Itinerary – New Orleans

A few months ago Jay and his friends from Purdue dreamed up the great idea to travel to Nashville together! We hardly ever see them since they live in and around Indiana, so we decided to fly to Indianapolis and make the four hour drive to Nashville with them. We’d then fly back to Philadelphia directly from Nashville.

Well, I returned from work one afternoon about two weeks ago and found Jay staring our large map of the United States. I jokingly asked if he was planning our next vacation and he proceeded to tell me about a mix-up with the Nashville plans. Due to a miscommunication, his friends had booked and paid for their hotel the weekend before we were planning to come. Sigh.


Since we had already purchased our Frontier flights and his friends had paid an advance rate for the hotel, neither of us could change our plans. We looked up the cost of just driving to Nashville ourselves from Indianapolis, but a rental car would have cost over $200. Luckily, our other flights and hotels were refundable since they were booked with points, so we started looking up options for a different vacation.

We settled on New Orleans! Jay has never been and I haven’t visited since a mission trip in college, so it worked out well in the end. We’re all about making the best of a bad situation : ) Here are our plans for the Nashville turned New Orleans trip!


Day 1:  Departure

  • Fly Frontier from Philadelphia to Indianapolis in the evening
  • Park at Preflight Philadelphia (they have a great rewards program – I used points to get one night free)
  • Second dinner / drinks in Indianapolis!
  • Stay: Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites
    120 W Market St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Day 2: Indianapolis / New Orleans

  • Fly United from Indianapolis to New Orleans in the morning
  • Start exploring the streets of New Orleans – I love the architecture / style of the buildings
  • Cajun food!
  • Drinks in Bourbon Street / French Quarter
  • Stay: Hyatt French Quarter New Orleans
    800 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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Day 3: New Orleans

  • Beignets for breakfast from the famous Cafe du Monde
  • Check out nearby Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral
  • Visit Audubon Park / Audubon Zoo / National WWII Museum
  • Listen to live jazz! Talk about a far cry from the country music we were originally planning to hear : )
  • Stay: Hyatt French Quarter New Orleans

Day 4: Home

  • Fly Southwest home from New Orleans to Philly (we leave around 5am – that’ll be a fun wake-up call)

Estimated Trip Costs

Hilton                                                                30,000 points
Hyatt French Quarter                                    30,000 points (2 nights at 15,000 / night)
Frontier Flight (PHL to IND)                     $75 per person
United Flight (IND to MSY)                         10,000 points + $55 per person*
Southwest Flight (MSY to PHL)                  13,555 points +$5 per person
Parking at PHL                                                $23
Total                                                              $158

*United charges $75 per person ($50 for Silver status, $25 for Gold status) when you book an award flight within 21 days of departure flight. This is called a close-in booking fee and it really stinks. It’s also in addition to the regular $5.60 award flight fee.

Do you have any suggestions for what we should do / see / eat in New Orleans?


  1. New Orleans is so much fun! I highly recommend the Morning Call Coffee Stand at the New Orleans City Park – it’s right next to the art museum (awesome sculpture garden for free!) and can easily rival Café du Monde. For Jazz music, definitely check out Frenchman street – it has a more local feel and an amazing mix of music.

    If you have time to venture out of the city – Oak Alley Plantation is absolutely beautiful!!

    1. These are great suggestions! Thanks so much! Makes me wish we had more than just two days there…

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