Travel agents say Super Bowl isn't affecting the annual exodus - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Travel agents say Super Bowl isn't affecting the annual exodus

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New Orleans, La.—Parade stands in the city and in neighboring Jefferson Parish are up, and many infrastructure improvements for the Super Bowl are nearing completion just in time for the arrival of tens of thousands of visitors.

But for some locals the next couple of weeks will be a prime time to get out of town.

"My saying always has been half of Louisiana leaves to make room for the rest of the world to come in," said Julie Leech, a travel advisor with Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Even when the Super Bowl is not a part of the equation, many locals leave each year before the latter part of the carnival season.

"As a matter of fact I think it escalates a little bit every year," Leech said.

She has been a travel agent for 30 years.

"More and more people try to escape and since it is always like, a little ways of a holiday, a little vacation time, people take advantage of that," Leech said.

Cruises are also a lot of what travel agents end up booking for locals who are seeking vacations during the carnival season. Trips to amusement parks like Disney World are popular, as well.

Jan Dressler, an independent travel advisor with CWT Vacations said the types of trips she is asked to book run the gamut from high-end to not very expensive.

"I do have some clients even going as far away as Europe," said Dressler.

And while the airport did not have any hard numbers, a spokeswoman said every Friday before Fat Tuesday they see a lot of families flying out of town.

"We do have quite a number of people who do try to take advantage of the time that the kids have off from school, oftentimes it is a week, so they're ready to make a little bit of an exodus of the city," said Dressler.

And while there are still affordable packages for getting out of New Orleans before the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, snaring flights and lodging for the big game here will be very difficult at this point travel agents said.

"If you didn't plan that at least a half a year ago, I think there are no more flights available and I checked hotel space yesterday morning, there are no more rooms. If there are, they are really terribly outrageously expensive," said Leech.

Leech said it was difficult to get what she needed for a high-end corporate client.

"I had the hardest time finding accommodations for the Super Bowl, but I found something, but I started a half a year ago," said Leech.

Still, with so many visitors coming into the city there is a travel upside for people trying to leave for a little while.

"I think…with people coming into the city that means that there are extra planes to take people back out again," said Dressler.

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