We all know that attending a carnival can get pretty pricey. You have to factor in costs that include a plane ticket, events, wardrobe, lodging, dining, taxi, and the cost of playing mas. Here's an example of how much it might cost to attend Trinidad's carnival flying r/t from Washington, D.C. for a 7 night trip. Again, this is just an estimate--cost will vary widely on your plans.
$400 - $800 Flight
$500 - $800 Events
$200 Wardrobe (varies)
$400 - $2100 Lodging (This could be free just depends)
$150 - $300 Dining
$100 - $400 Taxi
$600 - $1300 Costume
$2350 - $5900 Total
Now think about your financing if you plan on attending other carnivals within the same year...the costs could really add up. Still, I did a little research and found some ways to save on travel in general.
1.Use your credit card to pay and earn reward points
Use your Credit Card to pay for your living expenses + travel expenses. Set up a direct debit from your bank to pay off the balance in full each month. Use the points that accumulate to pay for flights, hotels, and car rentals.
2. Clear your cache, enable private browsing
Airlines track your behavior via cookies, which means if you return at a later date to grab that cheap flight you found in your flight search, they’ve noted your interest through the cookies previously and so will, this time, return a slightly higher price for your flight.
3. Use a VPN
Flights can be different prices depending on which country you book from. Use a VPN – a Virtual Private Network – which makes it look like you are in another country. You can select a VPN from the US, UK, Germany, Japan, etc. to find the lowest price and book through that VPN. It may take time, but you could save a substantial amount on flights.
4. Use search engines
Use search engines like Skyscanner, Adioso, and Google Flights who will scan the airlines for you and bring you comparative rates. You can purchase the best deal directly from them. OR, after finding the best deal, go direct to the airline’s website to see if you can get a better deal. You can then also check to see if you can reduce the price or get free upgrades with your frequent flyer or membership points.
5. Find hidden airports
Some airlines don’t operate in the same alliance or have a codeshare agreement, which means they might not show up together on flight searches even though the option is available.
TripCombi uses an algorithm to search connections from nearby airports or between two airlines to track ‘hidden airports,’ as the team calls them. These flights can often offer better rates and connections.
6. Hire a driver
I highly recommend finding a driver for the duration of your stay to get you around. Just keep in mind that some countries have laws governing the hiring of personal drivers and taxis. Do your research!
7. Buy via resale
If you are not picky and have a little patience, you can buy a resold costume or event ticket. In many cases you can work out a deal with someone who doesn't want to take a total loss on a costume that they already paid for. Same thing goes for event tickets-
8. Private rental over hotels
In most cases, renting a private home will cost you less than staying in a hotel. I normally stay with my family particularly when visiting Trinidad, but I did stay in a bed & breakfast one year and not only was it extremely affordable but the service was exceptional.
I hope these tips help you in your carnival budgeting!
Reference: Caz. (2017, July 8). 42 best travel hacks for saving money. Retrieved from https://www.ytravelblog.com/best-travel-hacks-saving-money/