Here's What It's Like to Try and Book a Last-Minute Ticket to Rio Right Now
If all the pre-Olympics hype has you ready to hop the next flight to Rio de Janeiro, you’ll want to read this first.
It’s not that you can’t go. You can — miraculously — still find flights, lodging and event tickets for the 2016 Summer Games, which kick off this Friday night. But you’ll need to be very flexible about just about every detail of your trip.
How do we know? A savvy Time reporter just tried it.
The big secret is timing. This late in the game (pun unintended, but accepted), the cheapest flights arrive several days after the events of the Games start and depart well after they end. On this schedule, you’ll still get to see plenty of Olympic action, as long as you’re willing to forgo what will no doubt be a spectacular opening ceremony.
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“Reviewing current live ticket pricing, it looks that ticket costs are better priced if you arrive closer to the end of the Olympics and stay in Rio for a week or so after,” Skyscanner spokesman Randi Wolfson told Time.
They estimate tickets for flights departing Miami and Orlando the week of August 15 at around $700 round trip — a far cry from the average $1,700 for last-minute flights departing on arguably more desirable travel days.
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The lodging scene will also have you jumping a few hurdles. There are technically still hotels available in Rio, according to TripAdvisor, but they’re pricey, averaging $286 per night for opening weekend. Available hostels, on the other hand, start at just $20 per night during the second half of the games. Given the troubling accommodations the athletes are currently enduring, sleeping on a bunk bed in a shared room for a few nights doesn’t seem so big an ask.
So, are you ready to go for the gold? Grab your neck pillow and some ear plugs, because this trip is guaranteed to be an adventure of Olympic proportion.