Getting Around New Orleans
Getting Around New Orleans
Getting around New Orleans is super easy if you are near the tram lines or near the bus network for the inner suburbs. You can buy a day pass that gets you on both the buses and the trams. If you haven’t booked your accomodation I recommend that you stay near a tram line. You will find maps for the Streetcars here.
We were three blocks from a tram stop so it was easy for us to jump on them every day we were in New Orleans. We used the trams everyday, not necessarily purchasing the USD3 day pass. Check out prices of NORTA Jazzy Passes here
You have to have the exact change to purchase your ticket. When you get onboard there’s a slot to enter your money. If you don’t have the correct amount then you will be given a receipt with NORTA credit to use on any bus or tram.
The trams are great to use to get to the Garden District, the French Quarter, the Art Museum and any cemeteries but they are each on different Streetcar lines. The Streetcar conductors are always helpful and will ensure you get off the tram at the appropriate stop if you are transferring from one line to another.
We also did a swamp tour which is about a 40minute trip from downtown. We had hoped to do a Plantation tour because I was keen to view one that had insights about slavery in NOLA but decided it may not be appropriate for the little two. If you do want to get out to the bayou or a plantation or some other tourist spot, you won’t need to hire a car because you can book tours in the city that will pick you up from any of the hotels in the downtown area.
Getting To and From New Orleans Airport
As anyone will tell you, by far the easiest method to get to and from the airport is using an Uber anytime of day but there’s a few gotcha’s if you’re a family of six with a two year old.
When we ordered an Uber at Las Vegas Airport we were rejected by the driver because they didn’t have a car seat for 2yo. Uber does have UberX for bigger groups and they do have Uber Carseat but only in three cities at the time of writing (Nov 2018) so we didn’t have this as an option. Besides, we were on a budget and wanted to spend minimal amounts on transportation to and from the airport. Before arriving in New Orleans we did find out that there is a public bus that could get us close to our Airbnb. However, we were arriving at midnight and the buses have don’t run late at night. On a side note, they have limited service on weekends so remember to check the timetables carefully when planning your route.
Our only option at this time of night was a taxi. It was a fixed price per person so ended up being USD75 for our group of six. Super expensive trip given the short distance. Unfortunately the cheapest flights on Spirit are late night. But after factoring in taxi costs we still save more by using the low budget travel option.
If you are looking for the cheapest option to or from the airport then the bus is definitely the way to go. We caught the bus to the airport from downtown. It required a switch of buses because it was a Saturday but it saved us some money and was quite an adventure. We had some lovely locals directing us on what stop to get off at and where to catch the next bus. One chap even helped us get our luggage on the bus and he wasn’t even catching the bus with us. We didn’t have the correct change (which you need when catching the bus or the tram) so the bus driver told hubby he could go to the Dollar Store and get change while the bus waited.
Here’s a cool tip if you are like us and are checking out of your accommodation in the morning but not flying out till late at night, there is a luggage storage site bagbnb.com that allows you to find a location suitable to you where you can store your luggage for the day. Simple to use and so convenient! It allowed us to use those free aquarium passes and have our last fill of beignets before we caught the bus to the airport. Well worth it.