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Drive or fly to New Orleans?

4 posts
Drive or fly to New Orleans?

Next summer (August 2019), my boyfriend and I are planning a trip to the states from London. The main destination we would like to go to is New Orleans but we would like to add a few other destinations to our trip as-well whilst we are there. We like the idea of visiting areas such as Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Memphis e.t.c and we are likely going to hire a car. Has anyone got any suggested routes? Is New Orleans an ok place to drive and park in or would you recommend getting a flight there and driving elsewhere? (We would stay there about 4 days) We would like to go for about 2 weeks in total. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

11 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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1. Re: Drive or fly to New Orleans?

Fly to New Orleans and when you’re ready for the rest of your trip, rent a car when you’re leaving town. You really don’t need one in New Orleans.

Mitchell, South...
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3,793 posts
2. Re: Drive or fly to New Orleans?

Agree with Irish Fan!! Having a vehicle is a nuisance in New Orleans. Strict expensive parking laws with limited access to to low cost parking.

Canton, Georgia
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39 reviews
3. Re: Drive or fly to New Orleans?

Also agree about not driving in New Orleans, but that is a big distance you are talking about. From New Orleans to Memphis is almost 6 hours. Memphis to Houston is 9 hours. New Orleans to Houston is 5 1/2 hours, etc.

Phoenix, Arizona
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54,521 posts
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4. Re: Drive or fly to New Orleans?

We often fly into New Orleans, and frequently rent an auto, when we leave for elsewhere, say the MS Gulf Coast.

Now, as we have family in NOLA, and its suburbs, we will often rent a car for our stay, but are then driving out to Jefferson Parish, or similar.

If just visiting NOLA, we do not want an auto, while in the City.

Best of luck, and agree with IrishFan.


Level Contributor
39 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Drive or fly to New Orleans?

BA has a nonstop flight from LHR to New Orleans that you might check into. Stay in New Orleans for a few days (you don’t need a car, it’s an easily walkable city), then hire a car and drive from New Orleans to Memphis. If you’re into blues music, a stop off in the Mississippi Delta (birthplace of the Blues) on your way to Memphis is a must.

Destination Expert
for New Orleans
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9,986 posts
147 reviews
6. Re: Drive or fly to New Orleans?

Definitely wait and get the car when you are ready to leave New Orleans. I think you have way too much planned for a two week trip. You will get great advice if you ask route questions on the Road Trip Forum.

For a nice two week trip, you might consider New Orleans 4 days, drive to Natchez Mississippi for overnight (plantations), then drive to the Delta as mentioned above (a stay at the Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale Mississippi will be something very unique), then an easy drive to Memphis, and with a few days remaining, consider adding Nashville to your trip.

Or, you could do a trip to New Orleans, then to San Antonio (overnight in Houston), San Antonio to Austin. I think that going as far west as San Antonio and then as far north as Memphis will be too much time on the road to make an enjoyable trip.

Baton Rouge...
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116 reviews
7. Re: Drive or fly to New Orleans?

Memphis is kind of out of the way if you're wanting to hit both TN and TX. I'd say pick one, either do TN and you could go up the river (blues country as stated earlier) and visit Memphis, Nashville, even further east to Knoxville and the Smokies if you like. Or you could save TN for a future visit and do TX, go due west across cajun country (South Louisiana) and visit Houston, San Antonio, Austin/Hill Country, even DFW if you wanted.

I would suspect you might want to fly out of a larger city just to save on airfare. Dallas or Houston are good options. If you end up in Tennessee, then once you get to Chattanooga, you're not that far from Atlanta also.

But as you currently have it, I'd probably be against trying to do both Memphis and various Texas stops. Just my thoughts. Happy planning.

Memphis, Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Memphis
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8. Re: Drive or fly to New Orleans?

If you decide to travel between New Orleans and Memphis, you'll find, I fear, that flights are ridiculously expensive and usually are routed through Atlanta. By they time you get to the airport early (and it's a haul out to MSY) and fly to ATL, have a layover, and then fly to MEM and connect to the downtown area where you'll probably want to be staying, you'll have taken almost as much time as it would take to ride the City of New Orleans train, which is considerably cheaper, and a nice relaxing way to travel.

Destination Expert
for New Orleans
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9,986 posts
147 reviews
9. Re: Drive or fly to New Orleans?

I can't imagine that it would save any time to fly between Memphis and New Orleans, considering it's only a six hour drive. Agree with FGrantWhittle.

10. Re: Drive or fly to New Orleans?

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