English football fans dream of following the national team to the World Cup Final. This could be a costly dream though as supporting the team all the way in South Africa this year, should they make it, could set them back over £9,000 – and that’s before the cost of any match day tickets!
New research indicates that factoring in the cost of economy class return flights to South Africa, travel between host cities, hotel accommodation during the tournament, as well as food and drink throughout the month long event could leave the most avid fans with an overall estimated bill of £9,084. A sum which equates to more than a third of the average national salary in the UK - £25,800.
Despite recent suggestions that hotel prices were being cut after poor bookings, the research undertaken by Sainsbury’s Finance indicates that at the host cities for England’s group and potential knock-out stage games, room prices remain high. On average, fans are likely to face room bills of around £185 per night at mid-market hotels.
Should England reach the final this would amount to a total hotel bill of around £6,150 alone.
Travel whilst in South Africa may also prove costly. Should England make it to the final, as well as racking up ‘hard yards’ on the pitch, the national team will cover over 4,300 kilometres travelling between their host cities of Johannesburg, Rustenburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Fans hoping to follow them face paying an estimated travel bill of £670 in air and coach fares.
Expense Estimated cost
Return flights to South Africa £1,253
Travel between venues in South Africa £670
Accommodation in South Africa £6,145
Food and drink in South Africa £1,020
Scott Gorman, Head of Sainsbury’s Travel Money, said: “The cost of a beer in South Africa may well be attractive at little over £1 but it looks like accommodation costs aren't as cheap and cheerful. Those hoping to follow England all the way to victory are going to be spending serious amounts of cash.
“With continued uncertainty over Sterling and a new coalition government, those heading to South Africa might decide to purchase their South African Rand early. Fans should remember though that they'll only be able to carry around £446 of the currency into the country due to restrictions imposed by the South African authorities. One way to get around this is to use a prepaid currency card, like Cash Passport, which allows you to load it with up to 85,000 South African Rand, approximately £7,000 at any one time with the ability to top up over the phone or online."
The Cash Passport, available at Sainsbury’s Travel Money bureaux nationally, can be used to make withdrawals or purchase transactions anywhere that accepts Visa Electron.
Cardholders also benefit from safe and secure spending abroad as the card is not attached to the user’s bank account, comes with a free second card and has a 24-hour Global Emergency Assistance service.