When I want to travel cheap, logically hostels would be the option that pop up to mind. However, when traveling with 3 or more people, 2-3 stars hotels might work out to be cheaper.
The price was RIDICULOUS! During Carnival, when we checked 4 months before we planned to arrive at Rio, a lot of the Hostels with cheaper rate were all booked up. The cheapest rate I found was $75 US per person per night. In South America, $75 US per person per night!!!!! Outrageous.
I started looking alternate options. I checked craiglist, vacation home websites etc. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning when I email to inquire. Plus, I heard a lot of scams renting from these sources. We found a few great rentals with reasonable prices on Vaction Rental website (http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/Rio-de-Janeiro-Brazil.html).
I rented from Carlos (owner of Property #30705). He and his family was fantastic. Beside the place was comfortable (with clean bathroom, furnished kitchen, and fridge) and as described, he provided us with a free cell phone to use (which was gave us so much convenience), his family gave us recommendation where to go and offer 24/7 help whenever we need, and his sister even took us to a concert.
The place was $800 US for 8 days during Carnaval without a/c and you need to pay $200 US deposit and get it back when you check out.
- Don't pay cash/debit/check -If you are considering finding accomodation online, make sure you don't pay them cash/check/debit. Carlos has PayPal set up. Since credit card usually protect you from fraud if you pay with credit cards, I paid with my credit card through PayPal.
- Ask for a receipt
- Search online to see if there are fraud report with the website and the owner you are renting from online
- Ask for reference
- Call their contact to see if it exist
Though there weren't young traveller to hang out or chat with nor in-house crazy party.
It turned out to be FANTASTIC.