Carnival season is truly an exciting time! Whether you’ve been a dozen times or if it’s your first time, it is essential to be prepared. Here are some little known tips that will prepare you for Trinidad Carnival, Miami Carnival, Barbados Crop Over, Caribana, or any carnival for that matter. There are some basics must-haves almost everyone is prepared for, including boots or shoes, Monday Wear, tights, makeup, etc. But there are some nuances and things that even the most experienced feters miss out on.

1) Clean Paint Off Your Skin Easier

J’ouvert is a paint and mud mess and I’m so here for it! But it can take days to get that paint out of certain bodily crevices. The best solution to avoid stained skin is baby oil. Before heading to j’ouvert festivities, slather yourself in baby oil from head to toe and front to back. So when you hose down after the fete, the paint will come right off.

2) Trinidad Has Beaches Too

Did you literally miss the boat for Tobago? No worries, the beautiful Maracas Beach or Las Cuevas Beach is about a 45min hour drive away from Port of Spain. If you hired transportation, they can take you there for an extra fee. It’s way cheaper than going to Tobago and the beach is just as breathtaking.

3) The Music Becomes Addictive

Learn the SONGS! Not really a secret, but it will improve your experience ten fold. The feeling of singing along to Savannah Grass or Famalay with thousands of people is just *chef's kiss!

4) CBD is Legal

CBD oil has become widely popular around the world to manage pain and it’s completely legal in most countries that host carnivals, including Trinidad and Tobago. And it is absolutely clutch in alleviating the inevitable foot pain that comes from non-stop pumping and chipping. CBD oil is available in most health food stores and you can get it as an ointment, oil, lotion, etc.

5) Do Cardio

Men and women around the world work on their carnival bodies a year in advance to look amazing in their costumes. If you didn’t make your weight goal, it’s OK because working out even just weeks ahead of carnival can greatly increase your stamina. And trust, you will need some stamina to survive the 24/7 partying.

6) Scalpers

If you missed the chance to get fete tickets ahead of time, using sites like FineAhBan are essential. Yes, scalpers exist but for the most part people are honest about buying and selling fete tickets. Deciding to attend the widely popular AM Bush fete a few hours before is risky, but doable. Bring cash and act fast. Also, most packages are unisex so it’s OK if you’re a woman and you get a male package.

7) Frontline

Frontline are those big beautiful costumes you see on the road. The feather's are 6 ft. long and the women who wear them look amazing! Did we mention more expensive? If you want that costume centerpiece to display at home, it's going to cost you a few hundred dollars extra.

8) Coconut Water Helps and Sleep is Essential

Coconut water does give me mi powers! And it’s a feter’s secret weapon. It actually does help with hydration and mixes well with most liquors. Also, drink water between alcoholic beverages. Don’t let the all-inclusive drinks get the better of you!

Sleep on the way. On the bus, on the train, on the plane, wherever! Just not at the fete or on the road, and always be aware of your surroundings! You can literally party around the clock during carnival, so get your rest when you can.