Prepping for Travel…
This may not be your first trip overseas but here are a few tips that will make your Crop Over travel easier!
Take a picture of your passport and email it to yourself, just in case!
Make sure to note the name and address of your hotel, as customs agents will want that information.
Contact your bank to let them know that you will be traveling to Barbados. This will ensure that your card doesn’t get flagged for fraud. Be sure to find out about international ATM fees, you can often get a better exchange rate using an ATM than at the airport.
Contact your cell phone carrier. Find out about data rates and roaming charges. Typically, wifi connections will allow you to text with little or no fees.
Contact your family and figure out what helpful app you will use to communicate. Whatsapp is a common app to use on the island, but other apps like Tango are helpful to use when needing to link.
If you have any allergies or medical conditions, make sure to let someone in your party know and store any medications in your carry-on baggage.
Money, Money, Money Moneyyyyy…
While many vendors accept US dollars, it is sometimes easier using BDS on the island. Getting cash and using cash in barbados is fairly simple. You do not HAVE to exchange your US dollars before you arrive.
The exchange rate is $2BDS: $1US
You can use US dollars at the supermarket but any change will be returned in BDS.
Some hotels may exchange US dollars for BDS, contact your accommodations for more details.
Using an ATM is a quick way to get BDS. You will incur an ATM fee and any international transaction and ATM fees issued by your bank.
You don’t have to carry a lot of cash but having some BDS on hand is super helpful, especially for the late nights and early mornings when you want to grab a quick bite to eat or want to hang out at a local rum shop.
What to Pack and What Not to…
We’ve compiled a quick list of things that might be helpful to pack and some things that you should leave at home.
Make Sure to Bring:
Sunblock. The sun is hot and direct.
Bug spray. OFF spray is just fine, no need for Jungle Juice with 100% Deet.
A small umbrella. This is the rainy season for the island. Showers will pop out of nowhere, but don’t fret, they won’t last long (sometimes).
Comfortable shoes. For all the dancing…err..we mean walking you will be doing.
Light clothing. Barbados averages between 75 degrees in the evening and 87 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime.
Your preferred pain medication. Barbados will likely not have the brand that you like, just in case, be sure to bring your favorite: Tylenol, Advil, or Midol.
Make Sure to Leave in the States:
Camouflage patterned clothing. This is not allowed for civilians on the island. You could be fined and will be asked to change if you are wearing camo upon arrival.
Heels. Ladies, leave the heels and wedges home. Make sure that your footwear consists of a good mix of comfortable flats and closed toed shoes (for rainy nights).
Your Feting Necessities…
Every professional fetter has their own list. Here are some of our suggestions.
Foreday (Jouvert) clothes and shoes. These should be comfortable, closed toed sneakers/boots that you do not mind being dirty. While the paint and powder at a jouvert fete is water based, it may not wash out easily. The foreday morning jouvert band is a t-shirt band, so remember to bring bottoms that you won’t mind getting dirty. This could be shorts or dance briefs. You will be provided a t-shirt for the event.
The Perfect Outfit. Most of the parties will be outside, so make sure that you dress appropriately for an outdoor party. Shorts, Tshirts, short-sleeved button ups, skirts/sundresses are what you will find at most events. Make sure that you check the type of party you are attending to see if you’ll need to bring swimwear or your jouvert clothes.
Stockings. Many women during Kadooment Day (parade of the bands) like to wear stockings to give their legs a more polished look and provide some added protection from the elements (like someone spilling their drink on you). You can pick up a pair from your local drug store, but we recommend stronger “dance” tights. Here’s a couple of our favorite brands: Diva Hosiery and Carnival Stockings.
Insoles. This can be a lifesaver on Kadooment Day! Imagine having an extra cushion for the full day of dancing over 10 miles.
A water proof pouch. Sometimes foreday bands will include a complimentary pouch, but just in case they don’t, this handy pouch keeps your phone free from paint and water. Here’s a helpful link.
A small cross body bag. This can be helpful in a fete or on Kadooment Day (as there will be no pockets for your chapstick).
Shoes for Kadooment Day. You picked your favorite costume, now you’ve got to pick the perfect footwear. Whether you purchase boots, canvas shoes that match your costume or they are your favorite running shoes, make sure they are comfortable!
Makeup/Jewels. Many women like to do mas makeup for Kadooment Day. This can consist of bright colored eyeshadows, lipsticks, false eyelashes and jewels. You can find jewels at your local costume or craft shop or purchase jeweled stickers on amazon. If you purchase loose gems and glitter, the easiest glue to use is hair or eyelash glue. Please make sure to do an allergy test on any new products that you are using!