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With reports that Brazil isn’t ready to host the 2014 World Cup, many football fans will be thinking twice about travelling to Rio next summer. But if you are thinking of flying to Brazil to cheer on your team, here are some things to remember for a tourist in Brazil.
It’s a risky business booking a flight to the World Cup if you’re not certain your team will qualify. So while Germans and Spaniards are free to book up all the flights and hotel rooms, England fans have more reason to be skeptical. But if you don’t book now, you’ll find yourself paying top dollar for flights and rooms nearer the time. So before booking, make sure you won’t have to pay a cancellation fee for the hotel if Roy Hodgson’s hapless heroes don’t make it through the qualifiers, and check how much it is to cancel your flight. Besides that, be prepared to cheer for Germany.
Don’t be fussy about where you stay
It’s the World Cup, so every hotel room in Brazil will be in demand. Especially areas around the Copacobana, which will be doubly popular because of the football. Check out some favela hotels in Tavares Bastos or Vidigal, which will not only be cheaper and more hospitable, they’re a more realistic picture of how Brazilians live than the polished waterfronts. Failing that, check out the boutique hotels in Santa Teresa, which has some excellent bars in an arty neighbourhood.
Don’t get ripped off
You may be willing to remortgage the house for your team, but you don’t have to get ripped off. Shysters and conmen will be swarming around the football fans more than ever in 2014, so have your wits about you. Take public transport where possible, and to keep costs down, eat in kilo restaurants where you pay by the weight. And avoid the tourist hotspots at all costs.