No matter the location of the games, the World Cup brings in hundreds of thousands of tourists from all across the world. Unfortunately, the amount of police and security can rarely match the increase in numbers. Here are a few tips when traveling to a major international sporting event, especially outside of the United States:
- Always have your passport and a copy of your passport with you at all times. It is often best to take multiple copies of your passport with you to have something to fall back on should the unfortunate happen.
- Do your best to not look like a tourist. Locals will easily identify you as a tourist that is likely carrying a lot of money with them and also does not know the language well enough to ask for help once they are in trouble. Avoid maps, but rather put it on your phone, so it just looks like you are playing on that.
- Watching protests or rallies may seem fun, but can often turn violent within the blink of an eye. Once this happens, get away as quickly as possible because once authorities arrive, any language barrier will be difficult to navigate around.
- Other countries do not always have the safest roads which can lead to more accidents. Some cars are less likely to stop for pedestrians crossing the street illegally and will proceed to “bump” you out of their way.
- Always have the number for your local embassy in your phone and written down in your wallet. In a country with a language barrier, having that number can be the difference between a simple misunderstanding or being held in a jail cell.
Don’t forget these tips when you’re traveling for the next major international sporting event!
Michael Newton is a student at Eastern Michigan University and an avid supporter of track and field in the state of Michigan.