How much to budget depends on where you stay and what you plan to do while in João Pessoa. Some cities, like João Pessoa have become pricey in the last few years. Rural and less visited destinations are often significantly cheaper. Bus travel costs about R$2.10 a ride but if you change at an intergration point, you can change to another bus free. Decent accommodation and particularly rental cars (which cost from about R$45 per day for a very basic car) can quickly eat up a budget.
If you’re frugal, you can live on about R$100 a day in João Pessoa, paying around R$40 for accommodations, R$30 for food and drink, plus bus travel, admission to sights and the occasional entertainment activity. If you just stay in hostels and plan to lie on a beach, eating rice, beans and fish every day, you can probably scrape by on R$70 a day. There are some “eat as much as you like for R$6″ restaurants in Tambau.
If you stay in reasonably comfortable hotels, eat in nicer restaurants, go out most nights and book the occasional excursion, you’ll probably spend upwards of R$250 a day in João Pessoa. Those planning to stay overnight at particularly comfortable guesthouses on the beach, eat at the best restaurants and not stint on excursions or nightlife can easily spend R$500 a day or more.
Bear in mind that during the December to February holiday season in João Pessoa, accommodations costs generally increase by around 30%. During Carnival accommodation prices triple, but a week afterwards, the prices drop to low season rates.
João Pessoa is fair value for solo travelers, as long as you don’t mind staying in hostels. Otherwise, a single room generally costs about 75% of the price of a double room.