Posted on May 21, 2018
Travelling to the football World Cup can be an incredible experience whether or not you’re a huge fan of the sport. It helps to be a major football supporter of course, or at least to have your home nation in the mix. But even if you’re merely a curious wanderer, there’s nothing quite like a World Cup. You’ll be in a country striving to show off the best it has to offer, see brand new (or at least freshly renovated) stadiums, and encounter people from all over the world. And you may even get swept up in the sport itself.
The 2018 World Cup begins in Russia about a month from the time of this writing. We’ll touch on Russia a little bit, but mostly as an example. The truth is the following tips on World Cup travel can apply to the same event in future years as well. So, let’s get to them!
1. Plan In Advance
This goes without saying for most any major international trip. But for the World Cup in particular it’s important to plan well ahead of time. You can go at the last minute if travel is manageable, and usually find your way to a few matches you’d like to see. But with tickets in demand and plenty of events to choose from, it’s wise to do some early planning for the World Cup. That way you can map out a route between the host cities, prioritize a few matches you’d like to see (or even national fan bases you’d be most interested in being around), and generally cater to your own preferences.
2. Learn About The Host Cities
I mentioned host cities above, and if you’re largely unfamiliar with the World Cup, they’re worth discussing more. Unlike, say, the Olympics, the Word Cup doesn’t take place in a single city, but rather throughout a country. So, for instance, there are 11 cities to get to know for the Russia World Cup this summer, each with something unique to offer. Learning about the host cities is probably the most important part of planning a World Cup trip, as it will inform your decisions about where to spend the most time and how to arrange your travel.
3. Pack For Variety
Depending on the host nation, the different cities you travel to may be very different. Some will be more crowded, some will be colder, some will be more casual… you just never know! Throw in the fact that you’ll likely be splitting up your time between attending matches, trying out local restaurants, and sightseeing, and you’ll need a variety of different outfits to stay prepared and comfortable. Be sure that your packing reflects the different places you’ll see and the things you’ll be doing.
4. Eye The Betting Markets
Sports betting is always a risk, so I’m not recommending you jump into it blindly. But there are always some interesting options. Sports betting markets generally cover a lot of events, and for the World Cup you’ll find consistent, interesting odds on just about every aspect of the tournament. Betting, again, isn’t necessarily advisable – but even small bets can give you a reason to care about every match that’s going on. It’s just a good way to get into the spirit of the trip.
5. Choose A Team (Or Teams)
Another way to give yourself a stake in the action and generally make your trip more interesting is to pick a team to root for! This is easy enough if your own country is playing in the World Cup. But even if that’s the case, you’ll likely want to know which team to support in individual matches. This time around there are some fun guides out there, including a statistically-backed quiz to help you choose a team that suits your own interests and preferences for the game. It’s all in good fun, and you may be surprised how much more you enjoy the Cup if you decide to get behind a team, or even a few of them.