So far I've done Mardi Gras twice, the first time I went alone. That's not exactly as crazy as it sounds, you just need to make sure to be aware of your surroundings and use common sense the way you would travelling in any major city. The following information is from my experiences and thought it would be good to share, whether you're travelling with companions or going it alone.
*** Here are 3 tips for going solo for Mardi Gras:
1. Don't carry around more than you need
That means no large purses or backpacks, nothing bigger than what you really need since you'll be spending quite a bit of time in the middle of huge crowds. Phone/camera, identification, cash, and a credit card. Some vendors may be on the street and you might need cash to purchase something unique like a wild shirt or mask.
Be aware when stuffing money in your pockets or purse. I found a $100 bill neatly folded on Canal Street one night while making my way back to my hotel room. Needless to say I was a happy camper, but I'm sure the previous owner wasn't!
2. Be careful what you drink
Along the French Quarter, on and near Bourbon Street, are several daquiri shops with slushy drink machines featuring several flavors. These drinks look and taste good, but are also really strong. I've never tried the one labeled "Anti-Freeze", I stick to my usual Hurricane, which is a traditional New Orleans concoction.
Even if you have a good alcohol tolerance these drinks are pretty serious...so sip slowly! I still don't know how they keep the booze from dissolving through the styrofoam cup, lol! Enjoy with caution!
3. Read my post on How To Catch Mardi Gras Beads Without Losing Your Shirt
If you're new to Mardi Gras and want to know some of the best ways to catch beads during the parades, this is a must-read! Click here to check it out!
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*** Top 10 New Orleans (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide)
The Mardi Gras Girl