The biggest stressor (according to our own research that is completely biased and involved no surveys) when attending a World Cup is answering the question “Where am I going to stay?!”
Why? Because the price gouging can get out of control and depending on the hosts, many places can get booked many months in advance. Want to jump on the fear mongering train, check out these articles:
- 2010 South Africa Investigates Price Gouging
- 2014 Brazil Hotel Prices Go Up 6x
- 2018 Russia Authorities Fine Hotels for Gouging
Couple the prices with the increased scams and the uncertainty of finding a real, clean, affordable place to stay that’s near the action and convenient to games and it is enough to stop many people from continuing their dreams to attend a tournament. Over the last 4 tournaments, we’ve learned some tricks and trades and as we look for ideas, we’ll post our knowledge for Qatar 2022.
Package Providers (Men & Women’s Tournaments)
- The luxury, white-glove service provider for the World Cup (check out our article on Roadtrips)
- If you’re interested in a 1st class experience, have the budget for it and want us to put you directly in touch with a member of their World Cup package team, send us an email
- Powered by inspiresport, they provide hotel / ticket / service packages that also can include coaching education, team travel and potentially individual fan travel.
- Those wondering, if this is the same generation adidas international that provides behind-the-scenes, intimate tours for youth teams at academy setups at Manchester United, Real Madrid, etc – yes it is.
- Examples of their World Cup experiences:
- Again, send us a message if you want us to put you directly in touch with a member of their World Cup package delivery team if this type of trip sounds enticing.
- This is FIFA’s official hospitality platform for lodging and tickets.
- They’ve come along way since the 2014 Brazil Scandal
Classic Accommodation Resources
- This isn’t unoriginal but for Russia 2018, this was one of the best ways to make an online reservation without emailing a copy of your government ID + credit card (disclosure: we did this…and thank the heavens it worked out!)
- In Brazil 2014, this was VERY popular, but also prone to massive scams.
- We met groups that found success in Qatar 2022, but this proved to be quite difficult
- If you’re headed to 2023 and 2026 tournaments, this could prove to be a decent option.
Global Brand Name Hotels
- Unfortunately, many brand name hotels are sold out but you can try to book ahead at standard places like:
- Using membership points is almost never available as the tournaments are typically part of blackout dates
- Most luxury style hotels in the area are typically only be available via the package providers above as FIFA, media companies and teams reserve these well in advance.
- This site is great for verifying lodging options with ratings and reviews.
Kindness of Strangers & Connections
One of the best experiences of the World Cup is the human connections and kindness of strangers or those you don’t really know all that well. We have been very fortunate to experience this type of hospitality in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2022.
For example, we’ve slept on the apartment floor of a former university teammate in downtown Munich in 2006 and then in a spare room of an internet blogger’s apartment we met in 2014.
What’s Our Strategy?
We prefer finding accommodations independently (i.e. typically, we don’t book a package) and specifically look for bed & breakfasts, local hotel sites and avoiding the bigger chains, etc. The key is to ensure the location you’re evaluating exists with verifiable reviews. It’s our personal preference where we find more enjoyment in a smaller, intimate location where we can easily share a breakfast or coffee with others vs. a setting with big groups where you can get lost in the shuffle.
We posted an article on how much we spent in 2018 and 2022 for accommodation (and the entire trip) for your reference.
Personal Lodging Example
South Africa 2010, the FIFA ‘official’ hotels listed a standard “Holiday Inn” at $400 per night and the location of the hotel was awful and didn’t include meals. With some research and reliance on a South African specific website, we stayed in an amazing Bed & Breakfasts for under $100 where each was within walking distance of the main city action and stadium, included breakfast and provided a more intimate experience with the owners and other fans.
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