Caribana is finally here! If you're like me, this Caribbean fun-filled event is a weekend you look forward to every single year. Different parties happen starting from Wednesday all the way to Monday, and trust me, they're lit. I remember my first time going like it was yesterday and it was definitely a lot to grasp for a first timer. I have no experience participating in mas so this will focus mostly on maneuvering your way around the weekend.
1. Make sure you book your hotel or Air BNB as soon as possible!
To avoid unnecessary stress and spending thousands on a room in some dingy hotel that's not even downtown, prepare in advance. During the month of July, there were less than 11% of bookings available for places in Toronto on Air BNB, so you'll definitely need over a month's worth of preparation.
2. Choose outfits that are cute but comfortable for the parade!
The parade is meant for dancing, sweating and being messy. Don't try to rock your favorite pair of Jimmy Choo's and your prom dress because I guarantee, they will get ruined. Forever 21 and H&M offer great comfortable but stylish pieces that are perfectly suitable for the Caribana Parade. Save yourself the stress and don't be that girl.
3. But for the night time events, you better work it!
Celebrities, promoters, out-of-towners, a potential bae; you need to dress to impress! Whether you're a guy or a girl, you never know who you'll meet. This is the weekend where everyone who's anyone is in Toronto, so you know the nightclubs will be turned all the way up.
4. Use social media to your advantage and get yourself on guest list.
The cost of going out in Toronto this weekend will be boosted up to the max! Whether it's for cover or bottles, avoid being the person who has to pay full price because they didn't make a connect to get around. Remember, school's right around the corner and books are expensive, hunty! Getting yourself on guest list can save you a lot of debt this weekend.
5. If you can't find any promoters or events through social media, Club Crawlers is your friend.
Not only does Club Crawlers include every single event that's happening this weekend, including prices and the option to reserve bottle service, they offer free and reduced cover. Guest List fills up quick though, so make sure you sign up ASAP.
6. If you see your favorite celebrity, act cool, calm and collected.
Do not freak out! I met Jeremih a couple years ago, and my friend and I just calmly asked him for a picture when he had a minute, chatted about his upcoming concert and then let him be. Most of the celebrities there are just looking to have fun, not to get harassed or bothered.
7. Stay safe!
Stay hydrated, stay with your friends, stay conscious and stay wary. Caribana is a great weekend and it's definitely something I would recommend everyone to go to but it's easy for something to go wrong. Make sure to drink responsibly and don't ditch your friends!
8. You don't always need to plan your events in advance.
I know I said to get yourself on guest list and to be extra prepared this weekend, but sometimes spontaneity can lead you to the time of your life. The best event might just be the one you don't plan for so get yourself on guest list for a couple places, but try to go with the flow as much as possible!
9. Splurge a little.
Caribana only happens one time a year and it's an awesome experience. Grab yourself a close group of friends and take a nice road trip. I'd recommend going if you're legal and if you can afford it because Caribana weekend is something you actually want to save up for and splurge on. Just because you splurge doesn't mean you can't save some money here and there, for example, getting into the parade is free if you can get around the fences, getting an air BNB downtown will save you the cost of Uber, networking can save you the cost of clubs, etc.
10. Have fun!
Having boy problems? Leave them at home. Stressed about starting school? Not this weekend. Hate your job? Leave it for Tuesday. I forgot to mention that Monday is a statutory holiday meaning you won't have to face a case of the Monday Blue's because you'll be turning up in Toronto!
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