How to Prepare for Carnival

Honestly, if you REALLY wanted to, you could attend a Caribbean Carnival every month out of the year. Not only do you need to plan for such trips, but you also need to pack and properly prepare for them as well. That’s why I’m here! I want you to be as prepared as possible, whether you’re a carnival newbie or a veteran. That being said, I’ve created a T’ingz Nice Carnival Prep. Checklist to help you on your way. Please be advised that my checklist is for ALL carnivals! I repeat, ALL Carnivals! I highly recommend saving this to your favorites and referencing it before each carnival related trip you take. To access the downloadable document please click the link on the right side toolbar under “Downloads” and note that the PDF document is a simplified checklist. You can find the FULL 411 on how to prepare below. If you have questions about anything please don’t hesitate to contact me. As always, your comments are welcomed! Well wishes in your packing escapades!



So I’m actually starting off with one of the most important aspects. Only because it’s more labor intensive and you may need to get started quickly. This area is technology.



  • Obtain International/unlocked Cell Phone (Amazon/Friend/Family) or contact your service provider to inquire about international rates.

  • If your provider uses CDMA technology (Sprint & Verizon) then you are better off purchasing and unlocked phone and buying a SIM card when you land. 

  • If your provided uses GSM technology (ATT & T-Mobile) you can use your phone and simply buy a SIM card when you get on the island.

  • Back up your data and make space available on your phone for tons of pictures (I use an external hard drive to store my photos).

  • Make sure you have all your favorite soca mixes on your phone (wifi will not be available everywhere you go).

  • Jot down all important numbers (I recommend a mini phone book).

  • Make a special section in your phone’s notebook for quick reminders and fun stuff. For example, I like to make my hashtags in advance. This allows for a quick copy and paste into Instagram.

  • As your friends arrive on the island get their digits! Communication is Key.

  • Contact your bank to let them know you will be going on vacation so that they don’t put a hold on your account when they see you spending more than usual.

  • Don’t forget you chargers and camera (if you still use one).


…gathering CARNIVAL ACCESSORIES is another tedious part to the carnival preparation process. Here goes:


Custom “Sha Sha” Bra by Your’s Truly!

  • Carnival Footwear

    • The most important part of the road experience to me is ensuring that I’m going to be comfortable. If my footwear is wrong I will be miserable. I recommend getting footwear that is at least a half size bigger in order to “tip on yuh toe” without pain. I’ve worn all types of footwear over the years. Running sneakers are the most comfortable but they don’t compliment the costume very well. Combat boots have proven to be the most comfortable boot in my opinion. But, my all-time favorite footwear are thigh high boots. They allow me to wear thigh high socks and store important items in them such as my phone, ID, Cash and lip gloss (very important). I can reach the items quickly and stash them securely. 

Custom Carnival Boots by Your’s Truly







Make your appointments early. Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your grooming sessions.

Shellac Manicure…. Shout Out to Real Nailz Salon ~ Newark, NJ






  • Tiger Balm

  • Pain Relievers (Goody Powder)

  • Band Aids & Neosporin  (whenever I don’t bring them I get injured lol)

  • Aloe Vera Gel

  • Travel size hand sanitizer





I’m no doctor, but I always bring the following items with me to help fight off any sickness that tries to show face during all the sweating, drinking and germ sharing activities. Be kind to your body!


  • Emergen-C

  • Ginger Crystals

  • Tea Bags

  • Honey packets

  • Daily Multi-Vitamins




If you’re traveling in the winter be sure to hit up those clearance racks for summer items. I’m always successful. 

  • Outfit for each fete

  • Outfit for each chill session

  • 2 Extra Outfits (just in case)

  • Jouvert wear (bottom, old undergarments, socks, head-wrap)

  • Footwear (minimize variety)

  • Undergarments

  • Sunglasses

  • Jewelry

  • Belts

  • Hats​

Example of my Index Card System



  • Hot glue gun (to make personal costume alterations)

  • Scissors (cut up that jouvert shirt)

  • Crazy Glue or E6000 Glue 

  • Needle and Thread

  • Safety Pins






  • Passport(s) – If you have dual citizenship like me.

  • Drivers Licenses/Official Identification (new and expired)

  • Printed Fete Tickets

  • Printed lodging information/instructions

  • Printed Vacation Itinerary – I never remember!

  • Flight information

  • Costume & Jouvert receipts

  • Authorized letters for package pick up (if you can’t make it to the mas camp)

  • If you are a business owner be sure to bring business cards with you everywhere. There are always networking opportunities.

  • I usually put all this in a clear multi-tab file folder separated by categories and sorted by date of use.

Never Forget Your Passport!




  • Post a large piece of paper in your room at

    least 3 weeks before and use it to jot down everything you need to buy. When the time comes, snap a photo of the list and take it to help you shop. As you purchase items scratch it off the list.

  • Use index cards to label your outfits with the corresponding fetes. Take a pic for your reference!

  • Be sure to leave room in your luggage for the liquor, left over costume pieces and fete cups!

  • Pack a plastic bag for dirty clothes and boots (that’s if you plan on keeping them)

  • Worried about being overweight? Use a scale or a handy luggage weight to help you in your struggles. I got mine from Harmon’s.

  • Pack at least 1 – 2 outfits in your carry on just in case they lose your bags. This is especially important if you have connecting flights.

  • If you’re traveling in the winter be sure to walk with a coat and close up shoes. You never know what the weather will be like upon your return. 

  • Nips (put a few nips in a ziplock bag to pre-game on the plane before you touch down and shell down).






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