My Birthday Travels on a Budget

It was nearing my 21st birthday. I had the choice of celebrating in my apartment-which wasn’t a bad view, with beautiful skies overlooking the bay, bustling townspeople from atop a penthouse, quiet, with a spiral staircase that swiveled right  into the living room…so many choices. I thought I’d rather get out of town and see what the Rest of Rio de Janeiro had to offer-Only one problem, it was the beginning of winter there and while it was no comparison to winters back home in Chicago, it was definitely a rainy one. My roommate and I went to work immediately researching every pousada in town. Finally we came up with a plan to take a bus out of town (2 hours), then another bus (3 ½ hours) to an island only accessible by boat and there I had the greatest 21st birthday that a girl could ask for.

Two Native New Yorkers greeted us, and led us to our thatch roofed room, fully equipped with two twin sized beds adorned with mosquito nets, one single bathroom and a set of dutch horse barn doors that led to a patio overlooking thick jungle and banana trees. The price for this luxury…256.00 for a 2 night stay-breakfast and lunch included. How did I pull that off ? Quite simple, no one wants to hike five plus hours to visit a secluded island in the rainy months of a constantly sunny Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But this my friends, is the very secret to inexpensive travel in the most luxurious resorts, pousadas (small, independently owned inns) and hotels around the world. This is how I turned what could have been an average birthday weekend into destination travel on a dime.

Mark Jaronski, vice president of global communications for Visit Orlando, mentioned Disney World’s off-season benefis. “Off-season generally follows school calendars, meaning that travel deals tend to be more available when the majority of schools are in session.”