We have a few trips planned for this year so we wanted to stay semi-close to come for Spring Break. I offered the family the choice of a beach trip or New Orleans. They both chose New Orleans (well… my daughter may have actually picked beignets but I understood). We love New Orleans and go every couple of years. It’s about 9 hours from the house but it’s a destination we all enjoy.
Given that we’ve been before, we wanted to specifically pick activities that we haven’t done before. My daughter became obsessed with the idea of doing a ghost tour (I know, she’s a quirky kid). As I started to research them, the #1 rated tour on Trip Advisor was Free Tours By Foot. Honestly, it sounded weird so I scrolled on. Eventually it came up again as a suggestion so I was off to research whether it was a scam. All of the glowing reviews finally persuaded me to give it a shot so we booked a ghost tour for a small booking fee (some of the more popular tours have booking fees, but most tours are free).
The tour company says that they don’t want you to pay for a tour that you aren’t totally happy with but I did some research before we left to see how much people tipped generally. I found that other people seem to tip $20 each (still cheaper than booking a tour and tipping).
Before our scheduled time, I received an email with a meeting place and a picture of our tour guide. Our guide was fantastic. She guided us around the French Quarter stopping to tell us true stories of creepy happenings. She was honest and funny. There were a lot of other tours wandering at the same time and a lot of the other tour guides wore costumes or other cheesy getups. I was so glad she wasn’t like that. Just a real person telling real stories.
The last stop on our tour was the story of Delphine LaLaurie who was caught locking up slaves and murdering them in a torture chamber. Rescuers found a 70-year-old black woman trapped in the kitchen during the fire because she was chained up while LaLaurie was busy saving her furniture. The woman later revealed that she had set the fire in an attempt to escape LaLaurie’s torture. She led authorities up to the attic, where seven slaves were tied with spiked iron collars. The LaLaurie’s unfortunately escaped a mob of people and the police but their amazing mansion still stands.
At the end of the tour, I honestly expected to be pressured into tipping but she just offered to give food or drink suggestions and said she would be around if anyone had any other questions. I tipped her $60 ($20 for each of us) and went on our way.
If you are looking for a great, cost-effective tour option, I would definitely suggest checking them out. I see that they have a variety of tours available in a few cities.