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New Orleans On $70/Day, All Inclusive-- Seriously

New Orleans On $70/Day, All Inclusive-- Seriously

Old Apr 10th, 2012, 08:07 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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New Orleans On $70/Day, All Inclusive-- Seriously

What you’ll need:

1) A decent place to stay for around $30/night.

2) Bicycles.

3) A crock pot.

4) $5/day for lunch.

5) $6/day for dinner.

6) $15/day for bloody marys.

7) $9/day to tip street musicians.

8) $5/day for beignets.

“I’m a little skeptical, Chelle. Let’s start with an explanation of number 1.”

Absolutely!

The best and cheapest way to stay in New Orleans is in a timeshare.

“I don’t have a timeshare, Chelle, and I’m not buying one. Everything I’ve read says that they’re a bad investment.”

They are, actually, but you don’t need to own one. I’m sure you have a good friend or relative who owns a timeshare. Call them up.

Then find out if they belong to RCI (the timeshare exchange club).

If they do they can sign you up for a 5 year “Partial Guest Pass” for a one time fee of $149.

RCI will then create an account for you and you’ll have full access to “Extra Vacations” and “Last Call Vacations.”

Your friend doesn’t ever have to do another thing— other than sign you back up again in 5 years.

You get the benefits of owning a timeshare without having to pay any maintenance or mortgage payments.

“That’s awesome, Chelle! I just talked to my second cousin’s next door neighbor’s niece and she got me all set up. Did you know that some of those weeks are as little as $199?”

I did. That’s why I suggested it.

Now go find a place.

Remember that if you stay in the French Quarter you’ll most likely be in a building that was built in the 1800’s.

Don’t expect the Ritz.

Instead, it will be more like staying in someone’s flat or apartment. It will be old but clean.

Be reasonable with your expectations.

“Do you have any recommendations?”

You read my mind.

I really like “The Courtyards” on Royal St. It’s convenient to everywhere you’d want to be and it’s an RCI property.

“Thanks Chelle! This might be the most useful piece of information I'll ever get from you.”

“Just a second there, Chelle. I hate to butt in on y’all’s conversation,but I don’t know anyone with a timeshare. I DO have a camper, though. Are there any good camping facilities there?”

Yes, there are.

We really like Jude Travel Park.

It’s one of those “line ‘em up in a row on gravel” RV parks, but it’s only $30/night with full hook-ups, they have a cute pool and Jacuzzi, spotless restrooms and showers, a laundry facility— and they’re only 5 miles from the French Quarter.

If you don’t feel like driving, the city bus picks up and drops off right outside the gate. You can put your bikes on the bike rack at the front.

“Any tips if we decide to stay there?”

The sites in the middle of the campground are the quietest. They’re not as close to the road or the railroad tracks.

“Alright, I’m convinced. I can stay in New Orleans for $30/night. I’m still kind of shocked, but I’m definitely glad. What about number 2? Why are bicycles so important?”

If you’re in good shape you can walk all over the French Quarter with no problem.

If you’re not then I’m afraid that driving isn’t really going to be an option. The streets are congested and parking is a nightmare.

(If you ever DO drive into the French Quarter, though, touch base with me and I’ll give you great insider parking info that only the locals know about.)

If you bring bicycles you will OWN the French Quarter. You can zip past all the traffic and the pedestrians and get, literally, anywhere in 5 minutes.

Be sure that you don’t ride your bike in any pedestrian-only areas or you’ll get stuck with a $150 fine. Walk them through those areas.

(When you lock up be sure to run the cable through both wheels, too.)

“Can’t I rent bikes when I get there?”

You could,but they’re the most expensive bikes on earth— $25 for 4 hours. It’s outrageous.

“Good to know. Thanks,Chelle. I’ll skip number 3 since I figure you’ll get to that. How about number 4? How do I eat lunch for $5/day?”

Go to Subway on Royal Street— almost to Canal Street. Get a $5 footlong. Lunch done.

“I don’t want to go to New Orleans and eat Subway!”

Then pretend this post is entitled “New Orleans on $90/day” and spend $25 for a nice lunch at a local restaurant.

“Oh, okay. Thanks. I really had my heart set on the $70/day, though…”

Subway. Get over it. Can we move on, please?

“Fine, fine, whatever. Let’s talk about dinner.”

Before you leave, in the morning, put a whole chicken in the crock pot. Set it on top of an upside down bowl to keep it up out of the drippings.

A 4 pound chicken should only cost you around $4.

Generously season it with Cajun seasoning so that you won’t feel cheated by having to eat “in.”

If you’ll be gone for half a day then set it to “high.” For all day, set it to “low.”

When you get back, dump a $1.50 bag of frozen corn into the crock pot and give it about 30-45 minutes to get tender. Then eat!

“Not to be picky, but won’t the chicken drippings add a bunch of calories to the corn?”

You’ve been pedaling your bicycle all day. You don’t need to worry about calories. Live a little.

Trust me.

“How about $15 for bloody marys. Last time I was there they cost $10/each— or more.”

Look for a gay bar. They have rainbow flags, out front, are friendly to straight people— and you can get a fantastic bloody mary for $5.

“That’s cool! Now how about the next one? Do I really need to tip the street musicians?”

Absolutely! They work hard on their acts and that’s how they make their living. If you want them to still be there the next time you come then you’d better go ahead and pitch a buck into the jar.

NOLA wouldn’t be NOLA without them.

“You’re kind of a pain, sometimes. I’ll do it, though, if you’ll just quit talking about it. So how about the beignets?”

Get them at Cafe du Monde on Decatur. There will be a long line out front because no one thinks to use the other entrance in back.

Go to the back and walk right in.

You’re welcome.

“Alright. We finished the list. So where does all the fun take place?”

There’s far too much to list, here, and to be honest there’s always lots of stuff going on EVERYWHERE.

That said, I think you should spend your days on Royal and Decatur streets (including the outdoor Marketplace and the Riverwalk) and your evenings on Bourbon and Frenchmen streets.

After you’ve “done” them you should work your way down Canal St. and then all the side streets that connect Decatur to Bourbon.

If you want to cook something special you should go to Rouse’s Market on Royal Street—a great little grocery store.

Buy some alligator tail filets ($10.99/lbs) and peeled crawfish tails ($8.99/12oz) in the frozen case and some fresh catfish filets and shrimp.

Shoot me a note and I’ll tell you how to turn it into the most delicious meal you ever ate.

I hope you found the information useful!
chellepadraigin is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2012, 08:16 PM
  #2  
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Thanks, Heidi!

I've only been a member of Fodors for about 5 minutes and this is my first post-- so that might have something to do with it.

Thanks for the kind words.

-Chelle
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Old Apr 10th, 2012, 09:23 PM
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Wow, this is one of the best and most informative posts I've ever read on fodors, Chelle! thanks!
ncounty is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2012, 04:19 AM
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and a great sense of humor and writing style. Loved it!
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 02:37 PM
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You had me at "crock pot"...
Ann Marie
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 03:09 PM
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Thhis is where I stayed in NO (before Katrina) http://hotels.lonelyplanet.com/usa/n...ouse-p1045854/

I rode the St. Charles St. streetcar as far as Canal and then walked through most of the French Quarter. Streetcar was less than $3 for the day and I didn't have to worry about a bicycle being stolen.
I'd eat a Po'Boy sandwich before eating Subway in NO.
I didn't use a crockpot. I think you can still get a bowl of jambalaya or fille gumbo for less than $8 if you check the posted menus in the restaurant windows.
I arrived in town on the bus and left on the Amtrak Crescent (same station) next to the Super Dome.
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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@Tom: Sorry you didn't find anything useful in my post. As for the hostel, we had reservations at another popular hostel in NOLA for this past weekend but canceled because they've been battling bedbugs.
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 06:07 PM
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I'm a naturally upbeat person but people like SusanC make that difficult, sometimes.

I own homes in Hilton Head, Georgia and Utah and live part of the year in each place. I'm also a frequent visitor to New Orleans-- my favorite city.

And I like to stretch a buck, when I can.

As for the timeshare: if you get a Partial Guest Pass account you can sign up for all the cheap vacation rentals you want for 5 years without bothering your friends and relatives. That's a deal that most people don't know about.

If you stay in the FQ-- ON THE BUDGET I'M PROPOSING-- you will stay in a building built in the 1800's-- like most of the other buildings in the FQ. If you want to stay in the Ritz, go ahead-- but the prices just MIGHT put you over that $70/day budget I spoke of.

I've been to New Orleans plenty of times WITHOUT bikes-- and I'll never do it again. It's a pain to carry your groceries back and it's an awful lot of walking to go from one place to another.

All the locals use bikes-- and there's a reason for that.

Get over it.

Most on-street parking is free but you have to move your car every two hours during the day. There are certain places on each street where that doesn't apply and the locals vie for those spots.

I always make sure to get one of those spots-- even if it's several blocks away-- and then pull my bike out of the back of our minivan and head to our condo or destination. When I'm in New Orleans I usually leave my car parked for the entire time.

If you want to fight for parking then go right ahead.

I'd rather enjoy myself instead of endure the parking situation-- and riding a bike in New Orleans is a lot of fun.

You must be a real downer to be around in real life.

Sheesh.

-Chelle
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 06:11 PM
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One other thing:

I originally posted this on my Facebook page. I had never heard of Fodor's. Several people commented, "Chelle, you should post this over at Fodor's!"

So I did.

Now I'm regretting that I ever heard of this place. Some of you guys are like rain on a sunny day.

-C
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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Hey Chelle, there are critics everywhere. Don't sweat it. You do have to have thick skin here at times. There are lots of fun people here though.

My parents have had an RCI Timeshare for decades and I had no idea about the Partial Guest Pass. So thanks for that nugget of info.
Ann Marie
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 08:03 PM
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I had no idea about the partial guest pass either, Chelle.... it is brilliant! This is a jewel of a post and makes it worth it for me stay around on Fodors and ignore the stuff I don't like. I hope you choose to stay as well. I would LOVE to hear your tips on Utah since I have a second home there as well.

I am not sure what about his post, other than being hilarious and having nuggets of great tips, could be perceived as advertising. Shilling for Subway, or crock pots, RCI, or cafe du monde? there isn't one element that stands out as advertising to me.
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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Chelle, your post is a hoot and full of good information. Ignore the snarky posts. Hope you stay around - and when you're back in Georgia I'd love to say "hi" and share a coffee. Love your sense of humor!
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 03:55 PM
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...and if you're ever in Philly, I'll buy you your own.
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 06:31 PM
  #14  
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@ncounty: I was certainly surprised to see your name show up somewhere else, today...
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 08:55 PM
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i loved your writing and thought I would join your fan club, Chelle.
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 05:41 AM
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chellepadraigin:

What fun to read. I may make the chicken today at home LOL!

Thanks for posting.

Sandy
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 04:21 PM
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It is a shame that some people just must be difficult. I,too have posted something (to be helpful, I thought) just to get shot down. But, there are enough people here who appreciate getting good info. Really interested in your RCI guestpass tip. I will never, ever buy a timeshare but would like the benefits. Thanks!!!!!!
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Old Apr 21st, 2012, 05:57 AM
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When I started reading this I thought for sure it was an advertisement for RCI. And if it is, I guess it doesn't matter as the rest of the post is amusing and informative. I'm sure someone would have alerted Fodors moderators already if there was something suspect in the information. In the meantime, 'Thanks!', chellepadraigin, for the fun post and good information. NOLA is one of my favorite cities too.
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Old Apr 21st, 2012, 06:44 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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I agree with the bike riding, and I agree with cheap lodging, but anyone that comes here and eats Subway and Crockpot chicken is missing out on a very important part of this city.
Roxanne
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Old Apr 21st, 2012, 07:09 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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I agree with roxanne207! The heart of New Orleans beats twice: once for the music and once for the food! You miss either one and you've missed the pulse of New Orleans.
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