How Much Would You Have to Budget to Go to the World Cup in 2022?

Kylian Mbappe celebrating - March 2018

He won the Golden Boy award for the 2018 World Cup. Will he be a star in 2022?

“Being from America, it’s great, so I always love coming home.”
–Christian Pulisic

I’ve been a soccer fan all of my life. My wife and I went to the World Cup in 2010. We didn’t go in 2014 or in 2018; instead, I spent nearly every day either at the local bar watching games (2014) or streaming the games (2018). We don’t have cable, and I had to watch somewhere. Oh, the joys of being an entrepreneur…

I suspect that 2022 will not see me watching the World Cup in person as well. Qatar isn’t high on the travel bucket list, but for many fans, particularly devout American Outlaws, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be on the bucket list. That is, of course, if the U.S. qualifies.

If you’re one of those who wants to take the trip to Qatar to watch the 2022 World Cup, you might be wondering what it would take to get yourself over 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. This will give you at least a baseline for comparison with a do it yourself option.

I’m going to assume a 13 night stay, with all games and stays in Doha, given the size of the country. As of the writing, Qatar still is scheduled to host the World Cup alone, although things can change between June, 2018 and the time of the World Cup. I’m also assuming that the schedule won’t change from a November-December World Cup. Since the schedules don’t come out until December, 2021, these assumptions may not be realistic, but it should at least give us enough information to come up with a reasonable budget.

I’m also going to assume a significant increase off of current published hotel prices (see below), since there will be a tourist markup. We saw it in South Africa; I see no reason not to expect the same in Qatar.

Ticket prices, as of the time of writing this article, have not been released. I will assume a $153.73 price. 2018 prices were approximately $105 for a Group 3 group stage game, and assuming 10% annual price inflation (FIFA doesn’t run the same economics as the rest of the world, you know), that’s how I arrive at the price.

If you wind up saving too much, then you can always invest the difference!

First, let’s look at a group package. The American Outlaws had a package in 2014 that would have cost $5,400. Of course, since the U.S. didn’t qualify in 2018…sad trombone.

The 2014 package did include a flight to Brazil, but it did not include lunch or dinner. It did include:

  • Travel
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Hotel
  • Airport Transfers
  • Chartered Air between Host Cities
  • On-site & Brazilian Support Staff
  • Ground Match Transfers
  • Pre-Game Parties (woo hoo!)

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.

I also assumed that there would be no charter flight to Doha. They will probably have a charter flight, but better safe than sorry.

Therefore, going from DFW to Doha in a package should cost roughly $9,600. Given that there are 52 months until the big event, you’ll need to set aside about $185 per month between now and November 2022 to pay cash for a package World Cup adventure.

Number Current Cost per Total (After Inflation) Source
Round trip flight from DFW – DOH 1 $1,020.00 $1,493.38 Source
Travel package 1 $5,400.00 $7,906.14 Source
Lunch in Doha 13 $21.97 $418.16 Source
Dinner in Doha 13 $43.94 $836.32 Source
Souvenir spending 1 $300.00 $439.23 Source
Total $9,599.85
Per month to save $184.61

What if you did the trip without a package? Would it cost you more or less?

According to my calculations and the estimates I made, a do-it-yourself trip would cost about $6,943, meaning you’d need to save up $134 per month.

Number Current Cost per Total (After Inflation) Source
Round trip flight from DFW – DOH 1 $1,020.00 $1,493.38 Source
World Cup tickets 3 $109.00 $478.76 Source
Breakfast in Doha 13 $21.97 $418.16 Source
Lunch in Doha 13 $21.97 $418.16 Source
Dinner in Doha 13 $43.94 $836.32 Source
Hotel in Doha 13 $135.00 $2,569.50 Source
Taxis, airport transport 18 $10.99 $289.63 Source
Souvenir spending 1 $300.00 $439.23
Total $6,943.14
Per month to save $133.52

One note: while Kayak said that the Ramada Inn was about $45 a night (as of June, 2018, for a stay in November-December 2018), I would be flabbergasted if the price for any hotel in Doha during the World Cup was that cheap. So, I assumed $135/night.

While I did not include it in the budget, I highly recommend that you get travel insurance for this trip. We use World Nomads (#aff) whenever we travel internationally in case we need to get evacuated or something terrible befalls us on our travels. We’ve never had to use it, but we’d hate to need it and not have it.

Why is it so much cheaper to go to the World Cup in Qatar than I projected you needed to budget for the 2018 World Cup in Russia or even the 2014 World Cup in Brazil? One word: travel. In Russia and Brazil, I assumed following a team from place to place, which, by the way, is not how we did the World Cup in 2010. I assumed for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, you would stay in Doha and not travel anywhere else. Not needing to budget for inter-country travel is a budget saver!

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 $1,284.75 per person).

About Jason Hull, CFP®

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