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Plan Ahead for Brazil Carnaval

carnavalThere are usually a few things that immediately come to mind when you think about a trip to Brazil – like amazing beaches, passionate futbol fans, teeny weeny bikinis, and Carnaval. Some of those things are going to be on the agenda no matter when or where you go in Brazil, but Carnival only happens once a year. So if it’s on your lifetime to-do list, you’d better plan ahead.

Carnival in Brazil is a big deal, as you’ve no doubt heard, and people travel from all over the world to experience the parades, the music, the costumes, and the general mayhem (the fun kind). Whereas flights to Brazil might normally not be super-expensive at the time of year right before Carnaval, because the holiday celebration has become such a major tourist attraction the airlines tend to raise prices accordingly. This means that in order to find the best deal you’ve got to be smart about doing your pre-trip research, and start doing that research further in advance than you might normally.

After flights, the next-largest expense when you travel is usually accommodation – and again, because it’s a big tourist draw, Carnaval gives hotel and hostel operators a chance to raise room and bed rates. In Rio de Janeiro, for instance, which happens to be home to the most famous Carnaval celebrations, prices on accommodation can skyrocket for prime locations around the huge city. Budget travelers would do well to research the hostels in Rio well in advance to find out if they’re well-placed for what you want to see and do – and so they don’t fill up by the time you want to book.

Luckily for those of you who are a bit more last-minute with your planning, there are lots of cheap hotels in Rio, too – but even these will be a little less cheap than they otherwise might be (and a little more full than normal), so it’s still a good idea to start looking further ahead of time than you’re used to.

Whenever you start researching your trip, this article about Brazil Carnival travel deals is a good round-up of both practical tips to find cheap airfare and where you can experience the best of what Carnaval has to offer.

photo by sfmission.com