New Orleans. The land filled with history, culture, alcohol, the supernatural, and everything creole.
My stay in New Orleans was brief, but it certainly left an impression. Where you stay can always make or break your vacation. Sure, you can fork over a lot of cash to camp in a haunted hotel where you probably won’t see a ghost but, for the rest of us budget travelers, our options are a bit more limited. However, that doesn’t mean we have to skimp when it comes to uniqueness! Here’s where I stayed during my Nola adventures – in a yellow mansion called India House.
- central location
- unique decor
- huge backyard patio
- lots and lots of cool and interesting people
- multiple indoor and outdoor fridges (for all your boozy needs)
- no curfew – you can literally party until the sun comes up
- limited bathrooms
- lockers not in rooms
- air conditioning is practically non existent upstairs
India House was my first U.S. hostel experience. It went pretty well, all circumstances aside. I wouldn’t really recommend traveling the south in the heat of summer – something that we looked over in our excitement to get there. It was a battle of the window AC unit; we’d fall asleep with it blasting and wake up in a pool of our own sweat after inconsiderate roommates turned it off because it was “too loud.” We ended up camping for hours in a fast food joint just to sit in some air conditioning. “Parking” was a bit difficult as it was technically street parking, but we made it work.
India House is just a 10 minute ride from Bourbon Street and the rest of the famous French Quarter. It’s old, creaky, a bit run down, but that just adds to the charm. Hundreds of mardi gras beads hang from the wooden banisters that lead up to the second floor. There’s dozens of photos and currency from all around the world stapled to the green and purple walls. A unnamed house cat roams the first floor. Graffiti is encouraged as artists and doodlers scrawl on any blank space they can find. There’s inspirational quotes, a few geometric sketches, and lots of “[insert name] was here.” I’m not going to lie, I left my mark too.
New Orleans is a great place for the backpacker lifestyle. We met people from all over the world: the Netherlands, France, Thailand, Australia, Germany . . . New Orleans is just as mystical to people across the pond as a city like Paris or Tokyo is to us. They all know to come for the party and good food.