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Your World Cup Budget
brazil 2014
prettyannamoon wrote in brazil2014
Let's figure out exactly how much money you should realistically plan on saving for the next World Cup. The painful truth? This trip is going to cost you several thousand dollars.

However, there is a massive difference in trying to save $2,000 over two years versus trying to save $8,000 in the same period of time. Here are the things that will account for most of the wild difference in cost: how long you plan to stay, where you plan to stay, whether or not you plan to travel in-country, how many games you'd like to attend, whether or not you'll be splitting costs with friends or family, and what else you plan on doing while you're there. Let's look at the numbers...

Match Tickets

Here's a chart of prices for tickets to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. As you can see, non-wheelchair tickets ranged from $80 to $900, depending on the game and where you were sitting. Expect them to be more slightly more expensive this time round.

My personal thoughts are, that if you're spending a lot of money to get to Brazil, get the best seats you can afford. Pick quality over quantity; in this case, try to get better seats to fewer games. This will especially pay off if the games you choose are held in different cities, as we'll get to in a moment.

Tickets: $


You managed to buy tickets? Splendid! Time to get to Brazil.

Check to see how much tickets cost from your home airport to Brazil. (GIG is the airport code for Rio, GRU is the code for Sao Paulo, the two cheapest and most frequent destinations.) I entered a summer 2013 date on and found most round trip tickets between New York and Rio run about $1300. To be safe, I'm rounding up to $1500 for airfare between home and Brazil.

Airfare to and from Brazil: $

In-Country Transportation

Once you've made it to Brazil, you'll need to get around. The cost of this in-country transportation will vary wildly, depending on your plans. If you're staying in one city, you'll mainly need to think about transportation to and from the airport, to and from the stadium, and any bus or cab fare you'll need for sightseeing.

However, if you plan to follow a team, you could be traveling all over a country that covers an area of almost 3.3 million square miles (8.5 million square kms). Driving long distances in Brazil is generally not recommended - the roads in many parts of the country are either substandard, or do not exist.

TAM, Brazil's national airline, runs flights between many of the host cities. As an example, a flight between Rio and Manaus would run you $500 next summer. This is one of the longer flights available, but expect prices between cities to run between two and six hundred dollars, if you can buy early. By the time we know who will be playing where, expect prices to sky rocket due to limited availability - you could pay $1,000 for a single, in-country flight.

Regardless of whether or not you travel around the country, you’ll want to budget in money for getting around each city or area. Getting to and from an airport can cost more than expected, especially in a larger city like São Paulo. Shuttle buses to and from the airport are usually a cheaper option than taxis. Buses or subways (if available) are cheaper yet, but may not be worth the hassle with lots of luggage. You’ll also want to have a small amount of cash on hand for taxi or bus fare in order to explore the city.

Airfare within Brazil: $
Other transportation: $


The next obvious category is lodging. If you have friends or family to stay with, you are so very lucky and we all hate you. Otherwise, you're going to be looking at options ranging from hostels to hotels to apartment rentals. Different host cities will present different challenges - expect Rio to be ridiculously expensive because it's Rio, and expect cities like Manaus to be ridiculously expensive because of the limited number of places to stay.

If you're traveling with a group, renting an apartment and splitting the cost is probably the cheapest way to go. Weekly and even monthly rates generally offer further savings. Right now, you can find rentals in Rio as cheap as $2,000 a week or $6,000 a month. Divide this by the number of people you'll be staying with, and you may end up with a bargain. Sites such as VRBO and HomeAway have multiple listings in many of the host cities.

If you're forever alone, a hostel will be the cheapest option. South America has less of a hostel culture than Europe or Southeast Asia, but it's still better than North America in this respect. Most hostels currently run between $15 and $30 a night. Sights like Hostelling International can help you find places to stay in most of the host cities.

Hotels are going to be the most expensive and most ubiquitous option. Depending on the quality and location, you can spend anywhere between $50 and $500 a night. (You may be able to find some for less than $50, but between price gouging and not wanting to stay in a place where the bed bugs might eat you, we'll ignore those.) Still, if you manage to find a decently priced hotel, and split the room with friends, it may end up comparable to staying in a hostel.

Lodging per night: $
For __ nights: $


Time to look at meals, drinks, and clubs (if they spark your interest). Overall, food costs approximately the same as it does here. Some items will be higher or lower - fast food is more expensive compared to the United States, while local beer is less expensive. For the average traveler, I'd budget $20-$30 for food per day. Double or triple that if you're planning on eating somewhere nice for lunch or dinner. Buy snacks and drinks in supermarkets to cut down on cost.

As far as clubs go, cover fees can be anywhere from $5-$60, with drinks generally costing the same as in the US (~$10)

Food per day: $
For __ days: $
Drinks and cover fees: $


The next category is entertainment. This includes any fees for tours you might take, places you might visit, or activities you might do. Cruise down the Amazon? That goes here. Cable car up Sugarloaf Mountain? That goes here. Side-tour to see Iguaçu Falls? That goes here. (Remember to add any transportation or other costs associated with side-tours to the proper categories.)

Also, put aside some money for souvenirs, whether for yourself or others. Consider how many people you want to shop for, and how much you're willing to spend on them.

It's an excellent idea to have some Brazilian Reais stashed safely somewhere, for emergency over-spending.

Entertainment: $
Souvenirs: $
Cash cushion: $


Trips cost money before you even leave. Consider things such as the following:

Will you need vaccines or other medication?
Do you need to renew or get a passport? New passports cost $135, to renew costs $110.
Will you need a visa to enter Brazil? For US citizens, visas cost $160, with a $20 fee if you can't get to an embassy to do it in person.
Do you need new luggage, a better camera, a new swimsuit?
Will you need to pay the person who's going to feed your goldfish/cat/llama while you're gone?

Medical: $
Passports and Visas: $
Other Incidentals: $

The Grand Total

Time to werk it out...

Match Tickets: $
Airfare to and from Brazil: $
Airfare within Brazil: $
Other transportation: $
Lodging: $
Food: $
Drinks and cover fees: $
Entertainment: $
Souvenirs: $
Cash cushion: $
Medical: $
Passports and Visas: $
Other Incidentals: $


So now that you're thoroughly depressed at the thought of spending all that money, here's something fun to keep you motivated! Need to keep track of the stupid amount of money you need to accumulate over the next 24 months? Do it with this handy-dandy chart that reminds you of just how insignificant your savings are in the grand scheme of football!

Printable .PDF Here

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...I can't even see the dollar amounts, I just see "Total: $" for example. Aren't there supposed to be specific amounts after all those dollar signs??

Hey - thanks for checking out this journal! This post is more of a worksheet for people to use than a definitive answer. Because people's trips are going to vary by the number of games they see, the cities they stay in, and how long they stay in Brazil, I tried to give an estimate for each category. This should help make it easier for readers to figure out how much the World Cup trip *they* want to take will cost them.

That said, I do need to make some revisions. It looks like travel within Brazil may be cheaper, and lodging more expensive than estimated here.

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