Top 4 Tips To Prepare For The Long Days of Trinidad Carnival
Everything You Need To Know To Make It Through Carnival Festivities The Trek You'll Make & How Preserve Your Energy for all of Trinidad & Tobago Carnival Welcome to my first Wine! Join me on this voyage as I experience one of the most historic and ionic festivals globally. Come with me on this journey to learn all you need to know about Trinidad & Tobago Carnival. I hope these tips inspire you to live your life to its fullest and hey maybe even plan your trip to Trinidad! “Did you know you will trek about 20 miles each day of Carnival? Here Are Top 4 Things You Need To Know To Last The Long Days of Carnival 1. YOU'LL COVER A LOT OF MILES The actual Carnival aka “Pretty Mas” extends two full days, Monday / Tuesday leading up to Ash Wednesday. These are long days of walking and “wining” aka the national Trini dance, click here to catch me wining. The days typically start around 10am and go through around 9pm but some bands have an extended “Las Lap” Tuesday that can take you into 2am Wednesday. Things To Know: You can be on your feet for ~12 hours/day. In these two days you will likely walk more than you have in the last month, well I did anyway! My Apple iwatch tracked me at a 19.1 miles in one day. With an average amongst my friends of around 20 miles each day. Don't forget this is just for 1 day. Masqueraders will parade the streets, tracking these miles both Monday and Tuesday. But don't forget, if you plan to attend fete's like J'ouvert Monday where more walking is involved you'll add in more even more miles to this. How do miles walked during one Day of Carnival Compare? For my Angelenos, that longer than walking from Downtown LA to Long Beach. For my New Yorkers, that’s like walking the length of Manhattan twice or the length of 100 Empire State Buildings. And my globe trotters that’s longer than the height of 40 Burj Khalifa’s (the tallest building in world today, 828 m / 2717 ft). Again this is all done in one day. So imagine the time on your feet for your entire Carnival experience. 2. PROTECT YOUR FEET Buy bandages and medical tape to wrap your feet before you put on your socks, nylons or fishnets. I recommend these 4 Aids that I found helpful: Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Cushion Tape Cohesive Bandage Self Adherent Flexible Breathable First Aid Gauze/Medical Tape Band-Aid Brand First Aid Products Medical Tough Cloth Tape Nexcare BWB-06 Blister Waterproof Bandages Here's Some Recommendations: Wrap your feet. Wrap around each toe to keep from rubbing and pressing into each other Wrap around areas you tend to blister, ie: outside baby toe, heel outside or bottom of big toe, etc. Wrap or create cushion where there is pressure from feet to shoe/ground, ie: ball of foot, bottoms of toes. Wearing Tights / Nylons / Fishnets? You Need To Read This! Cut toes of any stocking you wear Keeping your toes in any of these stockings will have your toes rubbing together. No bueno, this is blister, cut, pain waiting to happen. Wear socks under these stockings You'll want to wear comfortable socks to keep your feet from rubbing. Socks will also help to soak up any sweat (yes, its hot and your feet can sweat too) Tap your stocking to your sock Tap the opening you created by cutting out the toes to your sock. Try to tap stocking to sock in an area where foot pressure is minimal, ie; arch, top of sock (where can't be seen). Make sure to use the stickiest tape for this, Band-Aid Brand First Aid Products Medical Tough Cloth Tape so tape doesn't slide off. Powder Feet I mentioned before your feet may sweat. Minimize sweat that can create saggy socks, or slippy souls by powdering your feet before putting on your socks. Try using: Baby Powder, Body Powder or Deodorizing Powder like these. A fellow Trinidadian recommended this to me and it was a LIFESAVER that saved my feet! Now let's get into the most exciting.... shoes, shoes, shoes!!! 3. SHOE SUGGETIONS First of all, you'll probably want cute shoes to go with your Monday wear and Tuesday costumes. Here are my Shoe Tips: You likely want multiple pairs. Monday and Tuesday have varying styles, Monday is more casual while Tuesday is more elaborate so may want alternate shoes. You'll need a separate if you're attending a paint fete - they'll get destroyed in paint, mud and water. You may also wear down you're shoes from "D Road" Monday. Don't spend a lot. You're shoes will be put through a lot. Its really about your costume so as long as your shoes blend no need to splurge. Comfort is "key" When picking any shoe, comfort is the priority. Make sure what ever shoe you decide on is comfortable. Splurge on shoe inserts BONUS: You may get free shoes. Some bands include new sneakers (for both men / female) with your costume package! And frankly, these sneakers were super comfortable shoes and free (well kind of). Here's what our Free Sneakers looked like (black = guys, pink = girls)… So what shoes do I wear? So some girls, the courageous I would say, will brave the blister and wear boots; cuz we all know even a small heel of a boot can help our booties look lifted. But as my boyfriend or his favorite Trini, TopDog Donnel would say “not me pa”. But, if you got the feet for it and want to take on the boot, here are some ways to pull it off... Top 5 Boot Looks of Carnival... Links to check out some of these boot recommendations all under $40: Clear Neon Boot Neon Boot Tall Boot Black Boot Metallic Boot I myself knew my feet couldn't make it through the long days in boots. So, I went with sneakers. You won't be alone and can make sneakers cute too. Here's a photo of me and my girlfriend. As you can see I pulled off sneakers and an she went with a boot.(she's braver than me) So if you think you're down to rock the sneaker like I did, here are some looks. 5 Sneaker Looks of Carnival... Links to check out some of these sneaker recommendations all under $40: Metallic Sneaker Glitter Sneaker Wedge Sneaker Sock Sneaker High Top Sneaker For name brand: adidas, nike, pumas under $40, you have to search but its possible. Prices change regularly on Amazon but there is an example of under $40 here Even in sneakers all day my feet took a beating, thankfully we got a lunch time foot massage break And last but not least..... 4. PREPARE YOUR BODY So you can take this a few ways, but here are some suggestions. Up Your Fitness People are definitely upping their fitness game to try looking their best for some of the revealing costumes of Carnival. However, even though everyone says this is a huge thing. Once you get there you'll notice it doesn't really matter. This is an event where I honestly felt no one really cared how you look. One of the most amazing parts of Carnival is the acceptance and celebration you'll experience will others of all races, cultures shapes and sizes! So when I say up your fitness it's mostly to say make sure you're body's prepared to walk, wine and jump for hours on end! Get Your Rest With all that's going on and fetes that start in the wee hours of the morning, your going to operate off shorter hours of sleep. To avoid falling flat or missing events: Make sure to plan times of rest/sleep Bring or Buy Vitamins / Electrolytes With your body operating off less hours of sleep, you might feel groggy and/or lower your immune system. A local let me know most people get sick after Carnival because they aren't prepare for this. I was on the brink of sickness but lucky had help from locals and also brought along some of these vitamins. Vitamins I recommend: (but choose what you prefer for immunity and energy): Zinc Vitamin C Wellness Formula 5 HTP Also digestion pills can be helpful if you have any sensitivity to foods. And finally to the obvious but one we all seem to always forget.... Drink Lots of Water Trinidad is hot, temps can average around 90 degrees, and you will be in the hot sun. On top of that, you'll be wining and walking the streets all day. And if you've got an all-inclusive bands, alcohol is included, so you could be drinking all day too. Make sure to start your days with water Drink water periodically throughout the day Stay hydrated as much as you can! For more on everything you NEED to know about Trinidad Carnival, click here So, now you have ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW TO PREPARE YOUR BODY FOR THE LONG DAYS OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO CARNIVAL TRIP, enjoy it and have the time of your life. Please comment and share your experience here!