Surviving Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras is here ladies, and “WHO DAT” is better to tell you on how to survive in these festivities than a true “New Orleanian”? Yes, me! I will give you a few tips on how to keep it safe, and “Let the good times roll” in New Orleans this Mardi Gras season.
 
Outfit of Choice

First, lets start off with the outfit of choice. There is such a thing as cute and comfortable, right? No, I am not saying put on a pair of sweat pants, but I’m saying that you must wear something that you are willing to walk the streets in all day. Also, I suggest that you put two pairs of changing clothes with you in the car and some toiletries as well: one pair of changing clothes for when you feel too dirty and another for going out. You never know what the day will bring you!
 
Shoes

Keep your pair of stilettos in the car with your black dress. If you must wear a heel, I recommend that you wear a wedge or a block heel. I must repeat! You will be walking the whole day! All of the main streets will be blocked off for pedestrians and parade routes.
  

Parking

Arrive early if you do not want to pay! The first parade starts at 8 AM. I know it seems impossible to get up that early, but the city never sleeps. In addition, there will be plenty of empty parking lots that people will charge you for.
 
Directions

Be sure to text the intersection and landmark of where you will be parked to your friends. That way, you all can have it in your history. You will most likely have to walk a long way from your car. Our minds tend to forget quickly as the day goes on. Google maps, or any GPS system on your smart phone, will become your best friend.
 
Food

 I suggest that you eat a nice breakfast before going out, and for fresh breath purposes, keep a few mints/gum pieces in your pocket or purse. There will be plenty of snack trucks and restaurants along the parade route, but you can always bring a snack with you if you are on a budget.
 
Safety

Please do not be afraid of New Orleans. Just be conscious of your surroundings. There are so many bad stories because young ladies put themselves in horrible predicaments. Assign at least one sober person for each night. Do not wear a big purse. Make sure that your money is secured. Do not go into dark alleys. Never walk alone at night. Hold your drink at all times! Once you put it down, do not pick it back up. Most importantly, do not go out without a fully charged cell phone battery!
 
For further information on parade schedules and routes, you can visit
http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/schedule

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/phelanriessen/3306770777