The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil begins Thursday, June 12 in Sao Paulo and ends on Sunday, July 13 at the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The FIFA website is a great resource and even contains a complete match schedule in PDF format.
I absolutely fell in love with Brazil when I went for my first time last year. I loved it so much I visited Brazil twice this year in two separate occasions. If you want to read about my recent visit to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro this year, feel free to check out my trip reports below:
If you’re at all serious about going to the World Cup next year, be prepared to spend a lot of miles, points, and tons of cash on tickets. Unfortunately, Brazil is not a cheap destination to visit during the year and gets even more expensive during special events such as Carnival and the World Cup. The 2016 Olympics are also coming to Brazil, but I’ll save that for a future post.
Fortunately for us, we can use points and miles to cut some of the cash costs in terms of airfare tickets and hotels. If you have high elite status such as Delta Platinum/Diamond, American Airlines Executive Platinum, or United Global Services, 1K, and Premier Platinum, you can cancel your award tickets and re-deposit your miles with no fees.
If you hold a US Passport, be prepared to pay $160 for a Brazilian visa that is good for 10 years from the date of issue.
The smartest way to get to Brazil would be to use miles, even if you’re traveling in coach. Airfares are normally sky high during the months of June and July and will even be higher during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Assuming you’ll be departing from the United States, round-trip saver award redemptions in coach start at 60,000 United or American miles. Round-trip saver award redemptions in business class start at 100,000 United or American Airlines miles.
I highly recommend that you hold one of the aforementioned elite statuses, so that you can cancel your plans without penalty just in case you can’t secure tickets to a World Cup match, or even a hotel room.
It’s wise to start booking your flights now since availability is drying up.
This one is a tough one since hotel availability has mostly dried up due to the lack of hotels and hotel chains in Brazil. You can still find some gems on third party sites such as Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity, but don’t let your guard down if you can’t find housing as of this moment. As far as chain hotels go, you might be able to find availability using points, but don’t count on it since most of the availability has been blacked out. It’s the World Cup and hotels can price gauge because of supply and demand whether we like it or not. There is a lot of alternative housing such as hostels, apartment rentals, airbnb, and couchsurfing.
Tickets to the World Cup matches:
Tickets will go on sale on FIFA.com on August 20, 2013.
FIFA will announce their ticketing strategy for the 2014 FIFA World Cup today (July 19, 2013)