What does your dream trip cost? (World Cup)

By Stew

The 2010 FIFA World Cup starts this Friday at 10 am MST. I plan to watch both of the first two matches . . . after that, we’ll see . . . I happened to be in Germany during the first weekend of games during the 2006 World Cup and although I was unable to attend any of the matches live, just being in the host country during the event was a great experience. I am a big soccer fan and I cannot wait for the tournament to start. Every single game fascinates me. My job has enough flexibility for me to watch most of the matches during the first two weeks. After that, I will be traveling quite a bit and will probably have to miss a few games.

The World Cup is my dream trip.

I don’t mean attending one match – I might actually do that someday, especially if the World Cup is ever hosted in this hemisphere again. I am talking about going to the entire tournament. I call it my dream trip because that is probably the only place this trip will take place. I am pretty certain that I will never have the money or job flexibility to pull off a trip to the entire World Cup and the truth is, I don’t really even have my heart set on it. I am not saving for it and even if I did have that kind of cash to take a month long vacation, I would definitely need to include my wife in the trip planning. I doubt that she would enjoy attending 64 soccer games in one month.

If I ever did go to the World Cup and attend a bunch of games, it is unlikely that I would do it as a fan. The only way that I might ever make it is as a member of the support staff or possibly as a member of the press – hey! it could happen! The reality is that I might have a better chance of traveling to Mars. This trip might be one of those things where  If you have to ask how much it costs, then you can’t afford it”. Anyway, here is the bottom line cost of my dream trip based on the current World Cup venue, South Africa:


Approximately $1,800 round trip. Obviously, there can be some variation here, but that is a solid figure, at least for  South Africa. The next world cup will be held in 2014 in Brazil, airfare will certainly be lower for that venue.


Transportation within the country of South Africa is very difficult to determine. The 2006 venue, Germany, was probably more conducive to my dream trip than a country the size of South Africa. In Germany, it was possible to take the train to every venue and walk everywhere else. South Africa is larger than Germany and does not have the mass transit infrastructure of Germany. Most travel within South Africa will have to be via bus or rental car. I estimate that “in country” transportation costs will probably total $2,000.


Once again, Germany was a much cheaper option due to the youth hostels throughout the country. I have heard several people mention that lodging for South Africa is proving to be difficult. The minimum that a fan will spend on a hotel in South Africa, making allowance for the rand exchange rate is close to $100 and up. The timing and geographic location of your stay can double or triple that number. Lodging will cost around $5,000.


I know  how to eat cheap. However, this is a vacation, so I will probably buy a little coffee here and there and watch at least a few of the soccer matches in a restaurant or pub. I could probably exist for $10 a day or eat in style for $50 a day. Let’s pick a happy medium of $25 per diem which translates to a total food budget of $800 give or take.


Here is the big one. It is not humanly possible to attend every single game since the first part of the tournament features three matches per day all over the country. My goal would be to attend at least one match per day. As with any sporting event, there is a range of ticket prices. Ticket prices for the first round of matches average around $250 apiece. Prices go up with each successive round. Group stage prices: 15 games at $250, Round of 16: 8 games at $300, Quarterfinals: 2 games at $400, Semi-finals: 2 games at $800 and the World Cup Final match: $1,500. Total cost of tickets: Priceless! (or around $10,000)

So, the total cost of my dream trip is approximately $19,600, add in a few souvenirs and some unplanned financial events and I am looking at a $20,000 price tag all for a stupid ballgame . . .  Sigh, it would be fun, though. What is your dream trip?

Article by Stew

Photo by seeklogo

12 Responses (including trackbacks) to “What does your dream trip cost? (World Cup)”

  1. Money Obedience Says:

    Your dream trip sounds like an awesome trip. I hope that you can pull it off.

    My dream trip is climbing Cho Oyu. I have been on Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua, but I would like to climb one of the 14 8,000 meter mountains in the world. The cost is not only comprised of money but also of time; lots of it. Such a trip takes 6-8 weeks.

  2. Neil Says:


    My dream trip would be to sail across the Atlantic from the US to the UK. The main problem isn’t the cost, but the time – probably around 6 weeks. Can’t see my wife agreeing to that :)

  3. sasper Says:

    I’m taking my dream trip starting August 1st! I’ll be traveling via motorcycle around the US & Canada for 2 months, then down through Mexico and Central American for 4+ months. I have $25,000 saved for the trip, and am hoping to spend only $15,000 of it over the course of 6 months.

    I put in notice at my job last week, and have been prepping for the trip over the last 2 months. I bought a new (used) motorcycle last weekend in Virginia that should be able to take me around the world!

  4. Debbie Says:

    Your dream trip sounds awsome!! I’m saving up for the 2014 world cup in Brazil, even though I think I would have prefered to go to Africa.

  5. J Says:

    I have many dream trips but my ultimate dream trip would be a 5 year around the world trip where I would visit just about every country in the world. I figure I can probably stick to a budget of about $50 per day so my trip would be around 1,825 days x $50 = $91,250. It is probably just that however, a dream. There is no way I could leave my family for that amount of time and I really wish I would have done it before I got married; but then again I didn’t have the money then. Perhaps when I retire if health permits.

  6. lee Says:

    i find your numbers interesting. i have begun saving for brazil 2014. however i think the numbers to see so many games is unrealistic and unfeasible. however i do agree with most others. we will see. i know 4 years is plenty of time to save! so i am already excited.

  7. Jack Says:

    I’m only 15 and saving for WC2014 Brazil. I live in the US, I’ll get a job and just save up. I’ll be in college and free to leave with a friend for a month without a wife or children, so excited already. I hope I can make it because I’d love to see Brazil, but if I don’t have enough money then I’ll wait until 2018 when it’ll hopefully be here and I can save money on lodging and travel.

  8. Jack Says:

    Just went through the costs of my trip to Brazil, here they are:

    Airfare: $1200 round trip

    Transportation: I plan to buy tickets for the games in Rio de Janeiro only (it’s possible), so my transportation cost should only be about $300 for a taxi or bus here and there

    Lodging: I can deal with living in a crappy motel, so let’s say $100/night for a month. Of course, let’s say I only stay for about 18 days (3 group stage, round of 16, quaterfinal game). $1800, with a possible discount for staying there so long.

    Food: I can make it on $60 a day, so about $1100

    Tickets: Not as bad as you might think. A group stage game will probably be about $90-$100 for the cheapest tickets behind the goal (what I’m planning on) so $300 in group stage games. Round of 16 game could be about $130, quarterfinal game could cost $160. Total cost of tickets for 5 games: about $600

    Total cost of trip: 18 days, $5000. Very affordable

  9. amal Says:

    hey so is mine
    but for brazil 2014
    i can pull it off
    i hope

  10. Stew Says:

    Jack, I am also planning to attend some part of the Brazil WC. Since it is in this hemisphere, this could be my best shot!

  11. Matt Says:

    i am 15 and planning on making an attempt with four friends to see the usa games in the 2014 world cup. i feel the biggest problem will b finding transportation to the games.

  12. David Says:

    2014 World Cup-
    Everyone who is checking the round trip tickets to Brazil now is going to be shocked at the price in 2014. Unless you buy your ticket WAY in advance you can expect the tickets to nearly double. As far as food- most countries in SA have pretty cheap food and it is always good. Can’t beat the beef in counries like Argentina and Brazil and tons of fresh produce you can buy on the streets. Don’t be a puss and be scared to eat on the streets. I’d be careful staying in a cheap hotel…Rio has a pretty high crime rate (yes they’ll boost security but still…) Having said all that- I can’t wait to go! I have a big water jug that i dump change into everyday- I figure by 2014 there should be plenty of spending money and then I can take out a personal loan if needs be. So worth it…