer (for example, the number of and size of beds), most discounted rates were run-of-house rooms that sleep two.
Expedia offered comparable savings for those looking for family vacation packages to New Orleans. Compared to booking airfare and hotels individually, savings through Expedia ranged from $50–$100 per person on 7-night stays. While the savings weren’t as significant as those through Priceline, travelers were able to choose their specific flights and room types, which is ideal for family travelers needing more than one bed. For example, a vacation package that included a nonstop flight from Los Angeles plus seven nights at a 3-star French Quarter hotel was $1,440, compared to $1,591 if booked individually. The savings were similar for 4-star hotels as well and averaged $65 per person. Expedia’s “Bargain Fares” offered even more cost savings; although, similar to Priceline, the airline carrier is not disclosed until after purchase. One benefit of Expedia is travelers don’t have to pay for the entire cost of their trip upfront; rather, they can put down a deposit and pay the rest upon checkout. TravelMag.com recommends checking both Priceline and Expedia to ensure you get the best possible package price.
Once you have selected your vacation package to New Orleans, it’s time to start thinking about sightseeing. There are hundreds of things to see, places to go and things to do in the Big Easy, so trying to cram them all in can be a challenge. One option is to book a tour ahead of time. TakeTours.com offers dozens of one-day sightseeing tours, most at discounted rates. The 2-hour French Quarter walking tour, for example, takes visitors to Jackson Square, the French Market and the Cabildo for $26, while the ghosts and spirits walking tour visits the city’s most haunted locations for the same price. A 4-hour tour of the surrounding swamps and bayous is $49, while a tour of Oak Alley Plantation is $63.