It depends on which fete you are going to, the theme of the party and the time of day. Pack clothes as if you are dressing to go on a bunch of fun dates. Feel confident and comfortable…and ready to party! **Travel Tip** Invest in FLAT, comfortable shoes, AND insoles. There are rarely any seats at a fete. So it is likely you will be standing, jumping, and dancing for hours. BE COMFORTABLE.
FETE is a French word meaning festival, celebration or party. Most of the fetes (or parties) are outdoors and can be compared to a live concert. Fetes start about 11 pm and end around 4 am. Fetes are so much fun and often vary in theme: Breakfast (starts in the wee hours of the morning), Day (starts in the early afternoon and ends in the early evening), All-Inclusive (all food and drinks are included in the price of your ticket).
What should I pack?
Besides regular clothes, we suggest you pack:
· Toiletries (including extra deodorant)
· COMFORTABLE shoes and sandals
· Sneakers or boots to play mas, WITH Insoles
· Extra sneakers and shorts to play jouvert (Must be ok to get dirty!)
· High SPF sun block
· Bathing suit, flip flops and a towel
· Extra batteries
· Advil, Tums, pocket tissues and mini hand sanitizer
· Note: We will provide a suggested extensive packing list
We strongly recommend to our travelers that you walk with some form of personal identification. There are some fetes on our itinerary where they ask for ID before you can enter the fete. You may bring your driver's license or we've had travelers walk with a laminated copy of their passport. Either will work fine to enter each fete.
You should absolutely purchase medical insurance for the duration of your trip, just in case. In most cases, US insurance providers do not extend coverage outside of the United States. There are a couple of reputable hospitals in the vicinity of the hotel and along the parade route, should you need medical care during your stay.
A 'mas' (short for masquerade) costume can be several things. The most common female costume consists of BBF - bikini, beads and feathers. There are also several versions of this basic costume, from elaborate feathered and beaded headpieces to full piece bathing suit costumes (for more ahem, coverage) to costumes that are as tall as several stories! The typical make costume consists of shorts, a torso piece and arm and leg bands. Some men purchase t-shirts to match their costume or go bare-chested.
Leave this to us! As part of our packages, we will get your measurements and order your costume for you. We will also pick it up and deliver it directly to you at the hotel. If there are any adjustments to be made, we will facilitate this on your behalf as well.
Females - you will need to provide your bra and waist/hip size (in inches). You can also choose different variations of undergarments: bikini top and bikini bottom, corset, boy shorts or thong. Males - costumes are ordered according to your waist size (in inches).
When you are a masquerader in Carnival you are a member of section within a band. The sections are uniquely colored and named for all the women and men, which may total a few hundred to few thousand people for each section. The band is composed of several sections. Each band has a pre-defined parade route with unlimited food, drinks (alcoholic/non-alcoholic), music (several 18 wheel trucks loaded with speakers) and even restrooms following in the rear of the band.
Yes, each mas band has its 'marshal' area, where masqueraders can meet. Mas bands will leave its marshal area promptly at the appointed time to start its parade route. On kadooment day, we will leave as a group from the hotel and head to the band.
The Crop Over summer festival is Barbados' most popular and colorful festival. Its origins can be traced back to the 1780's, a time when Barbados was the world's largest producer of sugar. At the end of the sugar season, there was always a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest - the Crop Over celebration. As the sugar industry in Barbados declined, so too did the Crop Over festival and in the 1940's the festival was terminated completely. However, the festival was revived in 1974 and other elements of Barbadian culture were infused to create the extravaganza that exists today... Now it is an event that attracts thousands of people from across the globe.
There are several excellent websites where you can learn some more about Barbados carnival and culture... The official tourism website of Barbados is http://www.visitbarbados.org . You may also want to visit http://www.barbadospocketguide.com/our-island-barbados/about-barbados/bajan-dialect.html for a comprehensive listing of Bajan lingo. As previously mentioned, the official language in Barbados is English, however the locals have their own dialect. This will familiarize you with some of the terms you may hear on your trip.
Firstly, you should ensure that you pace yourself! It’s very easy to get caught up in the festivities and not pay attention to your hydration levels. Be sure to drink a lot of water throughout the course of both days. We recommend that for every alcoholic beverage you have, drink a bottle of water. Also, be sure to pay attention to your energy level on both days. Take it slowly and feel free to take a ‘chip’ (slow walk in tempo to the music) every now and then! Don’t feel that you need to jump all day!
Barbados welcomes thousands of visitors annually during carnival. Reliable transportation is included in the package to some carnival activities. If you chose to travel to other locations, transportation can be arranged at your additional expense. We encourage you to explore Barbados, but to travel WITH someone at all times, and/or tell someone in the group where you are going. Leave your valuables in the hotel and do not carry large amounts of cash. Have fun and just be smart!
Citizens of the United States will be required to have a passport valid for three months before their intended date of departure. For all other travelers, please refer to the following link: http://www.barbados.org/docs_requirements.htm#.VectBcT3arU
The exchange is approximately $2.00 BDS to $1.00 US. You can exchange money directly at the bank, or retrieve money from the ATM. **TRAVEL TIP** Call your bank a week before you travel to advise you are leaving the country. You don’t want them to block your account in suspicion of fraudulent activity. Yes, US dollars are widely accepted as well.
You can use your cell phone there; it will most likely work either on the Digicel or the Flow networks.**Travel Tip** Contact your cell phone provider and add international roaming/texting to your phone for the duration of your trip. This is one cost effective way of staying connected to loved ones back home. Alternatively, you can buy a cell phone right in the airport when you land! Another option is to utilize an unlocked cell phone before arriving and purchase a SIM card when you arrive. They are cheap and durable. It’s not required, but it is a good idea for us to have a way to get into contact with each other.
Once payments are processed by our team, they are non-refundable. Space, tickets, accommodations, etc. are limited so we have to act fast to ensure our clients don't get left out.