The decision as to when to come for carnival in Jamaica is relatively easy and depends only on a few factors.
First is the amount of leave you can get from work and next is the costs of flights to my fair island paradise.
The last main factor is the depth of your pockets.
Now while Jamaica is much cheaper than most of the other Caribbean carnivals it still costs money. So let’s stratify by pocket depth.
Especially if you can also get a lot of vacation leave I recommend coming down from easter Friday. (mas in Jamaica is always the Sunday after Easter)
This will allow u time to reach Ocho Rios in time for the easter soca parties there. Namely Frenchmen Breakfast fete and beach jouvert on Sat and TJJ boat party and Feterans beach party on Sunday.
An alternative for Sunday is Marbana in the idyllic setting of Frenchmen cove in Portland.
This all requires renting hotel rooms in Ohio Rios and Portland and the use of a rental car. Or a ride from a Jamaican friend.
Monday afternoon you arrive in Kingston and rest up for the weeks activities. Daily parties start from Monday and in the remainder of the days you have time to take in the tourist attractions around town.
Arriving in the day on Wednesday allows you to take in all of the biggest fetes of the season with less hotel fees and less driving around.
Arriving early on Friday before carnival Sunday is the minimum stay I would recommend. This would net you your choice of jouvert which is Friday night here and lots of other premiere Jamaica carnival fetes like Sunrise, bazodee etc as well as a few nice new fetes I hear about on the horizon.
So there is no excuse. Whether you are rolling like Tony Stark or panhandling for carnival funds, Jamaica has an option for you!