In our previous 15 Things to Know Before Your First Carnival Experience article, we mentioned that one of the most frequently asked questions we hear about preparing for Carnival is: “What should I pack?”. Therefore in this article, we do our best to tell you everything you need to pack for Carnival.

1. Before you leave.
Sometimes with all the excitement of getting to the Carnival destination, we tend to overlook the simple things we need to do before. Imagine how you will feel if you did all this planning for the time of your life, only to realize you can’t go because your passport is missing or expired… or you don’t have the required Visas for transit… or worst yet, getting to the destination and leaving your wallet at home.

That being said, for this essential part of the checklist, make sure you check off the following:

  • Your passport. Make sure you have it, and it’s valid (some countries require you have at least six months left in your passport).
  • Visas. Take another look at your flight plan and confirm whether or not you require a Visa.
  • Wallet. Make sure to keep it where you can see it. Possible on top of your passport.
  • Cash and credit cards. Have some emergency cash with you just in case there are issues with your credit card. Alert the credit card company about your travel, so that they don’t block valid transactions.
  • Medication. Refill subscriptions or bring along any medication you may need.

2. Beauty and hygiene
The items in this section are by no means exhaustive. What you pack here largely varies on your body routines. You may consider purchasing some of these items at the destination, but it’s always a good idea to at least pack the basics, as you may not find your brand available at any of the retail stores.

  • *Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • *Soap, body wash, face wash.
  • *Deodorant, perfumes, and colognes.
  • Face and body lotions.
  • Hairbrush and comb. Women may also want to walk with their curling iron.
  • Shampoo, conditioner and other hair styling products.
  • Make-up, and make-up remover.
  • Razors and shaving accessories.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover.
  • Feminine pads.

3. Bring activity-appropriate clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Now let’s get to your most burning question. What should I pack to wear to all these carnival fetes, and what do I need for the road (street parade)?

For the fetes:

  • Summer casual/chic clothing. At most events, men wear shirts, polos, or tee shirts with shorts, or jeans. Women tend to wear rompers, skirts, stylish blouses and vests, short shorts, sandals, sneakers, heels and wedges.
  • Swimwear, cover-up, sandals. This is worn mainly at “boat ride” parties (party cruises).
  • Handbags, pouches (fanny pack), wrist-lets.

For the beach:

  • Swimwear, and beach wraps.
  • Beach towel.
  • Slippers.
  • Sunblock.

For J’ouvert:

  • Shorts and/or tights you don’t mind getting dirty and possibly throwing away at the end.
  • Comfortable sneakers or boots you don’t mind getting dirty and possibly throwing away at the end.
  • Baby oil or baby gel. This helps the mud and paint come off your skin at the end of the party.
  • Plastic shower cap, and bandana. In case you need to cover the $500 doo, cover your head with the shower cap, then tie the bandana over it.

For the road:

  • Sunglasses, and sunblock (SPF 100). You will be partying in the sun all day long.
  • Comfortable sneakers, and boots.
  • Gel insoles.
  • Carnival stockings.
  • Carnival make-up complete with face gems, glitter, etc.
  • Pouches (fanny packs), wristlets.

4. Capturing the moment and staying connected.
Ideally, what happens at Carnival, stays at Carnival… however, some of us want to be able to relive and share this experience. And why not. These will be some of the best days of your life. We also to stay connected with friends and family (and sometimes the office) back home. Here’s a look at what you can bring along.

  • Smartphone. Consider a dual sim mobile device. You can purchase a local data sim card,  to ensure you stay connected at least via messaging tools like WhatsApp.
  • Chargers. After all, you need to recharge your mobile devices.
  • Camera. A separate camera can help you save battery on your smartphone in the event you do not have a portable charger.
  • Laptop, tablets, headphones.


Before you leave.

  • Passport.
  • Travel visas.
  • Wallet.
  • Cash and credit cards.
  • Medication.

Beauty and hygiene

  • *Toothbrush/ toothpaste.
  • *Soap/ body wash/ face wash.
  • *Deodorant/ perfumes/ colognes.
  • Face/ body lotions.
  • Hairbrush / comb.
  • Make-up/ make-up remover.
  • Razors/ shaving cream.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Nail polish/ remover.
  • Feminine pads.

Clothing, shoes and accessories.

For the fetes:

  • Summer casual/ chic clothing.
  • Swimwear/ cover-up
  • Sandals.
  • Handbags/ wrist-lets.

For the beach:

  • Swimwear/ beach wraps.
  • Beach towel.
  • Slippers.
  • Sunblock.

For J’ouvert:

  • Shorts/ tights.
  • Comfortable sneakers.
  • Baby oil/ gel.
  • Plastic shower cap/ bandana.

For the road:

  • Sunglasses/ sunblock (SPF 100).
  • Comfortable sneakers/ boots.
  • Gel insoles.
  • Carnival stockings.
  • Carnival make-up.
  • Pouches (fanny packs)/ wristlets.

Capturing the moment and staying connected.

  • Smartphone (dual-sim).
  • Chargers and portable batteries.
  • Camera.
  • Laptop, tablets, headphones.