While Mardi Gras celebrations have been going on for weeks, last night's Nyx parade marked the beginning of the "Big Weekend." From now until Tuesday, the city will be alive as thousands flock to attend the greatest celebration on earth! If you are planning on attending Mardi Gras this weekend, especially as a solo traveler, please find our following safety tips below:
Always go where there are other people. Stay on the main streets and do not wander down side streets, especially in the French Quarter. If you are planning on walking to the French Quarter from the Garden District, we recommend walking down St. Charles Avenue.
If you plan on drinking, do not over do it. We recommend going to the place you are planning to stay and hang out. Don’t walk home at night - get a cab or Uber directly back to your hotel. Don’t wander while drunk.
Know that there will be many, many intoxicated people and the crowds will be large, especially on Bourbon Street. Be aware you might get pushed around or stepped on, but in general, people are apologetic.
Beware of pick pocketers and gropers. We recommend carrying a cross body purse that you can keep secure on your body.
Know exactly how you’re going to get to and from where you are going – whether it’s a parade, a ball, or a party. Know if you’re going to get an Uber or a cab.
Keep your phone charged. Also carry your hotel’s business card in case you need to contact the front desk.
Nothing good happens after midnight – in New Orleans especially. We love our city, but the later it gets, the more dangerous it can become. It’s a long day - you’ll be exhausted by midnight!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There will be hundreds of law enforcement officers from multiple agencies working around the clock to make sure our city is safe during Mardi Gras. If you are lost or have a bad feeling about something, it is best to ask for help from a police officer.
Blend in. Walk with confidence, act assertive, befriend residents and try to seem familiar with your surroundings.
Always trust your gut! Your gut is almost always correct. If you meet a new person, but something about them is rubbing you the wrong way, get away from them. When you’re wandering around a new neighborhood and suddenly get a sick feeling in your stomach, hop in a cab. If you check into a hotel but something just seems unsettling, check out and find somewhere else to stay. Never underestimate the power of your own intuition.
If you are vigilant and level-headed, Mardi Gras can be one of the most enjoyable experiences you will ever have! Have any specific questions? Let us know by using #soloNOLA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!