Ultimate Trinidad Carnival packing list
Hello, it’s your girl Esha here and it’s almost here! Trinidad Carnival, that is. I’m getting ready to leave for the “greatest show on Earth” and I’m about to share with you one of our most popular blogs of all time.
Yep, this one always gets traffic and eyes on it every single year!
It’s our Ultimate Trinidad Carnival packing list. THE only list you need to get everything in order and be ready to board the jumbo jet to Trinidad – Piarco touch down here we come!
Before I get to this amazing list though, let me share a few packing tips with you.
Trinidad Carnival packing tips:
- As Nina Garcia of Marie Claire magazine says, “You want to be the perfect combination of cozy and classy: cozy enough to endure the chilly AC in the airport and on the airplane and classy enough to look pulled together after an eight-hour flight. Choose clothing that is spill proof, wrinkle proof and relaxed enough to sit in for long stretches of time. Think dark colors and soft, natural, knit fabrics that move with you and feel good against your skin.” We couldn’t agree more!
- Don’t forget stockings or socks to wear with your slip on shoes when you go through security. Unless you’re located in the US and you have Pre-check, then you don’t need to remove your shoes. Be sure to carry a pair of sandals in your carry-on to put on when you land in Trinidad.
Travel clothing essentials:
- Pants: loose-fitting, great looking pants or your comfiest jeans (boyfriend jeans or really nice leggings work great for the ladies).
- Top: layers are key. A very light jacket, especially if where you’re traveling from where it’s cold, will do. Wear a tank or t-shirt under a roomy button down shirt or for the ladies a tunic with a light sweater. When you get to Trinidad, you can just remove your layers as needed!
- Shoes: travel in flats – think loafers or stylish, lightweight sneakers. Choose a comfortable shoe that can do double duty while you’re in Trinidad.
- Accessories: For the ladies, a large scarf, shawl or pashmina is necessary to wrap up as you settle in for your plane ride. This can also double as a beach sarong! If you wear a watch, then that’s all you really need. If you really need jewelry, then wear very light non-metallic jewelry.
Other things to keep in mind:
- Keep in mind that it’ll be hot and you’ll be fetein’ up a storm! If you’re planning to bring a few tops and some bottoms that you can wear to multiple parties, we strongly recommend bringing alternates in case the one you planned to wear gets soaked in sweat from the night before.
- Pack things that you love to wear: if you don’t wear it at home, you most likely won’t wear it away from home. It’ll just take up room in your suitcase. Bring your favorite clothes and you won’t mind having less with you.
- All of the separates in your suitcase should combine well with each other – another argument for packing the things that you wear most often.
Onward to the Ultimate Trinidad Carnival packing list…
Just so you know, this is the same list that I share with our clients; it really does remember everything for you! I’ve even included links to some of my favorite products available for purchase with retailers for your shopping convenience. Check out the “resources” section of this packing list for our suggestions and no, I don’t get paid for referring you to these products/companies 😉
This packing list is a compilation of our Trinidad Carnival packing experience over the years and in collaboration with our Ultimate Trinidad Carnival clients. Happy packing!
To view the Ultimate Trinidad Carnival packing list as an interactive Evernote checklist, click here.
Travel sized moisturizer
Travel water bottle that you can fill after you go through security
Magazines or a book
Tablet or Kindle
iPod or MP3 player
Laptop (if bringing one)
House keys (don’t pack these in your checked luggage in case it gets lost)
Medicines (prescriptions and over the counter drugs)
Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts
All and any important travel documents
Receipts for everything that you bought (for the return trip back home)
Anything breakable, such as a camera or a fragile souvenir
Breakable or valuable jewelry (see our note about what type of jewelry to bring with you)
Address book with a copy of any local numbers that you need (in case your phone dies)
A set of underwear and night clothes
Your daily toiletries
At least 1 party/fete outfit, in case you don’t get your luggage right away
Flip flops or sandals for when you touch down in Trinidad
A snack (or 2!)
Ear plugs or noise canceling headphones
Personal identification and proof of reservations (these items should be in your carry-on)
Driver’s license (to use as ID at fetes if needed)
Copies of passport and other identification cards
Airline tickets (have a backup copy in case you can’t get to it on your phone)
Copy of hotel booking/confirmation
Copies of car reservation/booking
Fete ticket print outs and receipts of payments
Print out of costume receipt
Costume transfer letter (if buying a costume that someone sold to you) plus a copy of the person’s photo ID
A list of all of the items that you packed in your suitcase plus a photo of everything that you packed (in case it’s lost by the airline)
In your suitcase:
Sun block with high SPF
Aloe vera gel in case you get sunburned
Chap stick/ lip-gloss with SPF
Peppermint foot cream
Foot soak products
Contact lenses (bring multiple pairs in case they get torn or lost)
Contact lens solution
Contact lens cases (bring at least 2)
Re-wetting drops (if your eyes get dry)
Anti-Frizz Hair Serum
Your favorite shampoo and conditioner
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Loc twisting gel/cream (if you have locs or twists and need to touch them up)
Hair and scalp oil
Braid and weave spray
Breath mints and/or gum
Stain remover pen
Pepto Bismol or Alka seltzer (for an upset stomach)
Elastoplast and moleskins (in case of any fetein’ blisters)
Mini first aid kit
Gel insoles or orthopedic inserts
Carnival parade needs
Spray paint (in case you want to spray your mas shoes to match your costume)
Travel sized sewing kit
Extra pins and Velcro tape for outfit and costume adjustments
Comfortable shoes, sneakers or boots for playing mas (you get extra points if it matches your costume)
Mas tights (flesh toned or fishnets in a color that matches your costume)
Glitter and a small container to put it in (to add glitter to yourself so it won’t get all over your room)
Money pouch for Carnival Monday and Tuesday (recommend something with an around the waist or across the body strap that zips closed so you don’t lose your phone while winin’)
Costume bra and bottom back up (in case your mas bra and bottom don’t fit)
Carnival makeup needs (if you’re not getting your Carnival makeup done)
Spirit gum (to help the jewels stick and stay on your face)
False eyelashes and glue for lashes
Your favorite foundation
Matte fluid to wear under your makeup (if you have very oily skin)
Makeup setting spray
Body and hair
Pumice stone or foot file
Exfoliating body gloves
Decorative hair items – hair clips/bows/cowrie shells
Inflatable foot spa
Hair bands to pull your hair back if needed
Camera/camera bag (can be waterproof and/or disposable)
USB drives (in case your camera is full!)
Portable DVD player
Cell phone (if using your unlocked cell phone in Trinidad)
Chargers, power cords and/or batteries for all your electronics
Written/printed list of all friends’ contact info (in case your phone dies)
Back up all of the numbers on your cell phone to a cloud service e.g. Google
Clothing and shoes
J’ouvert shoes and outfit (or just a bottom if you’re getting a J’ouvert t-shirt)
Monday wear for Carnival Monday
Bandanna or something to cover your hair/head during J’ouvert
Water shoes, if you plan to be walking/swimming where there is coral or sharp rocks
Bathing suits or swim trunks (you get bonus points for quick drying materials that you can hand wash and hang to dry overnight)
Towels for the beach (accommodations in Trinidad don’t usually provide these)
Some pairs of socks
LOTS of underwear
Tops – for party time, button downs and nice tees for the men, sexy/classy tops for the women. For other times – tees and tanks work well
Bottoms – for party time, jeans, pants and shorts for both men and women, skirts for the women. For other times – lightweight, drawstring pants and shorts
Dresses or rompers – for party time, think lightweight, breathable materials (cotton and rayon are great). For other times – easy cotton tank dresses and sundresses
Sneakers and sandals (low wedges and flats strongly recommended for women)
Beach cover up or sarong (bonus if it can also double as a shawl indoors)
Flip flops for the beach
Comfortable walking shoes or sandals for sightseeing
Light jacket or sweater (the air conditioning can be brutal in some buildings!)
Lounging clothes (for going to breakfast and just hanging around in between partying)
Accessories and items to wear underneath your clothing
Dangling earrings and bangle bracelets (costume, nothing too flashy and definitely nothing valuable i.e. gold)
Extra backs for earrings
Sunglasses (at least 2 pairs, in case one gets lost while yuh getting on bad!)
At least 1 sun hat
Small purse/clutch with a strap for the fetes (could also double as a cosmetics case)
Daytime purse for sightseeing – strongly recommend a lightweight cross body bag with a substantial strap that will zip to close
Crushable beach bag
Watch (waterproof recommended)
Double sided tape (to ensure you have no wardrobe malfunctions!)
Adhesive bra (for those backless tops)
Flesh toned nipple covers (these are genius when your mas bra is a little loose around the nipple area, but fits otherwise)
You’ll also need:
Luggage tag (make sure your name and phone number at the very least are on your tag)
A whistle (or 2 in case 1 gets lost)
Lanyard for your mas/J’ouvert cup (to be hands free)
Key chain bottle opener
Goodies for friends and family (also on your return home)
I’ve included below some links to suggested items that we think you’ll love!
- Carnivalista. Beautiful, light weight, flesh toned carnival stockings for the Carnival Parade. Offer options to pick up your order in Trinidad or have them shipped to you. http://www.carnivalista.com/
- Carnival Kicks. Carnival Kicks is more than shoes! Check out their wide range of accessories and everything you need to complete your Carnival look. https://carnivalkicks.com/
- Monday wear designers. Global Carnivalista has compiled many different Monday wear designers on her website. Take a look to get ideas or to purchase a creation! https://globalcarnivalist.com/category/monday-wear
- Shades of Color Loc Soc. Not only for use by those who have locs (also known as “dread locks” or “dreads”), the Loc Soc is a great hair accessory for any outfit and especially works well to cover up your hair during J’ouvert. http://www.soclocsoc.com
- SLAP – Satin Lined Caps. For all you natural gals out there. And even if you’re not, SLAP’s are awesome for protecting your hair from breakage and keeping moisture IN. An essential during Carnival time and any time you’re on the go. http://www.satinlinedcaps.com
I hope my Ultimate Trinidad Carnival packing list is helpful to you as you get ready for Trinidad Carnival!
Need help with your Trinidad Carnival planning? Visit our website to learn more about Ultimate Trinidad Carnival – click here.
Til de next lime,
About Esha: As a travel curator and event planner with over 20 years of experience (whose been to 5 out of the 7 continents), Esha’s helped professional women who don’t have the time, energy, or resources to plan their own vacations so they can travel and enjoy unique, life-changing Caribbean experiences. Visit her website for more info or click the links below!
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