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Ultimate Female Travel Packing List for New Orleans

New Orleans Packing List

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.

Clothing

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 Tank tops: I like being able to layer and tank tops are the best base if you want to add a scarf. You can mix and match tank tops with shorts or skirts.

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.

Shoes

1 pair of flip flops: Sensible if you’re using communal showers.

1 pair of tennis shoes, Chacos or Toms: You will need a good pair of shoes to walk around in that won’t give you blisters because New Orleans is made for walking.

1 pair of flats or dressy sandals: Dress up those jeans or your skirt for a night out.

female packing list New Orleans
Caroline in New Orleans

Toiletries

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.

Hair brush and hair ties: You may want to keep your hair off your neck. Try a headband.

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.

Hairdryer or straighteners: Depending on your hair type, you can pack travel sized accessories.

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
Pack a Turkish Towel Instead

 

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!

Check out Turkish Towels on Amazon.

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.

Tech Gear

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.

>>Check out the tech gear packing list and also the use of multipurpose travel gear items.

Other

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!

Book a Viator Tour Before You Go

Unsolved Mysteries of New Orleans

Unsolved Mysteries of New Orleans – $25.00*
Take a trip back in time and discover the mysterious beginnings of the Crescent City! Starting in the heart of the French Quarter guests will continue their journey through the darkest history of the city. Guests will embrace the rich culture of the “Big Easy” and uncover many deep dark secrets! Guests will discover one of New Orleans most mysterious (and perhaps supernatural) menaces in American crime!

French Quarter and Cemetery Walking Tour

French Quarter and Cemetery Walking Tour in New Orleans – $25.00*
Discover 300 years of history on a guided excursion. Hear from the city’s most knowledgeable tour guides as you take in breathless views of the French Quarter, the oldest French Settlement in the country.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using them, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this site running – thank you!

new orleans packing list for women

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Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Claire says

    I am a native of NOLA and want to clarify that our hot season (90’s) is June to September, but it can get as high as in the 80’s in May & October. The frequent rainshowers come in the summer afternoons, but rainfall is just average the rest of the year. Rain boots and ponchos/umbrellas are very useful. Our sun is pretty fierce so SPF and a big hat is a necessity. Don’t plan a trip in August, that’s when hurricanes are most active. And FYI the locals stay away from Bourbon Street. We are a city of “To Go Cups” you can take your alcoholic drinks with you out of the bar/restaurants. We also have drive-thru daiquiri shops, but drinking and driving will land you in jail with a DUI.

  2. Nikki says

    Thanks so much, this is exactly what I was looking for. I can’t wait – French Quarter Festival here we come!

  3. joyfulgirl328 says

    i like this packing list, except for one thing.

    birth control.

    i am by NO means a prude, or against having a great time on vacation.

    however, new orleans falls #9 on the cities with highest HIV rates

    also, #7 on the cities with the highest rates of herpes

    sometimes having a fun and sweaty night with a stranger isn’t worth what you could go home with….

    • Brooke says

      Hi Joyfulgirl! We put birth control on just about all our packing lists as a reminder. We are not condoning unsafe sex with random people, but just more of a “bring something and be prepared.. just in case”. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide how you travel. After having a look at the article, however, I do think we could change the wording after birth control (which I’ll do now).

  4. Joanne says

    I’m traveling there the end of October for a business casual financial summit. What do you suggest for that?
    Thank you!!

  5. JP says

    Traveling to NOLA in early November. How’s the temperature during the day and at night? What’s ideal clothing? Can I wear shorts?
    Can you also suggest some romantic things to do while there by chance?

  6. CMR says

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you putting birth control pills or condoms/dental dams, whatever…for that matter let’s be realistic ….I think that your target audience was adult women and some adult women have sex. Whether it be with a monogamous partner or not would you rather not forget protection or birth-control on your packing list? I think so. Keep up the good work.

  7. jamie says

    Hi! I am taking a school music trip to New Orleans on the 19th. Because i am in choir. I Was wondering how many weeks or days this list applies to.

  8. Lisa says

    9 women 3 nights… Celebrating birthdays … Any suggestions for a theme night? Fun loving, crazy girls! April 26-29 recommendations for day or night dress.

  9. E says

    Birth control pills should still be packed regardless. They are a PRESCRIBED medication that needs to be taken everyday as recommended by a doctor. I think it’s very smart to include this even if no “extracurricular” activitY is being had. Some may forget to pack it if it’s not spelled out somewhere, and as the saying goes, better safe than sorry. Also, other forms of BC prevent STDs and HIV so the fact that it’s on here just nullifies the prudish comment above.

  10. Meli says

    Traveling to NOLA in Feb 2019
    Never been
    Ladies please give me some attire suggestions
    We’re going for the weekend a ladies trip

    Thanks

  11. S says

    This packing list was great! Just returned from a week in NOLA! Highly recommend Coops for bbq Shrimp! Also we spent a lot of time on Magazine street and Frenchman street. We walked through the Lafayette Cemetary on our own and found it fascinating. The trolley is an inexpensive way to get around town. Exact change is a must – $3.00 for an all day pass!
    Thanks again!

  12. Shelia says

    I have been to NOLA twice. Only once was around Mardi Gras. I found very little open and available for visitors when I was there the other time. Because of this I have been under the impression NOLA is a seasonal place and pretty much shuts down the rest of the time.

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