Did you hear ? Carnival is coming back and there’s some newbies out there so I’m here to give you some tips. Even if you are not a newbie & want to plan better , I have some tips for you too.
A carnival trip is a bit more to plan out than a regular trip . There’s so much more to consider and it can get overwhelming. If you take your time , your planning can be easy.
Research , research, research ! I can’t stress this enough . If you’re here , then that’s a great step. I would suggest looking at other blogs , YouTube videos , and explore more resources.
The first thing you should do is find out when and where carnival and the parties are taking place .
Flight & Hotel
Figure out what day you want to leave and return . Some people come a few days ahead and leave a day or two after. It’s your own preference on what you want to do.
Once you figure out the days , BUY YOUR FLIGHT ! Dont wait too long to buy because flight prices will increase. Buy the roundtrip and not one ways ! Use Skyscanner , Google Flights , or Hopper to track flight prices.
Try to choose a hotel or Airbnb close to everything so you don’t spend too much on transportation.
Once you create an itinerary, you should be fine.
Choosing a band is usually next after you get the essentials . A band is the organization that provides you with the costume packages , jouvert packages , and more.
Google is your best friend when finding out what bands are participating in a specific carnival.
After you know what bands are participating , follow the band on Instagram for all updates .
There’s a band launch first , which showcases all the bands costumes .
Usually after band launch , you have the option to put down a deposit on the costume you prefer.
After your deposit , you are given a deadline and payment plan .
Choose a band based on costume preference and reputation .
The package includes Jouvert entrance , Jouvert attire , food and drinks for Jouvert , your costume , carnival entrance , food and drinks for carnival and more.
Now it’s time to pick up your costume or t shirt package .
1. Check the bag ! Before you leave , make sure all items are in the bag . Make sure you have the right sizes.
2. Put the wristband on immediately! This is your ticket to everything .
3. If something is missing , ask the staff.
4. It may take long or it won’t take much time . I wouldn’t schedule too much around distribution times.
5. Get contact information from section leader or a staff member for any costume mishaps or questions.
There will tons to choose from . There will be cooler parties , concerts , pool parties , and more . I like to go to different ones but it’s up to your preference .
Get your tickets as soon as you can . Do not wait for your friends ! If they didn’t get their tickets , go alone !
Finally , the day is here ! Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years.
1. Stay hydrated . Be sure to drink water throughout the day.
2. It’s a long day so wear comfortable shoes and rest when needed.
3. If you’re with friends & lose them , don’t worry. Set up a meeting place and you’ll find them eventually.
4. Be mindful of how much liquor you drink.
5. Use a small bag for your essential items – money , card , ID , keys , first aid kit , etc.
6. If you don’t know something , ask a question . There’s security and staff there with you .
7. It will be crowded and hot and attitudes will rise , but be as nice as you can . You won’t see these people anymore . Just walk away.
8. Every carnival is different . Try to go with the flow as best as you can .
9. SUNSCREEN ! Reapply throughout the day.
10. Have fun , hopefully you have a great time and will go to another carnival .
Carnival is an expensive hobby . Everything will be more expensive and in demand . Its best to plan as early as you can.
The extra costs on a carnival trip are the costume packages , party tickets , makeup , and other extra fees you need.
I actually don’t like the term “ carnival body” . Any shape or size is welcome to carnival. However , I understand people want to look their best in the costume. Don’t let the costume wear you , you wear the costume.
It’s also usually a long day of walking , sprinting , moving , and dancing . Just be sure to stay hydrated and take rest stops when you can .
Before you go to carnival , be sure to know all the latest songs you will hear on the road. It helps to be able to move with the crowd .
Here are some playlists to check out :
1. ByFarMega – HERE
2. Private Ryan – HERE
3. DJ Jel – HERE
4. Close Connections – HERE
Can you go to carnival alone ? Honestly , yes. You will lose your friends on the road anyway . I went to Jamaica by myself and had the time of my life. I think I’ll plan my carnival trips solo as well.
If you’re in a new country , try to explore as much as you can . Be a tourist ! You can make this carnival trip into a two – for – one trip. Explore the new place and take part in carnival events.
With COVID , there will be some changes we’ve already seen.
It will be less people participating and more protocols in place.
Here are some little hacks that I do when it’s carnival time .
1. I follow the bands on Instagram and turn on post notifications.
2. I join group chats and Facebook groups to get information, not necessarily to meet up with anyone .
3. Because I’m short , I usually ask somebody tall to get my drinks from the truck .
4. If I need help with my costume , go early to where your band is meeting and someone will help you .
5. Get a hotel or Airbnb near where the events and carnival are to save on transportation.
The next carnival is Miami on October 10 , 2021 ! Read about my 2019 experience and some smoovee tips – HERE !
Plan Your Trip With Me
For first time participants, I will be offering limited FREE travel consultations . Send a message on Instagram – HERE !
Also , get your FREE carnival travel guide HERE !
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