Being broke is so much easier when you’re sharing your poverty with someone else. But pinching pennies doesn’t have to suck the romance out of your relationship. All you need is a good sense of humor and quite an imagination. Here’s one way to spice up your bohemian relationship: have An Almost FREE Creative International Stay-cation.
Let’s say you want to go to Brazil. (Who doesn’t?) But if you can’t even afford a plane ticket down there, here’s how you enjoy Brazil without leaving New York City.
1) Get some mood music for a little role-playing. Go on YouTube and compile a FREE playlist of Brazilian Samba songs . Then
pretend that one of you is a sexy Brazilian local and the other, a less sexy but very well read, visiting tourist. After seducing each other with your foreign accents, make sweet love on the sands of an imagined Brazilian beach. Break into a playground after hours with your playlist and borrow a sandbox for a more “authentic” experience.
2) Get homemade Brazilian sun-kissed tans. Don’t forget the skimpy thong! If you have a rooftop or know someone who has a rooftop, make the best of these last summer rays and invest in some tanning lotion/baby oil (Remember sunscreen! Skin cancer is not cheap) and sit out for an hour. For an even more homegrown tan, you guys can make your own sunscreen. Here’s a FREE video on how.
3) Feed each other Brazilian food. Pick an easy-to-do Brazilian recipe such as Feijoada (black beans) and Caipirinha (alcoholic lime cocktail) for FREE from Brazilianrecipe.org and hop on the subway to Queens to get ingredients (not FREE) at NYC’s #1 Brazilian market Ipanema Girl. (28-19 Steinway St at 28th Ave, Astoria, Queens; 718-545-2277, ipanemagirl.net).
4) Learn the Samba, Rio Style for FREE, off dance videos on Youtube. I like this series of videos from HipBrazil .
5) Watch City of God (Cicade de Deus) and see if the 2002 Brazilian crime film directed by Fernando Meirelles based on real-life events about the growth of organized crime in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro changes your mind about travelling to Brazil. You may be just as happy indulging in the locally-grown Manhattan crime scene.
5) Make Brazilian friends. Hop over to “Little Brazil Street” (the block of West 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) and buy friendly Brazilians a round of Caipirinhas. When they are sufficiently drunk, have them regale you with personal stories about living in Brazil so you can live vicariously through their memories.
Or, if you can’t stand it anymore and are really, really dying to make that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Brazil, I found this Six-Day
(Four-Nights) Flight plus Three-star Hotel deal from Gate 1 Travel for prices starting at $1,029*
But this price is only valid if you travel from NYC-JFK on Aug 17, 2011 or Aug 24, 2011. I know that’s past, but don’t fret. Other travel dates are available for a little more. Trips departing NYC-JFK on Aug 31st, Sept 7th, Oct 12th, and Oct 26th are $1,069* so if you can afford it or have enough credit on your card, get it quick! Even though this doesn’t include taxes and fees, it’s still a pretty good deal considering that the cheapest flight I found to Rio de Janiero on Cheapoair.com is $849, including taxes and fees.
But if you’re really not picky about where you spend the night, I’d take the cheap ticket and book a place on AirBnb.com. I found 13 listings for accommodation in Rio de Janeiro for $20 or less. And you can also always try CouchSurfing.com for free couches.
Other money-saving tips to maximize your budget: consider subletting your apartment for the duration of your trip or selling your kidney to earn some of your travel costs.
Regardless of how you choose to experience Brazil and before you start bickering with your partner over the state of your finances, remember that the best things in life are free… including sex (although babies can be costly).
Stay tuned for more Almost FREE Creative International Stay-cations from Destitute Diva.