pack Mardi Gras New Orleans
Picklr: Pedro Szekely

Mardi Gras is a special time in the state of Louisiana! I’m an LA native and I’ve been enjoying Mardi Gras since I was an infant. Although I live in Nashville now, I still regularly make it back for the parades and fun throughout Lousiana.

Are you heading down for the first time? I’ve prepared a packing list that’ll help you get ready for the craziest (and best) time in New Orleans.

Packing Checklist for Mardi Gras:

Rain Coat

You really never know what the weather is going to be like in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I’ve been sometimes when I’ve worn dresses or shorts and other times when I’ve needed an actual coat and gloves for the parade. My biggest tip for Mardi Gras in NOLA is to be prepared.

I needed a new rain jacket for this year’s parades and I found this affordable one on Amazon. It came in and is comfortable and light enough, in case it’s hot. It looks a little chicer than other rain jackets thanks to the cute cuffed sleeves. I will warn you, the sleeves are a little short.

Order yours now and expedite the shipping to get it in before Fat Tuesday. If you can’t get it in time, hit related items on Amazon. There are a ton of cute jackets on there (I was shocked).

Ice Chest

Even if you don’t plan on consuming alcohol during Mardi Gras, you’ll want to stay hydrated (or caffeinated). An ice chest — with wheels is a MUST.

This one is available on Amazon, it’s spacious and has amazing reviews. You can expedite shipping to get it in long before Mardi Gras day. This 100-quart chest even has space to hold your drinks on top of it.

Order yours now by clicking on the photo to the right.

Koozie Necklace

The last time I was at Mardi Gras in New Orleans (a few years ago), I had a beer koozie necklace that I thought was pretty ridiculous. By the end of our four-day trip, I realized just how useful it was.

When you’re trying to catch beads and throws, you need your hands free. This necklace does that — while keeping your beer ice cold. This is a must-have for me every time I’m in New Orleans now (even if it’s just a random Thursday).

Order yours now, you’ll thank me later. While you’re at it, get one for everyone you’re traveling with.

Long-Sleeved Shirt

Like I said, the weather in Louisiana is unpredictable. It’s always best to be prepared for any weather. Seriously.

I’ve already mentioned packing a lightweight rainjacket but it’s also a great idea to pack some layers. I love this adorable Mardi Gras long-sleeved tee that comes in various colors. It’s perfect for everyone in your crew if the temps start dropping after the sunsets.

Order yours here and get your friends one, too. It’s a great souvenir.


Another must is a bag (or several) for all of your beads and throws. If you plan on catching anything during the parades, you’ll need a place to put everything.

I love these bags from Amazon because they easily fold up into small bags. It’s super easy to travel with them — no matter where you’re coming from. Once you’re done at Mardi Gras, bring these to the grocery store and help save the planet!

It’s a great idea to make sure you have several. You know someone will forget a bag while you’re partying.

Hand Sanitizer

I hope if you’re ready for Mardi Gras that you’re also ready to use a porta-potty. That’s really your only choice when you’re on the parade route.

Although that’s not ideal, it’s a little better when you have your own hand sanitizer. This way you’ll leave the porta-potty feeling a little cleaner.

While you’re at it, make sure you grab some tissues to bring with you. These will definitely come in handy.

Comfy Shoes

Don’t make the mistake of trying to wear your favorite heels during Mardi Gras. Trust me, I love shoes (and especially heels) but just don’t do it.

Instead, opt for a pair of comfortable flats. It’s also a great idea if you can clean them.

I usually wear my favorite pair of Toms that I don’t mind if they get dirty. I spray them with Scotchgard before I leave and I clean them after all the fun. The streets of New Orleans can be pretty dirty and, if it rains, it will only be worse. I love wearing Toms and will definitely be wearing mine this year.


If you’re smart, you’ll get to the parade routes a little early. That means lots and lots of waiting around. I actually enjoy getting there early, having a cold beer and talking to the people stationed around me (especially now that I’m not a “local”).

Because you’ll be spending some time waiting on parades and throws, you’ll definitely want a chair and this Coleman chair is perfect.

The best thing about this high-quality one is that you can use it later for tailgating, concerts and more. I see myself using it for LSU tailgates in the future.


If I’m going to have any type of bar, I always spring for a Larabar. During Mardi Gras, I’m busy and I’m constantly hungry. Although I always want to get boiled crawfish or Raising Cane’s, there isn’t always time.

When I get hangry, I reach for a Larabar. These bars are wholesome, filling and I can be confident about what I’m getting in them.

The peanut butter chocolate chip is my favorite flavor but you can’t go wrong with any of them (except for maybe the lemon ones). Order them via Amazon.

Mirror Phone Charger

Since you’ll be out all day on the parade routes, you’ll want your phone to be charged. When it starts to get low, just plug it into this power bank. That way you can post all your fun to social media and request your Uber at the end of the night (if you’re new to Uber, use code cotih6ui for a discount).

The best thing about this power bank is it’s also a lighted mirror. That way, you can make sure your glitter and costume is in place all day long. Order yours now by clicking on the image to the right.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Are you heading to New Orleans for the first time? Check out their official website here where you can learn more about the parades, history and so much more. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see all of the fun live, too.


I take all of my recommendations very seriously but I may earn a small commission through my affiliate links. Hey, it helps me buy my dog treats!

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