It’s rare that a single event at a single destination captures the attention and imagination of the entire planet, but the World Cup manages to do it every four years. In keeping with this pattern, Brazil is a very hot topic for summer travel in 2014. Visiting the World Cup is different depending on where it takes place, and this summer’s event in particular should be spectacularly unique. It’s not only because Brazil is already at the top of so many of our travel bucket lists, but because it is home to such a rich variety of atmospheres. With the Cup spread out across much of the country and in 12 different host cities, travelers will have the opportunity and incentive to enjoy Brazil as fully as possible!
Yet unless you happen to have a full month off and a great deal of disposable income, it’s virtually impossible to see everything at this summer’s World Cup. So here are some early tips for how to get the most out of a World Cup travel experience this summer.
Research The Host Cities:
As mentioned, there are 12 host cities, and having a strong grasp of what each city offers is imperative to planning your trip. The Guardian has posted a wonderfully thorough overview of all 12 cities, with information on weather, football stadiums, local attractions, etc. Our recommendation: in addition to the big cities that will drive most of the attention, try to fit in a trip to Salvador for your culture fix, and Manaus (in the heart of the Amazon) for a touch of nature.
Choose A Team Or A Venue:
If soccer is your primary interest in traveling to Brazil this summer, you may be best served by choosing either a team to follow or a venue to use as a travel base. Choosing a favorite team to follow is an adventurous option, and can take you all over the country to three different sites in the group stage (during which each team will play three different matches in three different locations).
However, choosing a venue to use as a base will expose you to a variety of teams (as well as the unique fan bases that come with them) and simplifies the trip to some extent. Various schedules online can show you where all of the matches will be played, but most would highlight Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro as the host cities that will feature the biggest and best matches.
Pack For A Range Of Weather:
Take another look at the Guardian travel guide and you’ll notice quickly that there’s enormous variety in the climates and expected weather at the various venues. Some offer beach settings, some are particularly humid, some will be expecting a great deal of rain this summer—there’s a little bit of everything throughout the host cities. So, once you have your trip more or less planned out, take a look at the forecasts and pack accordingly. Or you can be safe and simply pack a range of clothing.
If You Bet, Bet Strategically:
Sounds obvious, right? Actually, betting is often a big part of the World Cup, and when you’re caught up in all the enthusiasm during or between matches, it’s easy to make a careless decision—and there goes some of your trip budget! So, enjoy the fun of betting on matches, but do so knowledgeably. The easiest way to do this is by keeping up with oddsmaker advice and betting reference sites. The Betfair online exchange is already posting columns of advice on the World Cup outlook, including a recent post on why Chile could be a surprise success in Group B. This sort of post, coupled with ordinary monitoring of national team status, can set you up to make strong, strategic bets.
Visit A Festival:
Brazil is generally filled with unique celebrations, festivals, and dancing exhibitions, meaning there are plenty of events to enjoy even outside of the soccer stadiums. In fact, most of these festive celebrations will likely be enhanced by the crowds of visitors that will be spread out across Brazil! The most exciting of these is likely to take place in Salvador, where the city will be hosting a massive carnival in the same vein as that which takes place there each February.
Do Something “Touristy”:
Finally, try to maximize your trip to Brazil by doing something outright touristy. Granted, this is a little bit of a dirty word among travel enthusiasts, but there are some things you simply ought to experience despite their popularity among visitors. So, whether it means strolling a world famous beach, visiting a wildlife or nature preserve, or even enjoying one of Brazil’s infamous steakhouses, take the time to enjoy one of the attractions that makes Brazil such a popular travel destination even in years when it’s not hosting the World Cup!