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


They’re ready to see the Seleção Brasileira!

Please note that this article is now outdated. Are you looking forward to 2022’s World Cup (when, hopefully, Team USA will again be a participant!) and want to budget for it? Check out my analysis of how much it would cost to go to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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

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.

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 TourNumberCost perTotalSource
Round trip flight from DFW – RIO1 $1,327.00 $1,327.00Source
Travel package1 $5,095.00 $5,095.00Source
Lunch in Rio5 $9.04 $45.20Source
Dinner in Rio5 $22.61 $113.05Source
Lunch in Natal4 $4.28 $17.12Source
Dinner in Natal4 $21.40 $85.60Source
Lunch in Manaus4 $8.56 $34.24Source
Dinner in Manaus4 $42.80 $171.20Source
Souvenir spending1 $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 TravelNumberCost perTotalSource
Round trip flight from DFW – NAT – MAO – REC – DFW1 $3,223.00 $3,223.00Source
World Cup tickets3 $135.00 $405.00
Breakfast in Natal2 $4.28 $8.56Source
Lunch in Natal2 $4.28 $8.56Source
Dinner in Natal2 $21.40 $42.80Source
Hotel in Natal2 $142.00 $284.00Source
Breakfast in Manaus6 $8.56 $51.36Source
Lunch in Manaus6 $8.56 $51.36Source
Dinner in Manaus6 $42.80 $256.80Source
Hotel in Manaus6 $286.00 $1,716.00Source
Breakfast in Recife4 $6.42 $25.68Source
Lunch in Recife4 $6.42 $25.68Source
Dinner in Recife4 $23.54 $94.16Source
Hotel in Recife4 $103.00 $412.00Source
Taxis, airport transport6 $50.00 $300.00 
Souvenir spending1 $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?

About Jason Hull, CFP®

Jason Hull, CFP®, is the Managing Member of Broadtree Partners, a firm that acquires $1-5MM EBITDA companies.