Thanks for all of your questions. They have led to some great information!
My friend replies:
Carnival is actually one of the safest times of the year due to the fact that security is heightened for the events, our visitors, and general activities.
Practice the usual rules of a large US city I would say.
Of course doing things in groups is always safer, so make friends. But it's not unheard of for single travellers to experience Carnival quite safely.
The bands would usually sell out by early December, but hotels could sell out as early as end of October.
In Trinidad besides the main Carnival days, she would probably love Dimanche Gras the Sunday night before Carnival. HUGE Carnival costumes paraded across a stage, and final Calypso competitions as well at that same event.
If she's into the steel pan, Saturday night prior to Carnival is the Final Pan Competition.
In terms of day activity, a drive through our Northern Range on the North Coast Road is a must. That's the way to one of the better beaches in any case so she can kill two birds with one stone.
I'm referring to Maracas Bay. It's fine for her to go alone, and leaving things on the beach for a swim is generally safe. For extra measure just ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your stuff. I've never had to do that though.
If she's big into eco, then a trip to Asa Wright Nature Centre is a MUST! Or the flight of the Scarlet Ibis at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary.
Karen for Caribbean-On-Line.com