As you probably already know, the 2018 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be held within the icy confines of mother Russia herself. You desperately want to get there, but the farthest you’ve been from home was to your aunt’s 85th birthday bash last month, which was about 10 kilometres outside your hometown. Now, as wild a party as that might have been, it will most certainly pale in comparison to the time you’re going to have when you touch down in Moscow and feel the Terminator-like gaze of Mr. Putin breathing down your neck.
Hey, just kidding. You’re going to have a whale of a time. Every single World Cup so far has been nothing short of one big, gigantic carnival. But before you go offering prayers and breaking coconuts in front of your Lionel Messi posters, here are five things you will most certainly need to keep in mind before you answer the Kremlin’s call.
Match Tickets – It’s a well-known fact that World Cup tickets can cost you an arm and a leg if you dilly-dally for too long. If you haven’t started putting aside some cash under your mattress, now would be a good time to start. Tickets go on sale post July 2017 so auction off your TVs, microwave ovens, cows, kidneys, and whatever else you can get your hands on to raise the funds you need. Depending on the category you choose, prices can range from as low as 115$ to a whopping 1,100$. If these tickets get sold out in a hurry, which they most likely will, you might have to shell out up to three times the regular price to get your hands on one.
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A Visa – Well, duh! You can’t get into Russia without a Visa unless you want the KGB sending a pack of Siberian huskies after you. The first thing you need to do is make an appointment at the Russian Visa Center closest to your city or town. Appointments can be made at any of the centers located in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Kolkata. So, if you happen to live in any of these cities – lucky you. You just saved yourself some travel time and money. Just make sure you get all the required documents in order, and most importantly, a copy of your match ticket as well.
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Travel Insurance – Why you may ask? You’re travelling to Russia, pal. Not Chamrajpet. Of course you need Travel Insurance. Literally anything could happen to you on the way there. You could fall sick, or lose your bags, endure flight cancellations, or, God forbid, meet with an accident. You’ve got to play it safe. An adequate Travel Insurance plan can help you protect yourself against any eventuality. And with Russia recently in the news for all the wrong reasons because of their well-documented football hooliganism, you never know what might go down.
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An International Driving License – Relying on public transportation during the hustle and bustle at the World Cup in Russia could be a nerve-wracking experience. It would do you a world of good to apply for an International Driving License so you can hire a car to get from place to place. Not only will this allow you to shuttle from one venue to another with relative ease, it will also give you the freedom to take in some of the sights at your leisure. No waiting in queues at the train and bus stations, especially after a match has just ended. Drive back comfortably to your hotel and recharge your batteries for the next big game.
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Credit Cards – Credit Cards could invariably be your biggest asset when heading out to a foreign country, especially during a mega-sporting event of the World Cup’s magnitude. You can use your Credit Card to pay for anything ranging from hotels to food to car hires and much, much more. A Credit Card also gives you the added advantage of not having to carry a lot of hard cash with you, just in case you feel you might lose it all on the way home after one too many Vodka shots.
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With these tips you’re well on your way to cheering on your favourite teams through those chilly Russian nights. But for god’s sake, please put those vuvuzelas away.