Planning any trip is simple yet a task when trying to budget every dollar while still experiencing the city and culture. I always ask myself these three questions:
1. Where am I sleeping?
2. What am I bringing?
3. What am I seeing?
When scavenging for a place to stay I stick with hostels because they are almost always going to be the cheapest, being a male I have few concerns staying in as many as a 12-person mixed dorm, but traveling with a girlfriend, instead I have a myriad of concerns.
Here’s seven amenities I look for in a hostel:
- No Curfew (come home late without getting locked out)
- 24/7 Check-In Time (nothing worse than waiting to check in after a long day followed by jetlag)
- Free Linens/Towels
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free Breakfast
- Free Lockers (bring a lock, unless you’re getting a private room)
- Location, location, location!
-Cheap, CHEAP, C-H-E-A-P!
-Meet new and interesting travelers
-Walking distance or short drive to major districts
-Potential unwanted roommates
-Noisy, likely to be woken up during sleep
-Shared and likely dirty bathrooms
-Dorm style beds
Print out and/or take a photo of every confirmation, never risk forgetting or losing vital information. Here are examples of my own personal ones for my upcoming trip to New Orleans:
Dear Shaun Stoffer,
Thank you for booking your stay at India House Backpackers Hostel.
Your reservation details are as follows:
India House Backpackers Hostel
27 MAR 16
31 MAR 16
(Beds) Room Type
(1) Twin Double Shared Bath
l Check-in is available anytime during the arrival date, but rooms or beds may not be available until early afternoon. Guests are welcome to leave their luggage in our lobby prior to check-in. Check-out is before 12 Noon.
l Notification of any cancellation is required at least 24 hours prior to arrival to avoid the first night of your reservation being charged to your credit card.
l The full balance due must be paid on arrival. There is a US$80 minimum charge for all credit card transactions. There is a US$5 cash deposit for keys and linens required for each guest; this will be returned during check-out provided the keys and/or linens are returned by 12 Noon on the check-out date. 9% Louisiana State and Orleans Parish sales tax will be added to the total at check-in.
l India House offers free on- and -off-street parking. Please park on the right-hand side of South Lopez Street or on Canal Street.
We look forward to your visit to New Orleans.
India House Hostel
124 South Lopez Street
New Orleans, LA 70119
Here’s your itinerary and receipt.
Thank you for booking your travel with Allegiant! Below, you’ll find all the information you need to know about your travel itinerary. Although you can always access your trip details by signing in to Manage Travel or downloading the Allegiant2Go App for iPhone or Android, we recommend printing a copy for your reference now. Save even more! Reserve bags, book a hotel room, or get great deals on rental cars Have a great trip!
I only bring a personal bag which boils down to simply a backpack and toiletries that cannot have more than 3.5 ounces of weight, buying a disposable razor at the arrival airport is also a necessity for myself. Wear your jacket and other layers on the plane so you don’t have to stuff your backpack and don’t forget to leave your personal protection items at home because they won’t get past security. I also check-in to my airport online through airlines’ mobile apps which can potentially save me a long wait.
Seats: Not choosing assigned seats on the airplane isn’t a terrible idea for a solo budget traveler, it will easily save you $25 per person and you will simply get whatever seat is left at the gate. However, if you’re traveling with your girlfriend who wants a window seat and to sit together you’ll know when to pick your battles.
Airport to Hostel: Only Uber Black or SUV is allowed at the Louisiana Airport, essentially because airport transportation is losing business and Uber refuses to pay a permit fee for pick-ups, a $75 dollar fare to the Garden District as opposed to a cab at around $36, or if you’re me you’ll simply walk just out of the airport and call Uber X to take you to your hostel for a simple $16-$21.
Here is a sample itinerary of my New Orleans trip’s attractions grouped by district:
City Park’s New Orleans Museum of Art ($8 or free on Weds)
Warehouse District’s Art Galleries
Ogden Museum of Southern Art
WWII Museum ($15)
Robert E Lee Monument
Audubon Insectarium and Butterfly Garden
Entergy Giant Screen Theatre
St. Louis Cathedral
The Calbido ($5).
Audubon Zoo ($45).
Thursday: Check-out & Return Flight