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Driving from Houston to New Orleans

Driving from Houston to New Orleans

Old Dec 22, 16, 2:27 am
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Driving from Houston to New Orleans

Not sure which forum this should be belong to....Texas or South but I'll put it here since my route will start from IAH.


Google map says the drive from IAH to New Orleans is about 5 hours. How is the drive? Planning to leave on a Monday morning and return Wednesday night (some time in January). Should I just fly instead? Cost is not an issue but rather than spending the time going through TSA and waiting, maybe driving is a better option (and the drive seems to be quite scenic as you head near MSY).


Trip is for leisure and there's only me and my gf. Thanks!
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Old Dec 22, 16, 12:00 pm
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Megabus

You may consider taking the Megabus. Go to Megabus.com as they often have very inexpensive tickets on a double decker bus, with WI-fi and bathroom. Some tickets can go for $1.
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Old Dec 22, 16, 6:45 pm
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Thanks but prefer driving over taking Megabus. With driving I can stop whenever I want or take detours to other places as I wish.
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Old Dec 22, 16, 7:05 pm
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There are some nice swamp scenes once you get near Lafayette. If you've not seen it, maybe, but it's mostly pine trees and pavement. I would stop in Lafayette. It's a rather nice little oil city, the nicest on the route to NOLA.

However, if you fly, you can just do a swamp tour from NOLA (or maybe try one in Lafayette if you decide to drive). Swamp tours are worth it as far as tours go.

Also, you won't have an issue with TSA at MSY. You kids have pre check?
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Old Dec 22, 16, 8:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Fleck View Post
Also, you won't have an issue with TSA at MSY. You kids have pre check?


Nope. I'm flying in from Hong Kong actually. We are doing a "semi" mileage run (will qualify for Eva Silver tier after this long-haul) and only have 5 full days in IAH.


Driving long distance is no issue for me (grew up in Toronto), wanted to know what the driving is like so I can rent the right car. Last trip to LA/Las Vegas in Sept I regret getting an under powered small SUV as other cars were regularly doing 80 - 90 in 70 zone and the SUV was having a hard time following along at that speed with the A/C at full blast.
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Old Dec 24, 16, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by Chromie25 View Post
Nope. I'm flying in from Hong Kong actually. We are doing a "semi" mileage run (will qualify for Eva Silver tier after this long-haul) and only have 5 full days in IAH.


Driving long distance is no issue for me (grew up in Toronto), wanted to know what the driving is like so I can rent the right car. Last trip to LA/Las Vegas in Sept I regret getting an under powered small SUV as other cars were regularly doing 80 - 90 in 70 zone and the SUV was having a hard time following along at that speed with the A/C at full blast.
I-10 crosses an 18 mile bridge over the Atchafalaya Swamp (one of the longest road bridges in the world). Common wisdom is to watch your speed there, enforcement is strict.
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Old Dec 25, 16, 9:58 pm
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It's a fairly dull drive and there isn't much of interest along the way. I would take the bus, unless you really enjoy driving yourself for some reason.
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Old Dec 26, 16, 11:40 am
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Drive there fly back? You don't have a huge amount of time and spending 10 hours in a car isn't always fun. You may also be in rough condition after two nights in New Orleans
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Old Dec 27, 16, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
It's a fairly dull drive and there isn't much of interest along the way.
I've made the Houston to New Orleans drive more times than I can count and would agree with this. That being said it's a fairly easy drive.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you stay downtown New Orleans the cost to park a rental car could be rather steep.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 12:21 pm
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Lightbulb

I-10 crosses an 18 mile bridge over the Atchafalaya Swamp (one of the longest road bridges in the world). Common wisdom is to watch your speed there, enforcement is strict.
The 18 mile I-10 bridge, combined with Baton Rouge traffic, is to be avoided. One accident over the Atchafalaya, and you can be stuck for hours. My choice is to take US-90 from Lafayette, through Morgan City, and on to I-310 back to NOLA (or US90 to the Huey Long Bridge/West Bank Expressway).

It's almost all freeway standard road, and has some attractions and stops along the way. Much less truck traffic. Under perfect conditions, it will take a little longer than I-10 through BTR, but it's consistent, unlike I-10.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 9:52 pm
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I've driven that route repeatedly since the early 1980s. I'd fly if I were you.

Actually, coming from HKG, I'd fly IAH-MSY and fly back MSY-HOU and use the time I'd saved by not driving to spend an afternoon at NASA in Clear Lake (near HOU).
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Old Jan 7, 17, 8:03 pm
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A boring drive indeed, with not much to see out the window. But if you want a break from the airport scene, not too bad unless you hit the stretch between Baton Rouge and NoLa between rush hour.

Good quality roads though not many places to grab food along the way once you leave TX.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 6:37 pm
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Thanks everyone. I ended up not going to IAH (went to CDG instead, yeah, very different but the semi-mileage run to CDG was 1/3 cheaper) but MSY is definitely a place that I want to go sometime in the future.
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Old Jan 30, 17, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by Chromie25 View Post
Google map says the drive from IAH to New Orleans is about 5 hours. How is the drive? Planning to leave on a Monday morning and return Wednesday night (some time in January).
the drive is surprisingly boring although the elevated freeway on the swamp is kinda cool i guess.

lake charles is on the way if you want to gamble

it's straight forward. and did i mention boring?

be careful and understand your rights in la as cops are very aggressive especially if your skin a certain color, your car a certain make, a plate a certain state, your accent a certain tone. if you're driving in at night you'll see what i mean once you hit kenner, metairie

really there isn't much worth stopping for enroute. i hear new iberia is alright to check out for lunch and victorian homes.

oh and a lot of the towns have drive thru liquor/convenience stores that will probably be a novelty for non southerners. drive thru daiquiris also in a lotta these towns if you get thirsty.

but drive over fly for sure. just be aware parking in new orleans is f'n expensive but free at harrahs for 24 hours if you gamble 30 mins a day (including penny slots, 1 cent at a time, with free+tip cocktails that you can order from your slot)

enjoy and make sure you check out museums in houston if you have the time
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Old Apr 27, 17, 9:10 am
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We drive from Houston to New Orleans a couple of years ago and it wasn't bad at all. We exited at the Atchafalaya Welcome Center to use the restrooms and walk around a bit. There are some neat exhibits there to occupy your time. Feeling refreshed after that stop, the rest of the way into NO seemed pretty quick.
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