With its laidback vibe, excellent food and music scenes, and warm weather, New Orleans is the cheaper, chiller Vegas.
What once happened in Vegas is now happening in New Orleans.
New Orleans has overtaken Las Vegas as the hottest destination for bachelorette parties, according to Pinterest’s 2017 Wedding Report. There’s been “such a huge surge in bachelor and bachelorette parties,” New Orleans resident Sarah, 34, confirms.
For a bachelorette who “loves warm weather, day drinking and summertime outfits,” Liz, 34, from Brooklyn said New Orleans was a natural fit for her friend’s pre-wedding bash. “New Orleans gave us all that at a much more affordable price point than Vegas.”
A search on Priceline for hotels over Labor Day Weekend turned up many hotels under $200 per night in New Orleans, while most Vegas options were upwards of $250. The price points for Vegas restaurants are, on average, triple that of even upscale NOLA options. With women spending an estimated $6,000 or more over a lifetime just to be a bridesmaid, these seemingly small savings can add up.
Liz’s group of five rented a house on Airbnb — something that’s not always an option in Vegas, where hotels on the strip still dominate. “It had a private outdoor pool and there were plenty of spots to buy groceries and drinks on the cheap as an alternative to eating and drinking out.”
Erin, 31 from Chicago also rented a house with 12 of her pals for her friend’s bachelorette party where, “one night we had someone come to cook a crawfish boil on our patio.” (While you could probably find someone in Vegas to cook a crawfish boil in your hotel room, it won’t feel as authentic.) Another perk? “It was nice not to wait in lines at night.”
The bachelorette party trend has been a boon for business, says Mark Schettler, the General Manager at Bar Tonique, a popular bachelorette location located on the edge of the French Quarter. “People drinking cocktails out of monogrammed penis straws while enjoying our music and having a great time and being kind and considerate of each other is what I want from all my shifts,” he said.
Thinking of planning a trip? Here are a few more tips to keep in mind:
● It’s not a club scene. “NOLA doesn’t have that club atmosphere Vegas does where girls to drink for free,” said Erin. While many places have cheaper drinks and bar specials, don’t expect to be gifted drink tickets by a promoter.
● Summer in New Orleans is very hot. “Usually from May to September it gets super humid and swampy,” said Liz. If you plan accordingly, fall and winter is a much cheaper option than spring, which is Mardis Gras frenzy.
● Don’t pack only heels. Unlike Vegas, New Orleans is a walkable, and most groups end up hoofing it everywhere. If you do take Uber or Lyft, most rides within the city are under $15.
● Pace yourself. It’s easy to eat everything in site in a city like New Orleans, where 24-hour food stands and beignets for days are the norm. Save room for a Sazerac or two!
● Be friendly. “Here’s some advice to anyone visiting New Orleans,” Schettler said. “1. Be nice or leave. 2. If whatever you’re doing doesn’t get in the way of anyone else’s good time, you’re probably OK to keep doing it. 3. Don’t pee on anything. If you follow those rules the locals and regulars won’t be bothered one bit.”
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