It’s one of the world’s most popular sporting events with a worldwide audience of billions cheering on 32 nations from the four corner of the globe.
The World Cup kicks off in Brazil on 12th June and teams from around the world – including England – will fight it out for the right to be crowned World Cup winners in Rio on 13th July.
While many Brits will enjoy the tournament on their TV at home or in their local pub, millions will be heading abroad during the tournament. So, whether you’re intending to watch the action in a Mediterranean report or you’re actually heading to Brazil to follow your team, here are 10 essential tips to a safe and hassle-free holiday.
1. Make sure you have the right travel insurance
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is supporting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s On The Ball campaign this summer to ensure holidaymakers have a safe overseas trip.
One of their leading pieces of advice is that wherever you are heading to watch the World Cup, make sure you arrange the appropriate travel insurance.
There are lots of useful online comparison sites that can help you find the right cover at the right price. Arranging your insurance early also means that you’ll be covered for cancellation due to illness or other risks.
2. Leave your expensive gadgets at home
Do you really need to take your laptop computer, iPad or diamond jewellery on holiday with you?
If these items are not essential to your trip, leave them at home. If you do have to take them, ensure that they are fully covered under your travel insurance or the ‘items away from home’ element of your contents cover.
3. Be vigilant
World Cup fans are likely to be targets for thieves. Whether you are at a stadium in Brazil or at a bar in Spain, don’t be distracted by the game. Keep a close eye on your possessions, such as money and passport, and never leave them unattended.
Pickpockets love crowds, so be especially careful and vigilant in busy bars and venues and at tourist attractions.
4. Tell your bank that you’re heading abroad
If you haven’t told your debit or credit card provider that you are going abroad, they may decline your card transactions. Banks often block your card in an anti-fraud measure if it is used unexpectedly overseas.
5. Get the best insurance you can
Travel insurance can cover a range of risks from cancelled flights to the theft of your belongings. It can also include medical insurance. So, it’s important that you make sure you get the right cover for your needs, particularly if you have medical conditions that you need to disclose.
Don’t leave anything out of your application otherwise it might jeopardise any claim you come to make.
6. Drink in moderation
If you’re watching England at the World Cup it’s tempting to enjoy a drink during or after the match.
However, whether you’re in Brazil or you’re enjoying the action closer to home, try to drink in moderation. Excess alcohol consumption can not only make you more vulnerable to criminals but it could also risk any claim you make under your travel insurance.
7. Shop around for travel insurance cover
Just as with other types of insurance, the quality of cover varies wildly from insurer to insurer.
Always shop around for insurance and consider using a specialist website or broker to help you find the right cover for your needs. Buying the cheapest policy might save you a few pounds but you may not be getting the right cover for your needs.
8. Take contact details when you travel
Make sure you take emergency contact details with you when you travel. This should include the emergency contact details for your travel insurance company – in case you need advice or to make a claim – and the local British consulate or embassy.
It can also be a good idea to take copies of your passport and other important documents.
9. Get up to the minute advice
The Foreign Office website provides up to date travel information for a huge range of world destinations. So, whether you’re off to the World Cup or plan to spend a fortnight in the European sun, check their website for information before you travel.
10. Enjoy the match!
This year’s World Cup promises to be a great tournament. Whether you support England or one of the 31 other nations heading to Brazil, enjoy this festival of football.