A Guide: Friend-Etiquette during Carnival

Friends, how many of us have them?

Today, I inquired on Twitter about friends falling out while on vacation together and felt inspired to do a friend-etiquette article on traveling to carnival together. While I assumed most of these things are known because they are common sense, common sense, isn’t so common.  As mentioned by @_dahhlinn: “Vacations test friendships. You will find out who your true friends are and those friends who are LABs (local ass bitches)”

Global Carnivalist & Bahamianista

If you don’t already know, I travel with the SAME group of women to carnival, twelve years in. There is no carnival I will attend, without at least one of them. That said, I am always skeptical about traveling with random people, so when I hear about people linking up in group-chats, I think it’s amazing to find travel buddies HOWEVER, horror stories come out of these trips as well. From 10 girls in one hotel room, money scams to getting abandoned in a portable potty.

Last lap Sugar Mas 48
Photography: GVisionSKB

I asked my Twitter timeline, Which one of you went on vacation with your friends and came back not speaking? What happened? This was the feedback:

Disclaimer: This story is disgusting.

We met her in a carnival group chat, we needed a fourth person after a friend dropped out and she was down to go. There were several issues when we went to Crop Over but her nastiness is what caused the biggest issue. She got her cycle while at Crop Over and refused to buy sanitary items and was using toilet tissue as a tampon and was dripping blood all over the hotel room.  I had to tell her that she needed to clean the blood off the floor because it was unsanitary and the housekeeping probably thought we were animals. The girl came from J’ouvert full of paint/sweat/dirt/oil and laid in the bed with [one of my friends]. I asked her if she would shower, she said she was too drunk. She also got into the tub with muddy feet  and did not rinse off the dirt. It looked like a bear climbed in and never got out. I used the hotel bathroom the rest of the trip. I had the cleaning people clean the room/change the sheets 3x in 2 days because she was filthy. If that was my bed she would have caught these feets.

I am not policing anybody! But the man have to find a place for you. I had a friend that wanted to me find somewhere to go so she could use the room to do her do! Fuck out of here

I found a girl drunk in a mobile bathroom during my first crop over. Security was asking where her friends were because she was half passed out in the stall. I told him I’d take care of her & got her some water & helped her get her clothes back up, but the whole time I am wondering where are her friends.

I let my friend plan our whole trip, I sent her deposits for my costume, hotel, etc thinking she was organizing the trip. Imagine my surprise when I got to carnival, to find out she didn’t pay off my costume but instead, paid off her frontline costume with my money.

People really WILD OUT. I brought a friend to Lucia for carnival 2K17. She never withdrew cash & we were covering her till she was able to. When folks asked for their money she threw a fit. She assaulted ME with a weapon. I beat her ass. She was arrested. I sued her. We no longer speak. She also stole my custom-made swimsuit and some jewelry (costume jewelry so I ain’t tripping too much but STILL.) After she was released from jail and paid the settlement. She flew back to Florida to go to some wet fete and had her friend in MY SWIMSUIT posting pics on Instagram

We met through a carnival group-chat the year prior. I had never been to Trinidad Carnival and expressed interest in attending, and she needed a roommate so we went together. She organized everything from the costumes, parties, hotel room and then sent me an invoice to pay off all my items. [This girl charged me MORE than the room actually cost, and made me pay for a Beach House ticket ($225usd) and I landed in Trinidad the day after].  I even paid for a specific MUA, only to find out, she booked an appointment for me with some random HORRIBLE MUA and got the MUA I wanted. I had to wipe that makeup off my face when I got back to the hotel. While in Trinidad, the taxi driver she allegedly paid for, was very short with me and avoiding me. Come to find out, she told him, not to pickup me up from the airport and not to take me to Candy Coated Cruise, which was a fete and service I paid for. I ended up having to pay taxis to find my way home. On the last day, I’m packing up my suitcase to leave and see that my Rayban sunglasses were gone, makeup gone, a cosmetic bag I had, all gone. When I asked about my items, she told me she had not seen them but a few weeks later, she posted a picture in my EXACT Sunglasses. Days later after we left Trinidad, the taxi driver calls me, looking for this girl because she had not actually paid for transportation and owed him $500usd.


And this brings me to the friend-etiquette part of this article. The most important thing is to ensure communication lines are open and set expectations. If you know you like to wander off, communicate that. If you’re the person who wants to have sex on a trip, communicate that. If you know you’re broke and will pay to go on this trip but stay in the hotel the whole time, communicate that. This way your friends know if they should cancel you from jump OR push forward. Now for some tips:

  • Travel with people who understand, or are open to understanding carnival culture. Avoid the people who would say “If paint gets on me, I’m fighting”. This is a big NO NO! 
  • A positive carnival attitude is IMPORTANT! Understanding that you will be partying non-stop and to go with a positive VIBESY attitude is NECESSARY otherwise, stay your ass home. Nothing is worse than a friend who is trying to leave the fete before the fete even done, ruining it for everyone else.
  • Communicate your wants for this carnival trip. If you’re traveling to Dominica for the first time for carnival but would also like to see the Sulphur Springs, let your friends know that. Planner friends — be flexible; it is likely your friend does not want to stick to an exact itinerary.
  • Make sure your finances are in order. Nothing is worse than planning a trip, arriving and then the broke friend cannot afford food/pay for parties etc. You are now digging into someone else’s wallet.
  • It is unacceptable to abandon your drunk friend. If you know you do not want to “babysit”, DO NOT travel with people who cannot manage their liquor
  • OR Stay hydrated so your drunkness doesn’t ruin it for the whole team.
  • DO NOT BE AN ANGRY DRUNK. Why are you always trying to fight when drunk? Stop this!
  • Don’t always be the drunk friend. Your friends want to have a good time too. Drink until you feel a buzz and wait until you get back to your hotel/house to pass out. This is also a great time to perhaps, choose drunk nights. We don’t always plan to get pissy drunk but, if that’s the mood you’re in BEFORE the fete, let your friend know so they know eventually, you’re going to be out for the count.
  • Ladies, DO NOT STRAY OFF with random men. Understandably, we are all adults here, if you find a man who takes your interest, stay within eyesight of your friends. No one wants to explain to your mom, why you were raped/cut up in a bush/kidnapped when they come home. Have fun but practice caution.
  • This takes me into the “having sex” on vacation portion — I  am not the person who is going to judge you if you want to have sex when you go on vacation, I do not police body parts, HOWEVER, if you want to hookup with someone and the hotel accommodations allow, bring the male back to YOUR place. [This part of the article obviously does not apply to men]
  • In a fete, do not wander off without telling someone. This ruins the experience for the person who spent three hours looking for you, and for you when they find you and cuss you out. Now, you’re no longer traveling together.
  • If you are a wanderer, let’s say you’re in a group of four, take one friend with you. That way you’re not alone, and you get to wander. If it’s your home country, say we’re in Grenada for carnival, communicate, I’m going to talk to so-so, this will put your friends at ease.


In conclusion, be a considerate person. Have fun, hype up your friends, pull down a skirt or two if your friend’s boomsy is exposed, don’t abandon your drunk friends and be open to having fun while you’re there.

Yours in Mas,

GC Signature


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