Countdown to the Big Easy

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:

  1. No Curfew (come home late without getting locked out)
  2. 24/7 Check-In Time (nothing worse than waiting to check in after a long day followed by jetlag)
  3. Free Linens/Towels
  4. Free Wi-Fi
  5. Free Breakfast
  6. Free Lockers (bring a lock, unless you’re getting a private room)
  7. Location, location, location!


Hostel Pros:

-Cheap, CHEAP, C-H-E-A-P!

-Meet new and interesting travelers

-Walking distance or short drive to major districts

Hostel Cons:

-Potential unwanted roommates

-Noisy, likely to be woken up during sleep

-Shared and likely dirty bathrooms

-Dorm style beds

-Safety risks


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

Accommodation Confirmation


Shaun Stoffer

Arrival Date

27 MAR 16

Check-out Date

31 MAR 16

(Beds) Room Type

(1) Twin Double Shared Bath

Total Cost

USD 172.64

Reference Number


Important Information

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.

Please email or call our friendly staff at or 1-504-821-1904 if you have any questions.

We look forward to your visit to New Orleans.

India House Hostel

124 South Lopez Street

New Orleans, LA 70119


Allegiant - Travel is our deal!®

Your booking is confirmed!

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!

1 Customer Information
Customer Name Book Date
SHAUN STOFFER 02/17/2016
Your confirmation number is:

Save time at check-in!

Don’t forget, you can check-in online before you get to the airport starting 24 hours before your flight.

Have a great trip!

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2 Flight Details
Departing Flight Information
Date Flight # Departure Airport Departs Arrival Airport Arrives
Sun, Mar 27, 2016
Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) Map 07:00 AM Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) Map 07:37 AM
Passenger Names Seat Assignment Boarding Priority Checked Bags Carry-on Bags
STOFFER, SHAUN 22A Not Assigned 0 0
MCCALLUM, TIFFANY 22B Not Assigned 0 0
Returning Flight Information
Date Flight # Departure Airport Departs Arrival Airport Arrives
Thu, Mar 31, 2016
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) Map 01:55 PM Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) Map 04:25 PM
Passenger Names Seat Assignment Boarding Priority Checked Bags Carry-on Bags
STOFFER, SHAUN 22A Not Assigned 0 0
MCCALLUM, TIFFANY 22B Not Assigned 0 0
* Passengers who have not purchased a seat assignment — “Not assigned” — will be assigned a seat by our system at no cost upon check-in. If you would like to select your seats, simply log in to Manage Travel or download the Allegiant2Go App for iPhone or Android before you check-in online or get to the airport.

Save money by adding seats, carry-ons and checked bags before you get to the airport. Visit Manage Travel or download the Allegiant2Go App for iPhone or Android for details.

3 Receipt and Payment Detail
Airfare $81.48
Fed Excise Tax $6.12
Segment Fees $16.00
PFC $17.00
Sept 11 Security Fee $22.40
Seat Selection Fee $48.00
Carrier Usage Charge $52.00
Total Trip Cost: $243.00
Payment Type Payment Date Amount
Debit 02/17/2016 $243.00
Total Paid: $243.00
Balance Due: $0.00
4 Conditions

Things to know before you go


To get your boarding pass(es), check in online or on the FREE Allegiant mobile app starting 24 hours before scheduled flight departure.

Airport ticket counters and check-in close one (1) hour prior to scheduled flight departure. Please plan to:

  • Arrive at the airport at least two (2) hours prior to scheduled flight departure.
  • Be checked in, through airport security and at the boarding gate at least one (1) hour before departure.
  • Be on board the aircraft at least 20 minutes prior to departure.

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)

Magazine Street

Robert E Lee Monument



Audubon Aquarium

Audubon Insectarium and Butterfly Garden

Entergy Giant Screen Theatre



French Quarter

Bourbon Street

Frenchman Street

Jackson Square

St. Louis Cathedral

The Calbido ($5).



Garden District


Audubon Zoo ($45).


Thursday: Check-out & Return Flight



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