Travel tips for the 2014 World Cup

brazil world cup

Your country might not have a cat’s-chance-in-hell of qualifying through the group stages (hello England and Australia fans), but the 2014 World Cup promises to be a spectacle of culture and entertainment nonetheless. If you’re one of lucky ones descending upon Brazil, there are some logistics you need to consider. From insurance to itineraries, these travel tips will keep you safe and help you get the most out of your trip to Brazil (or anywhere else abroad, for that matter). Set a date and pack your bags, 2014 is your year for the adventure of a lifetime…

Find the best deal
A proper trip abroad starts at least six months before you take off. That’s when you’ll find the best deals on flights, hotels and attractions. For airline tickets, look for price drops at the beginning of each week. Don’t hesitate to purchase tickets when you find a great deal. Prices will only go up as your trip approaches. Plan your accommodations in advance, too, especially if you’re traveling at a popular time. Brazil will be the center of the world come June, so the earlier you can make your plans, the better. Hotels may offer discounts if you pay the room in full in advance. Regional travel agents can help you find deals, but they’ll take a cut off the top. A better option is to book your hotel online., Expedia, and Orbitz all offer vacation packages to Brazil. Start shopping now and you’ll avoid paying through the roof during the World Cup.

Stay Safe
Safety is the top priority while you travel abroad. A health scare can ruin your World Cup. Start your preparation by learning what types of diseases you could be at risk for in your destination. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides a catalog of destinations, corresponding diseases and the vaccinations you need to stay safe. According to, travelers should get hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines before traveling to Brazil. Both diseases are communicable through food and water. While you’re walking the streets of Brazil, avoid habits that identify you as a wealthy tourist. When you hold a camera around your neck or walk around with an unfolded map, you’re identifying yourself as a target for thieves. Enjoy the new sights and sounds with subtlety. Keep your match tickets safe and out of view until you reach the turnstiles.

Plan Your Adventure
While you’ll want to leave room for spontaneity, plan most of the activities for your trip abroad in advance. You’ll be able to factor food, shopping and other costs into your budget if you know what activities are on deck. If you’re headed to the World Cup, decide what games you’ll attend and what other activities interest you. Check well in advance for ticket availability as many matches will sell-out or there may be purchasing prerequisites. If this is the case, live attendance isn’t the only way to enjoy the beautiful game in Brazil. Country-specific bars offer great atmospheres at a discounted rate.

Focus on Logistics
No matter your budget, a trip to the World Cup is bound to be a worthwhile adventure. But a few things can turn this new experience into a nightmare. One is if you lose your wallet, luggage or any other essential possessions. While security in Brazil will be tight during festivities, certain parts of the country have very high crime rates. Proactive preparation is the best policy. Travel insurance can cover you from unfortunate accidents and keep your trip on track. Travel insurance policies can include healthcare to keep you financially equipped to handle a trip to the emergency room in a foreign country. The peace of mind alone is worth the price of this valuable insurance.

And of course… Enjoy the Beautiful Game
Do your homework on some of the other nations taking part. If your team is knocked out early, there is no shame in adopting another nation to support while you are out there. Watching a game as a neutral supporter is also fun, especially if you have done a little research into those teams. Make the most of your time at the World Cup regardless of how your team is doing. For most people, it is literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Enjoy it!

Words by Martin Smith