Why is this THE best guide, well everyone thinks theirs is the best of course! Plus I scoured the internets (all of them) to find the most common (AND BEST!) advice given over the years to this question in countless chat groups.
You've seen the pretty costumes, or you know people who have been to carnival and they rave about the experience "It's the best ever!" So naturally you want to see what all the fuss is about. So when you actually do decide to take the plunge, make the investment, and go to a carnival, the question that gets asked is invariably some form of:
THE TOP 10 TIPS ARE:
10. Travel in groups; your squad, your tribe, your people are the main ingredient for the making of a good time. But I've also been to carnival solo and had the best time! For solo adventurers link up with other adventurous globetrotters like yourself, because there's safety in numbers and meeting new people is what the adventure is all about. And of course, yes! there's an app for that! http://www.solomasapp.com/
9. Protect Yourself. Sunblock people! And condoms too if it should come to that. Back to the sunblock, don't forget to reapply.
8. Our phones are crucial for Ubers & Maps. You'll need your phone to help you orient yourself from time to time. Regardless if you're a tourist or not, we all need to call for our ride, especially if alcohol is playing a role in your festival agenda. Carry an extra charger and battery pack for long days like Jouvert and for Parade Day. And as a Trini would say "always carry some 'Vex Money'."
Fun Fact: When I designed my first shoe, the Sidekick, I made it with a small built-in pocket to stash some cash and to fit your ID and Credit Card. Through many revisions to improve on the comfort of the shoe, the pocket is part of the original design and is one of the design elements that I'm most proud of! You can also find many handy Fanny packs and Wrist Wallets on the website for carrying essentials with you hassle free.
2. Wear comfortable shoes. Ah y'all thought I'd write this as #1 well it should be, but number one is also very crucial. Listen to me good. The Carnival Experience is not cheap, Don't make it suck by being uncomfortable. When you're uncomfortable that's ALL you can think of.
I've been perfecting the design, the materials for the outersole, the innersole, the fit of these shoes over the past 12 years. I've personally done the parade in what I thought were my comfiest sneakers for many years (before I started designing shoes), and sometimes they were great and sometimes I'd lose a toenail after. I know one thing to be true, I've never lost a toenail when wearing a pair of Carnival Kicks and I always have a bright and beautiful color to compliment my costume!
1. Keep your head on your shoulders and your wits about you. I would avoid drinking too much alcohol. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. You're new, you're unfamiliar, you need to be safe.
Say No to hangovers with Fete Patch
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The complete Carnival Glossary, a list of frequently used words and phrases used when attending or talking about Carnival festivals around the world.
This is a PSA to Caribbean DJ's and Event Producers, please stop playing/ promoting homophobic music. At the time of writing this blog we are at the tail-end of Pride Month in the year 2021 and yet this IS still happening.
Carnival Kicks has pulled together a comprehensive list of all the necessary links and link ups for Miami Carnival 2021!
~See you on D Road~