Trinidad Carnival on a budget!

It’s time again to face the music. Carnival is coming and it’s soon time to start shelling out the big bucks to have a chance to experience it.

This year all my expenses and travels have put me in quite a precarious position and I can’t reasonably budget the way I used to before.

Last Carnival

So this year Lehwego is going to rough it, and I will give you my plan to save a few bucks.

This Carnival

This is one you cannot avoid. The best you can do is to offset the cost by getting a travel agent to hold a ticket for you till you get paid. This bill you have to suck up!

This is another tough one. Fellas, if you travel in a crew it’s best to play mas with them. You can save a few bucks by selecting the cheapest costume in the Band but that’s about it. This may mean making the sacrifice and getting the costume that makes you look like a tool!  Ladies have more leeway because of the wide range of options available to them. On a budget? Go straight backline and “tun up” the gym work. Let your abs be your frontline costume:)

do abs trump ugly costume?
do abs trump ugly costume?

This one is a biggie. High rollers can drop 3000usd for a week at a good hotel.  Most will settle for 600 to 800 for a week at a guest house.
Well if you have willing friends or relatives you can Kotch. An air mattress in the back corner of the house is a far far cry from the hilton but when you are jamming on De Road no one knows you are roughing it like a war refugee. The money saved kotching also can be used for the next item.

To make it to carnival you may need to rough it.
To make it to carnival you may need to rough it.

This is especially easy if several of you are roughing it. Just a fraction of the money saved on accommodation can pay for taxi to anywhere. Most Trinis know a reliable taxi man that they can loan to you for a week. You may have to leave early for fetes but the money saved is worth it. Plus you don’t have to worry about a designated driver!

If you are kotching then hopefully your hosts can give some assistance by including you in the family meals and it is a given that at the start of your trip you do some grocery shopping to offset your hungry belly eating off their food.
Another trick is to reach all them food inclusive parties on time and patiently wait out the food line be it long from here to Timbuktu! Fill your belly at that fete and pray it don’t run!
Sacrifices must be made.

This is a tricky one. You wait whole year to mash up the place… You don’t want to spend it lying on your air mattress waiting for the 2 super expensive fetes you can afford.
When we first discovered caesars army it was a small cheap fete. Full of novelty and without the trappings of a fancy j’ouvert but you know what. It was the best j’ouvert we had ever done.
That is your goal. Find new fun and exciting fetes just starting out. Cheap, good and fun. Usually it’s choose 2 but u have to find the ones where you get all 3!
For my part I will use my network to find out about these parties and give you all an idea of what is worth it and what isn’t.


The reality is that I have done carnival both at comfortable locations and roughing it in humble homes and the best times depend not on where you stay but on the people you are with. Move with your crew and have the time of your life. Be it the Hilton or the floor in the back room.

What’s your budget like?


Thanks to, shutters in motion and for the photos.

One thought on “Trinidad Carnival on a budget!

  • August 12, 2014 at 1:24 am

    You sound like me, Doing the Triple has me revaluating my 2015 carnival plans. I’m still going to Do the Quadruple 2015, but might have to cut out a few days here and there.

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