What does your dream trip cost? (World Cup)
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