The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

How to navigate the bayou on a college budget

By Nick Pappas

I didn’t think it was worth it. A week ago, I figured a trip to the griminess of New Orleans to see Utah get fried like a crawdad by an SEC team wasn’t worth a $500 coach ticket, likely next to the largest man on the plane, and a $135 bowl ticket among hostile Southerners.

Then the snow came. The valley was blanketed with the white stuff that causes Utahns to lose control of their motor functions behind the wheel. SUVs seem invincible until a patch of black ice proves otherwise. Mustang owners face the painful realization that they made a stupid purchase as they careen to the side of the road.

It’s also damn cold. I live in a basement apartment that feels as though it’s insulated by rice paper, and now seems as good a time as any to get away. New Orleans isn’t a tropical paradise, but it is warmer than Salt Lake City in January and once the inversion rolls in, amazingly less polluted.

It’s also the place where history will be made in Utah football.

I’ve never been to New Orleans. Any suggestions I offer to you would just be a regurgitation of the top hits on Google8212;”A stop in New Orleans is not complete without a trip to the historic French Quarter!” You get it, I’m sure.

As a Utah fan and fellow poor college student, you’re not going to New Orleans to get an education. You don’t want to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Garden District. You don’t want to hear about the finest restaurants because, let’s face it, they don’t serve hobos.

So, instead, here is a bowl guide to New Orleans for those whose wallets are as empty as Plaxico Burress’ noggin.

How to get there

This is the biggest challenge. The Fiesta Bowl would have been a casual drive in a beat-up Camry for me, but New Orleans is 28 hours away on the road. If I take my green monster to the Big Easy, I’ll find myself stranded on a flat stretch in Texas next to the smoking beast.

So, it comes down to flying or renting. There are many travel sites that offer good deals8212;www.kayak.com is the best. It searches multiple airlines and discount sites and comes back with the best results. Depending on the travel dates, I’ve found flights between $400 and $600.

Too rich? Rent an RV from Pappy’s Motorhome Rentals in Midvale. If you can round up six or more Utes, the cost will be $300 to $400 a person. Remember, open beverage containers are legal in Texas. Once you cross the border, the passengers can pop open their beer cans and play a game of quarters at 70 mph.

Personally, I’m going to beg my parents for their frequent flyer miles. The cheapest option is groveling to old people who are far more traveled than you. I’ll repay them with spoilable grandkids someday.

How to sleep there

The Sugar Bowl had to be right after the New Year, didn’t it? If you’re going down for New Year’s Eve, be prepared for a hefty inflation. Hotels know the price college students will pay to have a bed to fall in after their beads are given away.

There are also a lot of sites online that offer good deals, but we’re still talking in the range of $150 to $200 a night. The best option is the road-trip special8212;pile as many people as you can into one hotel room. Have three people sleeping on the floor, one guy in the bathtub, and another passed out in the hallway. Hotels will post capacity limits, but they’re rarely enforced. Make sure to fill socks with bars of soap to pummel the guy who snores the loudest.

Personally, I will wear Alabama gear and try to look dashing. If I can’t get invited back to a few rooms, I’m sure New Orleans is used to drunkards sleeping on the park benches anyway.

How to eat there

New Orleans is known for the food. Imagine the cuisine of France mixed with the spice of Spain. There are more than 500 restaurants in the French Quarter alone. All of them are overpriced. Sugar Bowl week will be full of yahoos dressed in red with their tongues lolling at restaurant windows.

A friend of mine went to New Orleans as an insurance adjustor after Hurricane Katrina and suggested a few restaurants for those on a budget. I assume they’re still standing, but you never know in that region of the country.

Juan’s Flying Burrito: This is a place where you can build your own burrito. The burrito the place was named after is filled heavy with steak, chicken, shrimp and fixings8212;the perfect meal for hangover recovery.

Clover Grill: Right on Bourbon Street, the Clover Grill is open 24 hours a day for late-night celebration feasts. The burgers are cooked under domed hubcaps and griddle-baked.

As important as a budget is, I’ll be spending the majority of my money on food. It would be a shame to travel so far and not get caught up in bowls of gumbo, Po-Boy sandwiches and fresh fish caught just hours before it’s cooked.

Consider it an investment in your future. After college, you’ll be in debt a long, long time. The only thing that lasts longer than the debt, though, is memories. Start saving them up.

[email protected]

Nick Pappas

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy at https://dailyutahchronicle.com/comment-faqs/.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *