The tips below will help you prepare for your trip in many ways you probably didn't even think of. Have fun and Laissez les bon temps rouler (Let the good times roll)!
What do you really want to do in New Orleans?There are so many things to do in New Orleans. If you have never been and you are going for the first time during Mardi Gras you need to do your research. Depending on the time and location of the places you want to go to you might not be able to get there because of the parades. You can check out parade time and routes here. It is important to plan ahead!
Buy folding chairs at CVS or Walgreens for the parades.
You will thank me for this tip later trust me. Mardi Gras parades are long so you could be there for hours. Having a chair is great for sitting when there is a pause in the parade or so you can relax your feet. Most importantly it is great for sectioning off your space. There a lot of people and having the chairs helps keep people from being on top of you.
Get to your parade spot at least two hours ahead of time.
Prime spots on the parade route go fast so get some beer, food and take your chairs out to a good spot 2 hours ahead of time. A good tip to finding the perfect spot to watch the parades that roll through uptown down St. Charles to Canal is stay off Canal because it gets so crowded. I like going a couple blocks from canal on St. Charles because there are porta potties, a few restaurants and convenience stores if you need one. (some of the convenience stores will sell you a wristband to use their toilet which is amazing and clean!)
One thing locals hate is greedy tourists that try to jump in front of them to get throws at a parade. Also DO NOT grab throws that a person was trying to give a kid...its tacky and rude. You WILL get lots and lots of beads, and other throws so do not worry. Another tip is to make eye contact with people on the float and say throw me something lady or mister. Remember to also say thank you to the thrower as well. NOLA may be crazy this time of year but manners are still appreciated!
Don't get greedy with beads and other throws.
Never let a drunk friend walk away on their own
Every year I see people just let there drunk friends walk away from them and say "whatever they can find there way back". No... be the bigger person and stay with them or make them come with you! Keep everyone safe!
Yes I know I just gave you a lot of things to not do but really just have a great time without being an ass to others. Common sense right?