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World Cup 2014: start planning for Brazil next summer
So, we’re in. After a nail-biting game against Poland this week, we’ve booked our place in next year’s World Cup in Brazil – and it’s time to get planning.
There were over six million ticket requests for the World Cup, almost double the total amount available for the event. Due to the massive oversubscription, Fifa will be holding random draws, the first of which has already happened.
The second batch of tickets (there are two million available) will be released on 5 November on a first-come-first-served basis. People can request up to four tickets for a maximum of seven (out of 64) matches. Prices for the opening match range from $220-$495, while prices for the final are between $440-$990.
The flight-booking website Skyscanner witnessed a huge increase in flight searches to Brazil – more than 4,000% – immediately after the qualifying game, while Cheapflights.co.uk reported a 1,711% increase during the last hour of the match.
If you’re a lucky ticket holder who hasn’t booked flights yet – do so quickly, as the period between 12 June and 13 July will see a spike in air fares over the coming months, especially after November.
British Airways (BA) flies daily to both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In June, lead-in fares to Rio start from £927 return and to São Paulo from £963 return (including taxes, fee and charges). A BA spokesperson confirmed: “We’re expecting our flights to be very busy during the World Cup 2014 and we’re looking at where we may be able to increase the number of seats for England fans keen to fly out to Brazil.”
Air France have flights for as little as £629 if you book before the 6th November. Additionally, they are launching a new route to Brasilia from London Heathrow at the beginning of next year.
TAM Airlines also flies direct from London to Brazil (Rio, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Brasília), with return flights from around $1,500. KLM flies to most of the host cities too, including Brasília, Cuiabá, Fortaleza, Manaus, Recife, Salvador, São Paulo and Rio.
In terms of packages, Thomas Cook Sport is offering a great deal for £999 – fly in or out of Rio or São Paulo – and up until 3 February you can pay a 20% deposit to secure your flight. DialAFlight is also offering multi-centre packages during the World Cup period, with flights from London to Rio from £869 per person and to São Paulo for £809.
Fans planning to attend matches in more than one host city might be surprised when it comes to domestic travel in Brazil. It’s notoriously expensive to travel between cities by air – so much so that the head of the tourist board, Flávio Dino, has called for foreign airline companies to operate domestic flights in Brazil during the competition.
According tothe newspaper Folha de S Paulo, those wishing to watch the opening ceremony on 12 June could pay up to £680 for a 45-minute return flight from São Paulo to Rio.
There are a few domestic companies to choose from: TAM, Gol, Azul and Avianca. If you have time to travel, then coaches are a good alternative. They are cheap (from $50), reliable and comfortable (many have beds and food), but the journeys are long.
According to Fifa, the most popular host cities are São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba. Expect hotel prices (in these three cities, especially) to soar – a study carried out by the tourist board revealed that accommodation prices are expected to increase by five times, making the average price of a mid-range hotel in Rio £125 per night.
Looking on Hostelworld for June, prices of hostels have already started to creep up – with dorms in some of the best hostels costing over £100 per night already. Big groups should look into house rental websites such as Airbnb (before they begin their World Cup ad campaign, when prices will surely rise), Love Home Swap and Housetrip. This stylish studio on Ipanema Beach sleeps six and costs £253 a night, for example.
Stay away from Copacabana if you want to save money – instead try the new, modern area Leblon or the pretty heights of Santa Teresa.