If you love seafood, ghost stories, jazz, and a city that’s so full of rich culture and history that each cobblestone street seems to have its own story to tell, then NOLA might just be your dream destination.

Known for its famed Bourbon Street, its wild Mardi Gras celebrations and those bright green Hand Grenades, you might think that that’s all New Orleans is about – but you’d be wrong. This colorful city is humming with music and brimming with spicy cuisine. It’s a city emblazoned with lively street art and shivering with ghost stories. It’s a city where you will meet people from all walks of life, where you can eat alligator meat, and where you can visit a dimly lit voodoo shop.

There’s so much more to New Orleans than Bourbon Street. Here are 5 other things you can do:

Visit the French Market District

Visit the French MarketPhoto Credit: Flickr

Explore six blocks of open air shopping, history and local eats at the French Market District. Here you can browse at the Flea Market or get some grub at the Farmers Market. Enjoy the sweet sounds of local musicians, try out some frog legs or buy yourself some locally crafted jewelry.

Have some rabbit jambalaya at Coop’s Place

Coops Place in New OrleansPhoto Credit: Yelp

The spot where locals go to eat, Coop’s Place serves up Cajun-style cooking in this beloved dive bar. This is no five-star experience. Leave the fancy dishes and pretentious wait-staff for another time. At Coop’s Place, you’ll get cold beer, a fun atmosphere and some of the best food in the South. Rabbit and Sausage Jambalaya, anyone?

Ride a steamboat along the Mississippi River

Steamer Natchez in New Orleans
Photo Credit: I Run For Wine

Take in the sights from the Steamboat Natchez, NOLA’s last authentic steamboat. Buffet lunch cruise? Dinner cruise? Brunch cruise? The Steamboat Natchez has you covered. Explore the French Quarter and see the New Orleans skyline the way it’s meant to be seen: from the river.

Eat some bugs at the largest bug museum in the country

Audobon Butterfly Garden
Photo Credit: Mike’s Travel Guide

The Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is the largest bug museum in the U.S. Here you can walk through a beautiful butterfly garden while hundreds of colorful butterflies float around you. You can watch an interactive bug movie, explore the Louisiana Swamp, shrink to the size of a bug or even gobble a few!

Go on a ghost tour

Ghost Tours in New Orleans
Photo Credit: Livery Tours

There’s not much more thrilling than going on a walking ghost tour through one of the most haunted cities in America. New Orleans has a rich history of gruesome and ghastly tales, and hearing the stories retold where these particular macabre events actually occurred is core-shakingly enticing. But ghosts aren’t all these tours are about. If vampires or voodoo history is more up your dark alley, you can enjoy them also.


Your next international vacation should be full of excitement, magical moments, and unforgettable stops at the most extraordinary restaurants, shops and destinations the world has to offer.

The last thing you need, then, is to show up at the airport simply to get turned away due to an expired passport, or even too many stamps in your book. (Who knew?!)

Check out these five surprising passport mistakes you’ll want to avoid making so you can reach your destination (and return home) with no problems at all!

Mistake #1: Not Checking the Expiration Date

This doesn’t even just mean a passport long since expired. Some countries only accept passports that won’t expire for six months or more. So if you have four months left till your expiration date, it’s probably safer to get a new one than be turned away at the gate!

Mistake #2: Waiting Too Long to Apply

It’s pretty common knowledge that passports take forever to receive and/or renew, but with all the stress of a trip, this important detail can sometimes be forgotten. In general, passports take at least six weeks to arrive on time. If you require it sooner, expedited services will cost $60 and take about three weeks.

Need it even sooner than that? Check out this page to learn how to book an appointment at a passport agency or center.

Mistake #3: Not Correctly Filling Out the Form

We’ve all made some typos here and there, but an error on your passport application will result in a missed flight. Even if the printer was to blame, you’ll still need to correct it before heading through security. The bright side? The correction process is free. You’ll just need a DS-5504 form that you can either mail in or fill out online

Mistake #4: Not Updating Your Name After a Change

Legally changed your name recently? Passports don’t automatically update, so you’ll have to go through the renewal process. You’ll need to use a passport renewal form (DS-82), submit a color passport photo, an official document showing your name change, and your current passport (plus the fees that go along with it). We suggest ensuring you’re eligible for the DS-82 form.

If it’s been less than a year since your passport with your old name was issued, you might be able to update for free with the DS-5504 form.

Mistake #5: Having Too Many Stamps

Who knew that being a world traveler can have its downsides? Though you’re very lucky to have so many stamps in your book, some countries require you to have two to four blank pages in your passport.

If you love traveling as much as we do, make sure you’re always on top of your passport status to avoid any mishaps at the airport and reach your destination as soon as possible!

If you’ve never purchased travel protection before, it’d be no surprise if you had some reservations about it. Spending extra money? Arghh. Do you even really need it? Believe me, travel insurance does way more good than harm, letting you enjoy your vacation with the peace of mind knowing that even if any unforeseen circumstance was to arise, you’d be taken care of. And that’s a really good feeling.

Here are five travel protection myths debunked, courtesy of our friends at Travel Insured International.

“Travel protection is too expensive.”

Travel protection is actually very affordable, especially when compared to your trip cost and the amount of coverage offered. For example, if you have a 10-day trip and a $100 travel protection plan, that would only be $10 per day. That’s well worth it for knowing you’re covered in the event of a surprise jelly fish sting or some lost luggage!

“I have travel coverage elsewhere.”

This is true for some people, but coverage through other sources is usually more limited. For example, credit card companies typically only insure for things purchased on that card. As for medical coverage abroad, travel protection may offer a wider range of coverage than your personal health insurance.

“The airline has me covered.”

Airlines might get you on the next available flight, but what if the delay is extremely long? There’s no guarantee that your hotel and meal costs incurred during the delay will be covered by the airline. Travel protection, on the other hand, could help you with these costs and more!

“Every travel insurance provider and protection plan are the same.”

Not all travel protection plans and companies are alike. For example, at Travel Insured, they take pride in their excellent customer service and extensive coverage, working with you to find the plan that best fits your needs.

“My claim won’t get paid anyway.”

Our friends at Travel Insured care about their customers the same way they care about their own families. They want to help pay your claim, but it’s important to carefully read your documents to fully understand the coverage.