How Much Would You Have to Budget to Go to the World Cup in 2014?

brazil

They’re ready to see the Seleção Brasileira!

“The person that said winning isn’t everything, never won anything.”
–Mia Hamm

Please note that this article is now outdated. Please click here to find out how much you would need to budget to go to the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

Editor’s Note: Numbers and locations updated February 25, 2014.

My wife and I went to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. I’d been to Cape Town before, so it was an excuse to get her to go with me, not to mention getting a chance to do several other things, like hang around at awesome wineries, do a camping safari, and poke around in Namibia to see what life was like amongst the sand dunes. Oh, and eat lots and lots of tasty wildlife. I’ve yet to find tastier dishes than springbok and warthog ribs. Pardon me while I wipe the drool off of my keyboard.

I don’t think that Brazil 2014 is going to be in the cards for us, as there are other places which are higher up on our travel list that we’d like to see. No offense to any Brazilians or Brazil lovers; we have to prioritize our travel.

Still, if you’re a football nut (the real football, not the one with end zones and cheerleaders), then you might be wondering what it would take to get yourself down there for a couple of weeks.

There are two ways of accomplishing the trip. The first is to go with a tour package and let them handle everything for you. The second is to do it yourself and go as an independent traveler. I saw a lot of articles suggesting doing a tour package for South Africa, and we did it independently and had no problem, so I am assuming that independent travel will be equally as feasible for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

I’m going to assume a 14 night stay with a game in Natal, then a game in Manaus, and, finally, a game in Recife and staying in 3 star accommodations. I’m going to assume flying out of Dallas Fort Worth airport (DFW) on June 14 and back on June 27 more than three months out with a total one-way travel time of less than 24 hours to get a reasonable estimate of pricing.

I will assume 3 Cat 2 tickets, meaning $135 USD per ticket.

First, let’s look at a group package.


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I chose the first company that game up on my Google search.

Their price for an 8 night, 2 city package including Rio is $5,095. This does not include a flight to Brazil, nor does it include lunch or dinner. It does include:

  • Selected Accommodations
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Meet and Greet
  • Airport Transfers
  • Half Day Guided Tour
  • Domestic Air between Host Cities
  • On-site & Brazilian Support Staff
  • Ground Match Transfers
  • Service Charges
  • All Taxes

Given that 2 meals a day are not included, I’ll assume that you’re eating one meal in an inexpensive restaurant and one meal in a mid-range restaurant.

Therefore, going from DFW to Brazil in a package should cost roughly $7,210. Given that there are 3 months until the big event, you’ll need to set aside about $2,400 per month between now and June 2014 to pay cash for a package World Cup adventure.

Package Tour Number Cost per Total Source
Round trip flight from DFW – RIO 1 $1,327.00 $1,327.00 Source
Travel package 1 $5,095.00 $5,095.00 Source
Lunch in Rio 5 $9.04 $45.20 Source
Dinner in Rio 5 $22.61 $113.05 Source
Lunch in Natal 4 $4.28 $17.12 Source
Dinner in Natal 4 $21.40 $85.60 Source
Lunch in Manaus 4 $8.56 $34.24 Source
Dinner in Manaus 4 $42.80 $171.20 Source
Souvenir spending 1 $300.00 $300.00  
    Total $7,125.11  
    Per month to save $2,375.04

What if you did the trip without a package and wanted to see all of the games? Would it cost you more or less?

According to my calculations and the estimates I made, a do-it-yourself trip would cost about $7,204.96, meaning you’d need to save up $2,401.65 per month.

Independent Travel Number Cost per Total Source
Round trip flight from DFW – NAT – MAO – REC – DFW 1 $3,223.00 $3,223.00 Source
World Cup tickets 3 $135.00 $405.00
Breakfast in Natal 2 $4.28 $8.56 Source
Lunch in Natal 2 $4.28 $8.56 Source
Dinner in Natal 2 $21.40 $42.80 Source
Hotel in Natal 2 $142.00 $284.00 Source
Breakfast in Manaus 6 $8.56 $51.36 Source
Lunch in Manaus 6 $8.56 $51.36 Source
Dinner in Manaus 6 $42.80 $256.80 Source
Hotel in Manaus 6 $286.00 $1,716.00 Source
Breakfast in Recife 4 $6.42 $25.68 Source
Lunch in Recife 4 $6.42 $25.68 Source
Dinner in Recife 4 $23.54 $94.16 Source
Hotel in Recife 4 $103.00 $412.00 Source
Taxis, airport transport 6 $50.00 $300.00  
Souvenir spending 1 $300.00 $300.00  
    Total $7,204.96  
    Per month to save $2,401.65

Naturally, your results may vary, and it’s wise to budget an extra thousand dollars for either trip just in case you want to upgrade games or go out on the town or do sightseeing, but based on my travel experiences, these seem like reasonable per person expenses. If you travel with someone else and you’re in DIY mode, you could always split a room, reducing those costs (my estimate is approximately $750 per person).

Are you thinking about going to the World Cup in Brazil? How much are you budgeting to spend?

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About Jason Hull

Jason Hull is a Fort Worth financial advisor. Before becoming a Fort Worth financial planner, Jason co-founded, built, and sold a software development company. He is a CFP candidate, has a MBA from the University of Virginia, and a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is the owner of Fort Worth financial advisor Hull Financial Planning.

Comments

  1. Spencer Hanson says:

    Now that plane flights are somewhat available for the months of June/July 2014, do you recall what the markup was after the release of the teams/groups for South Africa in 2010? From MSP to GIG is already around $2,000 round trip and I’m not sure how much that will markup in December. Hotels also seem mostly booked and is a slight concern.

    • I don’t recall there being much of a markup. We were picked in group 2 of the draws (meaning we’d won the lottery for one of the tickets), so we were able to book a little earlier than the masses. I doubt the flights will go up much more, as the number of travelers from any given location won’t significantly increase, even if there’s an overall net increase.

      I think where we stayed had about a 20% markup from their normal peak, but it was very nice. If you charge $25 a night, it’s easier to bump up to $75/night during the World Cup than if you charge $250/night to jump the same percentage.

      I’d look at hostels as well. Even if a hostel doubles its prices during the World Cup, it’ll probably still be affordable. You’ve identified, correctly, in my opinion, that lodging is going to be the wildcard in terms of markup.

      Have you looked at Couchsurfing or Airbnb?

      • Spencer Hanson says:

        Thank you for those suggestions, I have not looked at either or looked into hostels for that matter.

        I (from USA) want to travel with friends from Ecuador (basically qualified already) and Ethiopia (might qualify) so our plans heavily depend on the draw and what cities we’ll be in. That prohibits us from booking early considering thr possibility of in-country flights and was why I was curious.

        I assume misc. things like taxi, bus, and airport transportation won’t be absurd so if I can reasonably “ballpark” flights, lodging, and tickets, that I will have a good idea before the draw happens.

        • I’d love to see Ethiopia qualify. Africa’s qualifications are, to me, the most difficult, because you have to win your group and then win a 2-legged playoff against another group winner.

          As long as you take public transportation, you won’t get hosed. We took a couple of taxis and I thought that they were comparable to the time that I had been to Cape Town before the World Cup. They had meters, and I don’t know if taxis in Brazil will have them.

          I like your approach, though – figure out roughly how much you need (and probably add $1k) as a target for your budget, and you should be pretty close.

          Good luck, and have fun! Go USMNT!

  2. I’m curious what category the $120 tickets was in 2010?

    Tickets for 2014 turned out to be $175/135/90 (Cat. 1/2/3, with cat. 1 having the most tickets). Your food estimate is right on. I have family in São Paulo who tell me eating out over there costs at least R$20 (about US$9) — and that’s simple food, burger joint price or inexpensive pizza. Pizza in São Paulo is some of the best in the world, by the way. If you’re there, go to a good restaurant and try it.

    • Hey! Thanks for commenting! I think our tickets for Cameroon – Netherlands were cat 3 and the tickets for Portugal – North Korea were cat 2. If I had it to do again, I’d buy cat 2 for both, as we had a partially obstructed view in our cat 3 seats.

    • Welcome to Brazil says:

      Hello L Lessa ! Sorry to disappoint you, but with R$ 20,00 you can just eat a Big Mac in Brazil..
      An average pizza or a “la carte” small restaurant will charge you at least R$ 35,00 in São Paulo (without the 10% to the waiters).
      I live in Porto Alegre (south of Brazil), a region famous by its meat/barbecues. Usually, in this kind of food you will expend at least US$ 20,00 (or R$ 50.00).

  3. Hey Jason thank you for writing thie article. I have been searching for a rough cost estimate for two people including the wife. Will it differ by much? I have made a commitment to myself to attend the World Cup in Brasil to see my team Colombia play! I should have started saving earlier but I fugure I can put 6k max between us 2. I have saved up airline miles and I am almost sure I have both tickets covered but need to check. Foodwise, my wife and I share at restaurants alot of times to save and we enjoy our food more by sharing. Now the crucial part.. The Tickets! I have only done two hours of research into this adventure while my wife sleeps snoring next to me and I dream of Brasil. I will be really bummed if I miss this. By the way I am from Keller North Fort Worth and we are neighbors :)

    • Hey, neighbor!

      I think how well Colombia does will be determined by the group draw they have. I also think Falcao moving from Monaco elsewhere in the January transfer window may affect their chances, as a team can ride a hot striker or a hot goalkeeper (which doesn’t bode well for England).

      I doubt that airline mile redemptions will be affected, but it might. You’ll want to jump on those as soon as possible.

      We were drawn in the first round lottery, so got our tickets to Portugal – North Korea that way. I was on the FIFA website the moment the round 2 tickets opened up so that we could get another game in Cape Town, which wound up being Netherlands – Cameroon. Since you’re probably going to follow a team rather than stay in a location, I’m not sure how the ticketing will work. Best of luck in getting tickets to the games!

      • 7000.00 dollars will not get you anything for the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro if you coming from a place like Los Angeles CA

        Just flights from Los Angeles are hubbering around 2800.00 per person.

        Then you will not find any accommodations in Rio. Then you have to buy over priced game tickets, so for a couple from Los Angeles will cost around 15.000 USD to see 4 matches in Rio and be in rio for 10 days.

        • Hi Ed–

          Thanks for the contribution. People will need to figure out their own numbers if they’re flying from somewhere other than the Dallas/Fort Worth area and are staying in Rio to watch matches rather than traveling to follow the U.S. team. When we went in 2010, we didn’t follow the U.S. team; we stayed in Cape Town and watched two games there.

          It’s good to have another number in mind for the people who want to see matches in Rio!

  4. Again on the tickets. The whole ticket buying process for Brazil seems daunting. I booked airfare (via miles) and hotel (I used to live in brazil and booked a long-term stay at an apart-hotel for the whole month for $3000 Reais about 1400 USD. In any event the tickets I can find that are not via lottery, which I am going to assume I will lose are from Match and the cheapest I can find are $1100 hospitality tickets. Any thoughts on this?

    • We only got one lottery ticket. We bought the other one in the second round, so don’t panic if you don’t get drawn in the lottery. There should be plenty of seats available in the second round.

  5. david acuna says:

    Are you guys watching the Draw? Its frozen here in DFW so I am home watching it! My friend has agreed to go with me so we will be splitting the cost :). My Amex miles don’t have airline partners that fly to Brasil but I am about to call to double check. If not hopefully my motherinlaw will trade me some of her American Airlines. I am so excited but need to get these darn tickets!

    • Yeah, we watched at home, too. We’re over in West 7th, and it’s frozen in.

      We got a bad group, but not an impossible group. We could have been with Spain, Chile, and the Netherlands.

      The other bad part about the draw is the horrendous travel. I think I read that it’s 8,836 miles for the 3 games.

      The American Outlaws has a travel package, but there’s a waiting list.

      Good luck on getting tickets!

      • david acuna says:

        I stayed in today wouldn’t risk going out since I hear there are accidents everywhere. US has a tough group but miracles can happen. I feel Colombia has a great opportunity to advance but can’t underestimate the Japanese.

        • Japan is technically proficient, but I agree that Colombia will advance. I haven’t been out on the roads yet, except walking to places in West 7th. I felt like if people were going to try to come in to open up, then the least we could do was be patrons for them!

  6. Daniel Falcao says:

    Hey guys, I’m Daniel, from Brazil. I have a small appartment in Rio, yet in a good location (12 minutes far from maracana). I’m thinking about renting it for the world cup. If any interest, contact me: dfalcao26 at hotmail.com

  7. Hello Jason!

    Thank you for this budget.
    I have a question i know it is late January, but my dream is going to Brazil for the cup.
    I just got a new job and start tomorrow and can’t sleep because I’m thinking of possible ways to budget to go!
    I went to South Africa as well but I bought my tickets almost a year ahead of time.
    My question is, how can I make a plan, realistically, to make it happen. My income once all my bills and living expenses is taken care of is about 1800/month.
    I know I’ll have to be hard on myself to save. But your advise would help me so much. Thank you!

    • Hey, Michael – Congratulations on the new job! The answer is simple. Save that $1,800 each month. Make an automatic transfer starting the first paycheck to move that money into a different account so that you won’t be tempted to touch it. Once you have enough for the tickets, buy them. That’ll commit you. Put up pictures of football so that you remind yourself when you’re tempted. Remember that the memories you create from the trip will be much more valuable to you over time than anything else you can buy between now and then; it was that way for WC 2010, I bet.

      Good luck! Hope you make it and have fun there!

      • MARIO SERGIO PASSOS says:

        HELLO, I´M GUY FROM BRAZIL!! I WAS BORN IN RIO DE JANEIRO AND THE CHEAPEST PLACES TO STAY IN BRAZIL IS FAR AWAY FROM RIO DE JANEIRO!! SÃO PAULO CITY IS CHEAPER THAN RIO DE JANEIRO CITY!! BELO HORIZONTE IS CHEAPER THAN RIO DE JANEIRO AND SÃO PAULO. MANAUS IS CHEAP BUT THE SITUATION IS: MANAUS IS FAR WAY FROM EVERY HOSTAGE CITY INSIDE BRAZIL!! THE DISTANCE FROM SÃO PAULO TO MANAUS FOR EXAMPLE IS 3.844km!! THE DISTANCE FROM PORTO ALEGRE CITY BETWEEN MANAUS CITY IS ABOUT 4.424Km!! YOU´LL HAVE TO BUY AIRPLANE TICKETS TO TRAVEL AROUND BRAZIL AND MOVE YOURSELVES BETWEEN ALL HOSTAGE CITIES!! TO CONSULT AIRPLANE COMPANIES IN BRAZIL FOLLOW THESE WEBSITES: http://www.azul.com.br, http://www.tam.com.br, http://www.voegol.com.br, http://www.avianca.com.br, http://www.trip.com.br
        THE FOOD OF BRAZIL IS TOO RICH AND VERY CHEAP IN ENTIRE COUNTRY!! YOU CAN EAT A LOT AND PAY A LITTLE!!
        IF YOU´D LIKE TO EAT SOMETHING TYPICAL PLATES, THEN ASK FOR IT: MOQUECA, FRANGO A PASSARINHO, FEIJOADA, CALDEIRADA, CALDO VERDE, LEITÃO À PURURUCA, CASQUINHA DE SIRI, FRANGO AO MOLHO PARDO, CHURRASCO RODÍZIO, FRANGO CAIPIRA, MOQUECA DE SIRI, MOQUECA DE CAMARÃO!!
        BEVERAGES IN BRAZIL IS VERY CHEAP AND YOU´LL FIND IN ABUNDANCE: CHOOSE AND ASK FOR THESE BRANDS WHILE YOU ARE INSIDE BRAZIL: BRAHMA, SKOL, BOHEMIA, BAVARIA, NOVA SCHIN!! A CAN OF BEER COST ON AVERAGE OF 1 EURO!
        THE CLIMATE OF BRAZIL IS: EQUATORIAL, SEMI-ARID, TROPICAL, TROPICAL SAVANNAH, SUBTROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL HIGHLAND!!!
        RIO DE JANEIRO IS HOT ON THE WINTERS
        MANAUS IS TOO HOT AND WET ON WINTERS
        FORTALEZA IS HOT ON WINTERS
        RECIFE IS HOT AS FORTALEZA IS
        CUIABÁ IS CAN BE COLD AND HOT ON WINTERS
        BRASILIA IS COOL AND TOO DRY ON WINTERS
        BELO HORIZONTE IS COOL AND A LITTLE DRY ON WINTERS
        SÃO PAULO IS COOL AND DRY ON WINTERS. THE AIR IS TOO POLLUTED!!!
        CURITIBA IS WET AND IS THE COLDEST STATE CAPITAL OF ENTIRE BRAZIL!!
        PORTO ALEGRE IS COLD AND WET DURING WINTER SEASONS!

        WELL, HAVE YOU A NICE TRIP AND WELCOME TO BRAZIL!!

        • Hey, Mario – Thanks for commenting! I think you meant host cities, not hostage cities! You were saying “refém” cities! :-)

          It’s great to have Brazilians coming in and giving us information about what it’s like there. I appreciate it!

          We eat feijoada weekly. It’s amazing and healthy!

          • Alvaro Almgren says:

            It’s fun but our feeling here it’s really hostage cities. The gouvernement it’s dealing with the population like they’re the trouble. And they try to remove people before the tourists arive here. All brazilians are hostages of FIFA. And I reaaly don’t think that’s a good idea come here in the cup. But its AYOR. Good luck!

          • I was surprised that places like Curitiba didn’t get the nod. It seemed like the city selection was somewhat due to paying back Lulu da Silva’s friends. I have to admit, I hope Sepp Blatter doesn’t run for FIFA president again and that Michel Platini does. It’s also a shame to see what’s happening in some of the favelas in some of the host cities.

            U.S. football journalist Grant Wahl had a great piece on how Brazilians can love their football team but hate the FIFA World Cup process.

  8. I’m hopping to go to Brazil but everything looks very expensive, hotels specially, I understand fly tickets can be expensive and it’s not big deal but hotel prices are just out of my reach. I went to Germany in 2006 and couldn’t go in 2010 to Southafrica but Brazil seems more expensive, my budget is about $7 k for my and my daughter, what do you think ?

    • I think it’s going to depend on if you can get an apartment to rent or something, perhaps, through AirBNB. If it were just you, I’d suggest going the hostel route, but you might not want to do hostels with your daughter. Definitely try VRBO or AirBNB to see if you can get something reasonable. Good luck!

    • Daniel M F says:

      Hey. I have an apartment in rio for rent. If anyone interested please contact me on email. dfalcao26@hotmail.com

  9. Marcio Gomes says:

    I live in São Paulo and I have two bedrooms to rent in my house,each one for 4 people and minimum of 7 days for further information contact me gomesmarcio15@hotmail.com and you also can read some more details and pics on airbnb link: https://www.airbnb.com.br/rooms/2062171
    Best regards