Guide to Bleisure in NOLA: Balancing Bourbon St.
Some places have the ability to change you--New Orleans does that for me in a way that's less desirable for business and more primed for party mode. Bedtime is no time and being easy on budget and alcohol in the Big Easy just isn't an option. Nawlins is a magical land where I immediately crave an oyster shooter and sazerac upon landing--regardless of time.
Being sent to New Orleans to do some work/tacking on a girls trip on the weekend side might seem like a recipe for disaster. However, you can successfully "Laissez les bon temps rouler" (or "let the good times roll") as they say!
Schedule leisure after business
Some places, you can vacation first and then hit the grind; New Orleans is not one of those places. It is a party city--you want to be on your top game for business and your party game, well for, ya know, Bourbon St. Spending a work trip hungover is not cool and clients/colleagues will be able to tell if you had one had too many hurricanes.
Have your friends arrive after work is done
Your friends may say they won't bother you; however, remember they are there on vacation and you are still there to do some work. Do you want to pressured to stay out late, woken up at random hours, feel FOMO because of what they are doing? Probably not. In addition, having a friend start in NOLA 1-2 days before you do is like showing up to a party after everyone has been drinking all day. By 9PM you'll be good to go, and they will be passed out in bed.
Stay in the same hotel the entire time
Something about the usual comforts of a Marriott, reminds me that this is a work trip. The JW Marriott New Orleans is conveniently tucked away in the French Quarter while still being a walk from Bourbon St.
Allow the business portion a chance to explore other neighborhoods/things to do in NOLA
New Orleans is known for great food, drinks, and jazz. However, you don't have to be anywhere near Bourbon St. to experience essential NOLA. Neighborhoods like Uptown offer cool dining spaces without the tourist noise of the French Quarter. In addition, there are plenty of neat museums such as the National World War 2 Museum where you can spend your time. Also, the architecture of New Orleans is unbelievable for Instagram, seeing, etc.--truly is like nothing else.
Laissez les bon temps rouler = Let the good times roll
Enjoy! After your work is done, it is time to celebrate and let the good times roll. Just remember to drink plenty of water-- not to sounds like a nagging mother, but NOLA can be hot and humid and you will have to catch that return flight home to get back to the grind.
Are you ready to "let the good times roll?" Share in the comments how you plan to make the most of your time in New Orleans--for work and play!
Meet Our Upside Guest Blogger!
I'm Chelsea and I am proud member of the biz travel community. In my role as Regional Director of Development, Western Region for the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), I am based out of Ann Arbor and travel to the West Coast, primarily San Francisco 2-3x per month to meet with donors and alumni. The very nature of my work relies on business travel -- you can follow my journeys on Instagram @chelsmichelle7 and Twitter @chelseamichelle.