Kids play soccer at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Kids play soccer at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.

How to score at the World Cup

By Anriëth Symon Time of article published Jun 11, 2014

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The countdown is on and football fans can’t wait to descend on Brazil. Here’s how you can ‘insure’ that your trip is a winner…


1. Select your teammates carefully

It is advisable to plan your trip with reputable travel agents that specialise in packaged travel arrangements and operate tours to big sporting events like the Fifa World Cup. Here, experience is everything.


2. Minimise injury time

Some travellers think that the cover provided when booking with a credit card etc. is sufficient, but often this only covers minimal medical costs. You could get injured at the stadium during a match or fall ill unexpectedly. Common diseases that are prevalent in Brazil include typhoid, hepatitis A and even malaria. Choose an insurer that is able to provide medical services 24/7 – whether this means airlifting you to a hospital, relaying your doctor’s diagnosis to you in your own language or arranging follow-up care when you are back in SA.


3. Don’t miss the match

Make sure you are covered for bankruptcies should the airline you are flying with (internationally or within Brazil) go bust. There is nothing worse than being stuck at the airport waiting for a flight that no longer exists. Booked your stadium tickets, have your face paint and fan swag ready and the match gets cancelled? This is why it’s so important to have missed event cover, especially with expensive World Cup tickets – add some missed connection cover while you are at it in case you miss your connecting flight back home.


4. Avoid foul play

Baggage gets lost or stolen every day – a risk that is exemplified during large international events of this nature. Ensure that your insurance covers the theft of luggage, money, bank card, travellers’ cheques and travel documents. Pickpocketing is common in Brazil particularly in hotels, bars and crowded restaurants. If anything happens to your passport report the loss/theft immediately to the local police station. Take a copy of the police report to the nearest South African Embassy and apply for a temporary passport/emergency travel documents.

It’s always best to prepare for the worst case scenario when travelling. It is unlikely, but kidnappings do occur in Brazil. Most kidnappings are financially motivated so wealthy businessmen and their families are often victims. Although tourists aren’t usually targeted, avoid wearing ostentatious clothing or jewellery flaunting your wealth. Make sure you are adequately covered – protection against hijackings is also something worth considering. In addition, a number of protests took place in many cities throughout Brazil last year so be aware of planned demonstrations and avoid them where possible.

Bags packed, flags ready and comprehensive travel insurance finalised? Guess it’s time to support your favourite team – laduma!

* Anriëth Symon is head of Travel, Zurich South Africa

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