Planning your trip to the FIFA World Cup 2010
|FIFA World Cup Soccer - South Africa 2010|
Planning your trip wisely
Attending the World Cup is a substantial investment for most people – However, if you ask the right questions you can ensure you get the best possible experience! In planning your trip you may want to consider using a Tour Operator or Travel Agent with the experience and expertise in South Africa and Sports Travel. Exercise caution when buying “Travel Packages” where the hotel property is simply described as “Standard” or “Superior”. Make sure you know what property you will be staying at and research the location and the amenities in advance to ensure it meets your expectations. A quality World Cup Soccer Travel Package should include private airport and match transportation (not simply relying on Public Match Day Transportation services) to ensure your safety throughout your stay as well as knowledgeable and experienced event staff available on-site 24/7 in order to deal with any unforeseen issues.
Unlike Germany in 2006, South Africa has a shortage of hotels available to cater to the anticipated volume of tourists expected during the June 11th – July 11th time period. To complicate matters, the organizing committee has reserved the bulk of the limited supply of rooms for sponsors, federations, teams, media, etc. This has left very few quality hotel properties with available room inventory to offer to fans. If you have searched the traditional travel engines like Travelocity, Expedia, etc. or even called hotels in South Africa directly, you will most likely have been frustrated to find no availability or at best a 32 night minimum stay requirement in effect. Having said that, you may get lucky and find one or two Motels or 2-3 star Hotel properties that would be willing to work out a deal with you – One word of caution: South Africa is NOT Germany. While an overnight stay at a suburban youth hostel in Cologne might have worked out just fine, World Cup visitors are advised to proceed with more caution in selecting their hotel stays in South Africa. The country’s hotel rating system is not aligned with the systems we have in America or Europe. Amenities range widely between hotels even within the same star classification. Most importantly, the location of the hotel is paramount due to safety concerns. If you do find a hotel with availability, in addition to ensuring they have all of the creature comforts that you are used to back home, it is also advised to ask if the hotel has a power generator on-site in the event of electricity black outs.
In Germany, fans could travel freely and safely on any public transportation system simply using their match tickets on the day of the match. Getting from one match to another may be a challenge in South Africa. While Pretoria is about 45 mins away and Rustenburg 1.5 hrs away (driving distance) from Johannesburg, getting to the other World Cup cities will primarily be by domestic air. Once in the World Cup city of your choice, you will need to consider transportation: Airport – Hotel; Hotel – Stadium, etc. Most cities in South Africa rely on privately owned Taxi services that run overcrowded Van Taxis for the locals. Although FIFA and some cities have planned to operate a new mass transit bus service specifically for the World Cup fans, these attempts have either been delayed or shut down further complicating logistics for the event. In addition, there is an extreme shortage of private transportation vehicles available to move fans around to stadiums and airports. Most recently this became apparent during the FIFA Confederation Cup in June 2009, thought to be South Africa’s “trial run” for the World Cup. Given the shortages and safety concerns, fans are strongly encouraged to ensure they have prearranged transportation for each of their World Cup Matches as well as the Airport transfers and not rely on the “public transportation system” to get them to where they are going.
Frustrated with trying to create your World Cup experience on your own? Never been to