A visit to New Orleans was on my bucket list for a very long time. From the food to the music to experiencing festivals like Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras, I’ve wanted to check it out for myself. While traveling from Texas to Florida this past winter, I made a point of spending a few nights in New Orleans, in part to visit a good friend, but I hadn’t budgeted for any touristy stuff. Nevertheless, I had a blast and felt like I got a great first taste of the city. You can too! Ready to RV New Orleans?
RVing New Orleans on a budget won’t be easy. You’ll need to prioritize your food and fun purchases. But between affordable RV sites, cooking some of your own meals and all of the free history and culture you can soak up, you can have a great vacation on a budget here.
Getting Started — Choose Your RV Park
There are some excellent options for RV parks in the New Orleans area. There’s also a wide range of pricing. You’ll need to ask yourself a few questions to help you choose the best RV park for you.
- Will you have a passenger car or truck with you? Or just your RV rental?
- Do you like (and are you able) to walk a lot during your visit?
- Are you comfortable taking an Uber or using public transportation?
Once you’ve got those questions answered, you can begin deciding on where to stay. Here are some of my top recommendations. But let your answers to the questions above help you vet other parks as well. Be sure to check their websites for directions and not rely on the GPS! New Orleans has some places you can run into trouble in an RV.
My Top Choice:
Jude Travel Park of New Orleans – The #1 reason I chose to stay here? You can request a shuttle throughout the day for only $5/person. It’s an easy drop off in the French Quarter. You might be able to Uber more cheaply for multiple people than at that shuttle rate. But if you’re going solo, the shuttle will be a cheaper bet. Plus, it’s nice to know your driver. There’s also a lovely pool and hot tub and your other standard amenities here, and the owners provide free maps and historic walking trails that are fairly easy to follow.
It’s a gated community, which gives an extra sense of security too. I also liked that the bus stop was across the street, but as a newbie, it was intimidating to negotiate it my first time by myself. They’re great at assisting you with parking your rig. We’d happily stay here again, and it was one of the cheapest options we found. $30/night if you’re 29 feet or less, and the weekly rate is only $170, all with tax included. (Also, random, but if you like cats, they have a lot of cats here!)
Some Other Highly Recommended Options:
Three Oaks and a Pine – This is actually right next to Jude Travel Park. They brag that they’re the cheapest in New Orleans, not sure if that’s true as the rates look comparable to their next door neighbor. This park has security and a gate, and they list free wifi and cable as amenities. Not only can you call an Uber to the French Quarter cheaply (think less than $10, it’s only 5 miles away), the bus line stops across the street (like the above option). Some of their sites are pull throughs. They’re pricier. But pull-throughs could ease your fears if you’re worried about backing up your RV! Rates start at $30.
Bayou Segnette State Park – This is probably the most affordable option. I avoided staying there because it seemed a little too far away without access to a car, but if you plan to rent one or bring one with you, this is a beautiful way to camp in nature while seeing all New Orleans has to offer. There’s hiking here and free laundry if you can beat the other campers to it!
New Orleans West KOA – This looks a little bit less central a location, but they offer wifi and a tour shuttle (not sure if it’s free). KOAs are usually more expensive and geared toward families, but consider it.
RV Park Luxury:
Pontchartrain Landing – This looks fun, with a beautiful area on the waterfront, a marina, boat launch and a restaurant that’s supposed to be very good. Reviews of the wifi aren’t great, but it looks like an upscale resort with all of the amenities you’d expect, including a pool. It’s pricey — a random Thursday night in November comes to $59, for instance, and I’m not sure if that includes tax.
There is also a special events room and they offer vacation rentals, which could make this a great place to hnew a gathering like a family reunion. It’s very close to the airport and the University of New Orleans. You may want to call and ask if they have a shuttle option — they do seem fairly central for things like Uber, but be sure to price that out before you choose this option.
French Quarter RV Resort – This one is less than a mile’s walk to the French Quarter. It’s in the heart of the city, so walk mindfully, but you can walk to Bourbon St., Canal St. and also to bus and trolley stops. It’s extraordinarily expensive due to the convenient location — we’re looking at $105/night! Want a monthly RV spot? That’ll cost you a cool $2400.
Be mindful as you walk here — you’re in a city, after all. Unfortunately parking is just really tough here overall. Unless you take an Uber or taxi from place to place, you will be walking a lot on this trip.
Time to Plan Your Excursions!
Booked your RV park? Great! One key to RV New Orleans on a budget is watching your food expenses. Time to plan to pick up some groceries. Yes, the food in New Orleans is delicious, but if you’re on a budget, you’ll want to eat at least one meal in your RV daily. Driving an RV, or even a car, here is a real challenge! I picked up food before I got into the city. But there are great supermarkets like Whole Foods available at multiple locations in New Orleans if you prefer. (Keep in mind that RV parking will be hard to come by at the supermarkets, so you may prefer to shop outside the city for that reason.)
Whether you like museums, amazing food, trolleys, ghost tours, or fantastic music, you’ve got so much to choose from on your RV New Orleans adventure. Just a quick search in your area of choice will turn up some excellent options. Whatever you decide, I suggest you fit these into your vacation:
Must Dos in Operation RV New Orleans:
Beignets at Café du Monde – Some people will argue over where to get the best beignets, but no one argues that this place is an institution. I purchased some for my husband so I could have a bite, despite my gluten sensitivity. It’s that important.
Walk the French Quarter – and if you can swing it, enjoy dinner in a restaurant featuring live music by local musicians! We just picked the place with the best menu/music combination we saw, and it was heavenly. So stroll until you need a break or hear some amazing music, and then settle in and enjoy! You’ll can also find plenty of live music here and around New Orleans at all times of day. We highly recommended Maison Frenchman.
Tour the Historic Homes – We were provided with a fabulous, free walking tour to follow by Jude Travel Park, but you can also construct your own tour or sign on for an inexpensive guided tour. Follow the link for ideas of the homes and plantations you might want to visit! The Garden District is truly not to miss.
Visit the Lafayette Cemetary – I arrived too late to tour it, but rumor has it this is one of the most amazing and creepy things you can do in New Orleans. Closes at 3 PM. Free to visit! A guided walking tour is available to purchase if you prefer.
Ready to Book?
I can’t wait to RV New Orleans again. I did a lot last time, but there’s still so much to do. But I’m really glad I got to visit. And I was able to keep to my budget too. I hope you enjoy your trip! What’s at the top of your New Orleans to-do list?