Planning ahead is always going to save you a lot of money no matter where you are traveling so it’s never too early to plan for Mardi Gras. Consider the fact that the more money you save on a flight and hotel room, the more you’ll be able to spend on Bourbon Street partying until the break of dawn. In order to get you ready for Mardi Gras, here’s our pre-planning checklist.

Mardi Gras Planning

For starters, start searching online travel sites for vacation package deals now. The sooner you can grab them up, the cheaper they will be. One word of caution: make sure that you aren’t overpaying for any one item in the package to save on another. For instance, you might save a ton of money on a hotel, but make up for that savings by paying extra on a flight. Always know what the itemized costs are for the package and compare them to the going rate.

If you can’t find a good package deal, you’ll just have to create your own. There are plenty of travel websites that provide free search engines that will allow you to bundle the best deals together based on the time of travel. Keep in mind that while Mardi Gras is a set period of time (meaning it will be hard to avoid high travel fees), you can always fly in a week early and just take in the sites — this is a good way to negotiate lower fees with hotels.

Finally, make sure you bring the right attire and right attitude. Mardi Gras is a huge party time, so stack up on your aspirin and hangover remedies—also bring clothing for party nights, bar nights, fancy nights and the beyond — you never know where a good Mardi Gras party will take you!