The cost of travelling the world cup

The Cost of Travelling to the World Cup

As the World Cup approaches, England fans around the country prepare to travel to Russia to support the Three Lions this summer – but how much does it actually cost to travel to the World Cup?

With the World Cup only coming around once every four years, flying out to support your team in person is the ultimate dream for most football fans. If it’s a dream you want to work towards, it helps to have a budget in mind; so when you consider travel, accommodation and other costs in addition to the tickets themselves – how much does it cost to attend a World Cup?

Our report explores the costs involved in following England to Russia, compared with previous competitions, so you can enjoy the atmosphere without worrying about your budget.

Costs for football fans

Analysing flights, travel, match tickets and more, the cost of travelling to international tournaments soon rack up. In the last decade, the most expensive tournament for UK fans to travel to was Brazil, World Cup 2014, where English fans were forking out an average of over £4,800 each to follow Roy Hodgson and co. into the depths of the Amazon for an eight-night stay (the average length of stay over this time period).

Somewhat expectedly, the short trip across the English Channel made France’s Euros 2016 the cheapest for fans from the UK, at just over £2,300 on average. But whilst the Welsh team showed little regard for their fans’ travel expenses by daring to reach the semi-finals, England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were considerate enough to make their stays in the tournament briefer by getting knocked out in the Round of 16.

 

Average cost of international football tournaments

Despite ticket prices being higher than average, Russia looks set to be the cheapest World Cup tournament for UK fans this decade. The 2018 competition is likely to be 49% cheaper on average than Brazil 2014.

However, the picture changes if we take a look at the cost per mile travelled. Russia have the largest cost per mile out of any of the World Cups in the last 10 years – travelling ‘only’ 1,256 miles compared to Brazil’s 5,767. But the World Cup costs per mile pale in comparison to the Euros, with France 2016 taking the crown at £10.80 per mile travelled by fans - nearly eight times the cost per mile for Russia (£1.38).

 

Cost per mile for travel to international football tournaments

 

 

Looking beyond ticket prices

Tickets to international football games are notoriously high, and this year is no exception. Russia 2018 has the highest average ticket price (£192) of all World Cup and Euros competitions this decade.

But there’s more to a football competition than match tickets, and more expenses for those looking to follow England to Russia. When this is all taken into consideration, Russia actually comes off quite well: it is set to be the fourth cheapest tournament (including World Cups and Euros) for travelling UK supporters.

 

Breakdown of international tournament costs for fans

In terms of flights – and taking into consideration historical flight data – Russia during the World Cup 2018 will be the second cheapest destination to travel to, with hotel prices also staying fairly reasonable despite the predicted spike. They’re likely to increase in price as the tournament gets closer and availability becomes more limited.

But when it comes to drinks, English fans will be thankful the World Cup is being held in Russia this year, with a beer priced at an average of £1.63. When compared to the Euros in France (£5.36 each) and the World Cup in Brazil (£5 each), this could make a big difference to budgets.

It’s worth noting that alcohol laws vary from city to city in Russia, and new laws are being implemented for the tournament. In Moscow, where England could possibly play their first knock-out game, Russian authorities will be restricting the sale of alcohol in various locations on the day before and the day of matches.

While this includes pubs, restaurants, supermarkets and off-licences, alcohol will still be available at stadiums and in official fan zones in Moscow.

How much would England's success cost fans?

For some die-hard fans, supporting England means following them to every game they play. With extra nights in hotels and even more tickets to purchase, this can soon add up.

Historically speaking, the Poland and Ukraine Euros in 2012 were the most expensive tournament in which to follow England to all of their games. They made it all the way to the quarter finals, when they were knocked out on penalties by Italy.

On the bright side, England’s unsuccessful endeavours and early exits from international tournament has saved each travelling fan £19,604 over the past decade.

 

The cost of following England to the bitter end

World Cup travel insurance

For European fans travelling to this year’s World Cup, it’s important to know that European Health Insurance cards (EHIC) are not valid in Russia and that travel insurance is a visa requirement. It should remain high on every travelling supporters’ list despite FIFA’s mandatory FAN IDs allowing visa-free travel to Russia, as the regulations surrounding this are quite ambiguous.

It looks like Russia will be the second most expensive international tournament of the last decade in terms of travel insurance, but the cost is a tiny fraction of what you would pay out if you didn't have cover in place.

It’s important to ensure you get the correct insurance. Russia spans two continents, with travel insurance prices varying for the European side to the west of the Urals, and the Asian side to the east.

For England fans, all of the games will be held in destinations west of the Urals. Even if the national team exceed all expectations and make it to the final, all of their games on the road to World Cup glory will be played in the European part of Russia.

However, if you’re looking to follow France, Egypt, Uruguay, Peru, Japan, Senegal, Mexico or Sweden during the World Cup – who are all playing in Yekaterinburg at the eastern foot of the Urals – your travel insurance policy could be slightly pricier.

Getting your travel insurance early, and not just before your trip, is also important as you’ll be covered from the moment you take out the policy. Then, if you pull an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and pick up an injury before you get on the plane, you’ll be able to make a claim. Check out more travel insurance advice here.

 

Compare travel insurance

 

 

Cost of travel insurance within Russia

 

Travel insurance costs tend to vary year-on-year. During the last two competitions, Euro 2016 in France and the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, the cost of travel insurance was cheaper than for the same dates the year before or after. In the case of Brazil, travel insurance was actually 22% cheaper than the previous year.

Whether this trend continues for Russia 2018 remains to be seen, but it’s worth keeping an eye on costs and shopping around to ensure you are getting the best deal with the right level of cover.

World Cup safety tips

As with any international competition, fan safety is a top priority. Here are a few tips for staying safe in Russia during the World Cup.

For more advice on how to stay safe, make sure to read the Home Office’s guidance and tips, which give emergency phone numbers and even a few helpful phrases to learn before you go.

Safety tips

What the experts say

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket, says that travel insurance is essential for anyone making the trip to Russia: 

When you run a quote for a trip to Russia on a comparison site, you’ll be asked whether you’re visiting the east or west of the Ural mountains, so work out which is right for you, or indeed whether you need both locations.

Never be tempted to skimp on travel cover, wherever you are going. If you are injured or taken ill, medical bills can escalate into thousands of pounds, and the cost of repatriating you back to the UK if necessary can push the figure much higher. Your policy will also provide vital cover against loss or theft of your belongings, and a host of other benefits. A single traveller to the west of Russia can get two weeks’ cover in June for under £10, so cost shouldn’t be an issue.

Anyone travelling overseas should be aware that insurers can reject claims if the policyholder was drunk when they suffered an injury, for example - the argument being that they weren’t exercising reasonable care and contributed to their own problem. Given that England supporters might raise a glass or two to celebrate Harry Kane hitting the back of the net, this is certainly worth bearing in mind.

“In fact, it’s always worth taking some time to check your policy terms and conditions, so you know what you’re covered for during your trip.”

Sources

 

Travel insurance stats based on MoneySuperMarket internal data January 2012 to April 2018.

The following sources were used to collate the data on which the averages in this article are based:

BBC, Russia World Cup 2018: First tickets for finals go on sale: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41245454

BBC, World Cup 2014: Brazil prices could startle England fans: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-24548751

Business Traveller, Air France to offer B787 London-Paris flights until October 2017: https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2016/12/02/air-france-offer-b787-london-paris-flights-october-2017/

Daily Mail, World Cup 2010 Tickets Q&A: How much, where to buy… and what if my team doesn’t make it?: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1150966/WORLD-CUP-2010-TICKETS-Q-amp-A-How-buy--team-doesnt-make-it.html

The Guardian, World Cup 2014: Everything you need to know about going to Brazil: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/World-Cup-Brazil-FIFA-hotels-sold-for-inflated-prices/

The Guardian, World Cup 2014: last chance to get ‘cheap’ flights to Brazil: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2013/nov/28/world-cup-2014-cheap-flights-brazil-football-prices

Hospitality & Catering News, Euro 2016: Hotel Prices, Alternative Accommodation & Travel Interest: https://www.hospitalityandcateringnews.com/2016/05/uefa-euro-2016-hotel-prices-alternative-accommodation-travel-interest/

Independent, Research shows cost to fans of following England at Euro 2012: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/research-shows-cost-to-fans-of-following-england-at-euro-2012-7711261.html

ITV, England fans protest Eurp beer ‘rip-off’: http://www.itv.com/news/2012-06-14/fans-protest-at-euro-beer-rip-off/

Metro, England fans stage protest at Euro 2012 over rising beer prices: https://metro.co.uk/2012/06/14/england-fans-stage-protest-at-euro-2012-over-rising-beer-prices-467620/

Metro, People are really not happy with the super weak, super expensive beer at Euro 2016: https://metro.co.uk/2016/06/13/people-are-really-not-happy-with-the-super-weak-super-expensive-beer-at-euro-2016-5940646/

The Mirror, Euro 2012 fan’s guide: https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/europe-short-haul/euro-2012-fans-guide-819176

Numbeo: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Russia&displayCurrency=GBP

Opodo, Book flights for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa: http://promos.opodo.co.uk/flights/world-cup-2010/

Skyscanner: https://www.skyscanner.net

The Telegraph, £1,600 for a bed in Kaliningrad? Russia hotels accused of hiking prices for World Cup fans: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/russia/articles/russia-world-cup-hotels-hike-prices-for-football-fans/

The Telegraph, World Cup 2010: Hosts deny ‘price gouging’: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/7545544/World-Cup-2010-Hosts-deny-price-gouging.html

The Telegraph, World Cup, Brazil: FIFA hotels ‘sold for inflated prices’: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/World-Cup-Brazil-FIFA-hotels-sold-for-inflated-prices/

UEFA: http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/competitions/General/02/24/61/39/2246139_DOWNLOAD.pdf

UEFA: http://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/mediaservices/mediareleases/newsid=1593268.html?redirectFromOrg=true

 

MoneySuperMarket is in no way associated with FIFA or UEFA, and has no connection with 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM, 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM, 2010 FIFA World Cup South AfricaTM, UEFA Euro 2016 or UEFA Euro 2012.

 

 

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