Tips To Make Sure You Have A Safe And Enjoyable Carnival Experience

It’s less than one week to the greatest show on Earth, Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2014. Veteran masqueraders are already descending upon the twin island republic this week along with a slew of Carnival virgins who really don’t know what they’re in for. The good folks over at compiled a solid list for the first timers and a few pointers for the more seasoned.  Everything from what to wear, what to eat and even how to party is all covered in these helpful tips. Check Them Out After The Jump…


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This should obviously is the first thing on your list, unless you’re “in between jobs” right now go ahead and skip to the next tip.

Passports do this weird thing where they expire without telling anyone. Make sure it’s up to date, if not head to your nearest embassy or post office.

Airline tickets rarely get cheaper as it nears your intended departure date. Book early or even through a travel agency for the best fares.

Well it is known as Trinidad AND Tobago. Very often Tobago takes a backseat to the much bigger Trinidad, but Tobago is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and bed and breakfast establishments between the two islands. Be sure to add on a few days to check out the sister isle, it’s only a 12 minute plane ride away.

You’re travelling to an island after all, not bringing your swimwear would be like not bringing skis on a ski trip.

And while we’re on the topic of swimwear especially bikinis, ladies this would be a good time to make sure your affairs are in order, i.e the “grass” is cut.

“Oh I don’t get sunburn.” The people who usually say that don’t go outside. With average daily temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees you may get more than a tan — Lather up.

US currency is accepted by most in Trinidad and Tobago, but usually at a lower conversion value. Get more bang for your buck and change it in the airport.

Until we find a way to bond our phones with our bodies there’s always going to be a chance that we lose them, and it hurts way more knowing how much we spent on them in the first place, and while here there’s going to be numerous chances to lose it. We suggest going with a lesser model.

Much like the tip before unless you want to pay ridiculous roaming fees get a sim from a local provider, they give you a ton of minutes and you don’t get charged for incoming calls.

Yes we know, camo goes with everything. Not here. There’s a strict no camouflage policy, so those cool camo shorts you wear with all your tees, you may want to leave those home or risk getting them confiscated in customs.

I know it you’re looking at this like “What?!” We would have you know that the KFC’s in Trinidad and Tobago are the highest grossing in the world. Maybe it’s the caribbean air?

Not a fan of KFC? Try another local favorite Doubles. Two fried dough patties filled with curried chickpeas or “Channa” as it’s known made on the spot and to your hand within seconds.

Since we’re on the topic of food we highly suggest you make your way to Maracas Beach and try a Bake and Shark. Crispy fried dumpling filled with a succulent fried filet of shark with your choice of an array of condiments outside the usual ketchup and mustard options.

You’re finally here, you first step should be outside your comfort zone. Check the next slide for one way to do that.

Yes, wine on a stranger. Obviously in a party setting, but even if you’re the shy type the fact that you’re surrounded by good music, food and all round good vibes you can’t help but feel compelled to. A little wine never hurt nobody.

You may be coaxed into attending one of the million cooler fetes Trinidad has to offer and be wondering why is this necessary. Well thousands of drunk people plus glass bottles doesn’t sound too safe right.

Puncheon to Trinidad and Tobago is like Tequila to Mexico. Both get you drunk really fast and both give you terrible hangovers, but the stories you’ll tell afterwards, priceless.

Alcohol is literally everywhere, and it’s not against the law to drink in public. With all this free flowing liquor one can lose track and find themselves drunk really fast regardless of your tolerance.

They say oil is liquid gold, no my friend this is. Corn soup is the sure fire way to relieve that hangover you picked up from your night of overindulgence, not to mention it’s delicious as well.

Another delicious hangover remedy. Coconut water maintains the body’s fluid levels and its potassium content helps maintain water pressure within cells and blood perfect for that jackhammer of a headache.

This should be a no brainer. One of the best ways to experience a culture is through its music, so if you haven’t hit the blogs *cough, cough* and get familiar.

Prepare for the worse and hope for the best as they say, anything from weather to wrong directions and of course….

The traffic in Trinidad is particularly bad. With an average of three cars to every one household you can expect to be caught in it a few times. So don’t be surprised if…

Yes you will get left behind, we’ve accommodated for delays but right now you’re causing us to get caught in traffic.

Great we’re stuck in traffic, not much to do but catch up on some lost sleep from the other nights of extended partying.

Did we mention how hot it gets? You don’t want to be that person walking around with curry stains under their arms do you?

We can’t stress the heat enough.

Remember all those Spring Breaks you missed? You’re going to make it up here.

We come to fete not fight, save that type of behavior for Cancun.

“Vex Money” is a term used when even though you got a ride somewhere you have money to get home just incase you and the person who gave you the ride have a disagreement for some reason.

Nothing is wrong with travelling on your own, but it helps to roll with at least one other person in the advent anything goes ary.

“All-inclusives” are referred to parties which have amenities included for a set price, usually unlimited food and drinks. We have yet to hear about an all-inclusive run out of food.

In the old days all you needed were ticket stubs to regain entry into a party, but then people started misplacing those and thus wristbands were born. Now people (don’t know how but they do) misplace wristbands.

The only thing that attracts more girls than muscles is…

Yes, a camera. Nothing ropes in the girls faster than a photographer, and with most things size does matter.

One thing Carnival does is bring people together from all over the world. You’ll be surprised to see the number of different flags represented each year, so feel free to rep yours, you might make a new friend.

J’ouvert is a large street party during Carnival. It is a contraction of the French jour ouvert, or dawn/day break hence the reason it’s celebrated in the early hours of Carnival monday. As part of the tradition involves smearing paint, mud or oil on the bodies of participants. You wouldn’t want to wear your brand new sneaks to this now would you?

Don’t make yourself an easy target for thieves by wearing expensive jewelry.

Contrary to popular belief the paint is not actually paint, it’s more along the lines of skin dye that just resembles paint so those of us who were a little apprehensive at first fear not, it’s entirely safe. Unless you want to go old school with the lead based.

You’re going to be covered in paint, mud and other unmentionables that quite frankly it’s going to take more than soap and water to get out.

You’re going to be on your feet a lot, and even more if you plan on playing Mas Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Do you feet a favor and increase the cushioning, they’ll love you for it.

Get off the sidewalk, throw yourself into the fray, get lost in the sauce. The best way to enjoy the road is to get behind a big truck.

This probably should’ve been earlier on the list, but in some case who you go fetes with and who you actually play mas with can differ, so know who and who not ready to pump.

You’re on the road now, the only thing left to get is to get on slack. Remember when we said lose your inhibitions? Well this is exactly why.

Now there’s a difference between getting on slack and being straight disrespectful and a problem to other masqueraders. Band security will have no qualms about removing you from your section regardless of how much money you spent to be in there.

So you shelled out the extra money to get a frontline costume so everyone can see you. That’ great, we can’t see you because your feathers are in my eyes.

The stage is in front of us time to get advantageous!

With all the drinking, partying, late nights, early mornings and even the different types of food you’ll be ingesting your body is going to take a serious beating. Stock up on some vitamin C.

You survived it, you got a tan and you liver is still intact. Now what? Do it again next year!