Mardi Gras Safety Tips for the Solo Traveler

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New Orleans is always full of life, but during Mardi Gras season, this city really pulls out all the stops.

The smell of King Cake fills the air, jazz music oozes out of every speaker in the city, and many shops and restaurants transition straight from red and green Christmas decorations, to purple, green and gold. While Mardi Gras is, no doubt, a chaotic time in New Orleans, we truly believe it is a great time to visit the city, because in many ways this is New Orleans at its best. Thousands of people flock to the city to attend the greatest celebration on earth! If you are planning on attending Mardi Gras in New Orleans as a solo traveler, please consider these safety tips to ensure that you have the best possible time!

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11 Solo Travel Safety Tips for Mardi Gras in New Orleans

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Beware of pick pocketers and gropers. We recommend carrying a cross body purse that you can keep secure on your body.

  5. 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.

  6. Keep your phone charged. Also carry your hotel’s business card in case you need to contact the front desk.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. Blend in. Walk with confidence, act assertive, befriend residents and try to seem familiar with your surroundings.

  10. 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. Never underestimate the power of your own intuition.

  11. Do talk to strangers. But not just any strangers! Use your judgement (again, trust that gut) and find a nice family, group of women, or someone who looks like they know what they’re doing, to strike up a conversation with. New Orleans locals are normally very warm and welcoming, and they’ll be happy to help you find the cleanest restroom, a good po-boy, or anything else you might need.

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? Don’t be afraid to ask!

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