CFI Blog

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

Please note that this article is now outdated.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 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).

Author Profile

John Davis
John Davis is a nationally recognized expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, and identity theft. He has written four books about his expertise in the field and has been featured extensively in numerous media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, CBS News, CNBC, Fox Business, and many more. With over 20 years of experience helping consumers understand their credit and identity protection rights, John is passionate about empowering people to take control of their finances. He works with financial institutions to develop consumer-friendly policies that promote financial literacy and responsible borrowing habits.

Leave a Comment