Posted on

World CupDo you want to go to the World Cup in 2010?

USA, Algeria, Slovenia? The World Cup draw has been "kind" lets say. Thousands of people would have started making plans on the evening of 4th December to travel to South Africa in June and July 2010. World Cup fever starts here. So what should you be thinking of before setting off on a trip like that to the other side of the world.

1. Take warm clothes. Just because it's in June and July, don't forget it's in the Southern Hemisphere so it'll be winter. It could be as cold as it was standing on the terraces at Fulham's Craven Cottage before they built up the stand to stop the cold air blowing in off the Thames. The effect was that of a wind tunnel. Freezing.

2. Book your accommodation well in advance. Now that the draw's been made, we know exactly where all the teams are playing in the group stages and can make calculated guesses at what will happen in the knock-out rounds. This is the most popular sports event in the world and many hotels and guest houses are already full. The point about winter applies here as well, unless you're very well equipped, it will be too cold to camp.

3. Don't forget your insurance. Without it, you won't be covered if you have an accident and have to be repatriated. The British Foreign Office web site quotes more than £25,000 for medical bills and also advises you insure your personal belongings due to high levels of crime in some areas. Like it or not, you'll be a target.

4. It's a big country. Cape Town and Johannesburg are 1400 kilometres apart (the same distance as London to Warsaw) which will take a day to travel by train, even more by car. Make sure you give yourself enough time.

5. If you're thinking about hiring a car, book it with your accommodation because the limited supply there is will be taken very quickly. If you do manage to book one, remember the rules of the road may not be the same as what you're used to. For example, when you get to a four-way intersection, priority goes to the car that got there first. None of this priority to the right rubbish. The Foreign Office doesn't say what happens if two cars arrive at the aforementioned intersection together.

6. If you can't get a car, you'll be using public transport. Make sure you use licensed taxis and official public transport.

7. Check your passport. British citizens don't need a visa to go to South Africa for less than 90 days. However, your passport must be valid for 30 days after you plan to leave the country and the Foreign Office advises keeping two pages blank in it for all the stamps you'll be getting.

8. If you want to party, leave it until after the game. If you appear to be a little too well-oiled trying to get into a ground, you won't get in. The same goes if you're heard spouting racist or xenophobic chants, but you wouldn't do that anyway, would you? As for partying, (almost) anything goes. Although remember that you're in the country with one of the highest rates of HIV and AIDS in the world, so wear a hat at all times.

9. Get vaccinated and take all the medication you need. If you're on medication, get your repeat prescriptions before you go. Vaccination requirements vary from one country to another, check with your local health authorities for details.

Posted on | Posted in Sports, Travel | Tagged , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *