This is a packing list for New Orleans by our HPL team writer, Caroline Eubanks. See all packing list posts here.
The Crescent City. The Big Easy. Whatever you call New Orleans, it’s a great place for female travelers to visit for the tasty cuisine, strong drinks and Southern hospitality. There’s always something going on here, be it music or arts festivals, sporting events or movie and television filming. And best of all is that New Orleans is one of the cheaper destinations in the United States.
Knowing what to pack is very important for this trip, as the weather is hot for the majority of the year but rain appears at a moment’s notice. This packing list should suit travelers for a four day trip in the warm season, typically from April to January. The dress code is fairly casual in New Orleans. You might see locals dressed up and others not at all, so don’t worry about dressing to fit in.
1 pair of Shorts: I wore shorts on most days since I was doing a lot of walking around. One pair should be fine but you can throw in an extra pair of athletic shorts to sleep in.
2 T-Shirts: Some days you might prefer to cover your shoulders, so it’s a good idea to pack a few t-shirts.
2 Dresses: Travel dresses are very versatile and can go from touring in the day to dancing on Bourbon Street at night. Make sure they are made from breathable fabrics!
1 Skirt: I packed a skirt/dress combination and was able to wear it many different ways.
1 Jacket: The weather in New Orleans can be unpredictable, so it’s best to bring a jacket or cardigan just in case.
1 Infinity Scarf: A light scarf can be used to cover your shoulders or, to sit on in the park, or in my case, be used as a hood to protect you from the rain.
1 pair of jeans: It can get breezy at night and jeans can be dressed up for a nice dinner out.
>>See what other kinds of pants are good for female travelers.
2 bras: One light and one dark will work best.
4 pairs of underwear: I only packed as many pairs of underwear as I needed, but could have worn ExOfficio and washed as I went.
1 pair of flip flops: Sensible if you’re using communal showers.
1 pair of flats or dressy sandals: Dress up those jeans or your skirt for a night out.
Travel sized shampoo and conditioner: Whether you prefer solid shampoo or two-in-one, just make sure you don’t forget it!
Toothbrush and toothpaste: Keep those pearly whites nice and shiny.
Deodorant: Like I said before, it’s very hot down south and you don’t want to be sweaty all the time.
>>See what kinds of toiletries are best for carry-on travelers.
Diva Cup: Tampons and other feminine products are easy to find in New Orleans, but the Diva Cup is ideal if you don’t want the hassle.
Birth control: Don’t forget your pills if you take them, but also the protective kind, just in case.
Razors and shaving cream: Necessary for keeping your legs smooth and hair-free.
Aspirin and prescription medication: Be prepared for the hangover that accompanies those hand grenade drinks!
Towel: I like my quick drying travel towel over traditional ones.
Turkish Towels are bigger than travel towels, yet they still pack down small. They are light, absorbent, and versatile. You can also wear it as a scarf!
Protection from the Elements
Sunscreen: You might not think you need it since you’re not laying out at the beach, but that’s the easiest way to get burned.
Hat: You can pack to accessorize or to keep the sun out of your eyes.
Sunglasses: You will definitely need sunglasses for your trip.
Umbrella: Thunderstorms come out of nowhere, so it’s best to be prepared.
Camera: Document your trip for your friends and family back home!
>>Check out the travel photography packing list.
Chargers and accessories: Outlets in New Orleans are 120 volts, so pack an adapter if you are traveling from abroad.
iPod: Nothing saves long bus, train, car or plane rides quite like music.
E-Reader or Books: As with your iPod, an e-reader is helpful for boring transit days.
Government-issued identification: Many hostels don’t accept guests without a passport, student ID or out-of-state driver’s license. You will also need your ID if you plan on drinking or gambling on your trip.
Money: Cash is king in New Orleans. While there are plenty of ATMs around, many charge fees. Expect most local restaurants to be cash only, including the famous Cafe du Monde.
Visas: If you are traveling from overseas, you will need to get a visa sorted before arrival.
Ear plugs: If you are staying near Bourbon Street and go to sleep before dawn, ear plugs will come in handy.
Eye mask: I used my eye mask to block out light on the long overnight bus to Louisiana.
Sleep aids: Whether it’s melatonin, Tylenol PM or something stronger, be sure to pack your preferred sleep aids.
>>Have a read through this list of items to pack for sleep.
PacSafe purse or backpack: You shouldn’t be too worried about getting your purse snatched, but it’s always nice to have the peace of mind.
Jewelry: I love accessorizing with jewelry, but I never pack anything too expensive. I would be devastated if one of my favorite pairs of earrings was lost, stolen or damaged on my travels.
More Tips for New Orleans Travel
There are a few things you should be aware of before planning your trip to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Firstly, there are major events that keep the city fully booked throughout the year. Check your travel dates before booking any travel accommodation (we recommend using AirBnb). New Orleans Jazz Festival, Mardi Gras, the Sugar Bowl and the Voodoo Festival should be booked well in advance.
Secondly, the drinking age in Louisiana and the rest of the United States is 21. Some bars on Bourbon Street may not check your ID, but you don’t want to add “bail money” to your packing list!
Thirdly, there are a few areas in the city that you shouldn’t wander alone at night. Use common sense and take a taxi if you need to.
We hope you found this packing list for New Orleans helpful! If you have any more juicy tidbits to share, do so in the comments below!
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