Ever wonder how to plan the perfect trip to experience the European soccer match of your dreams?
First, get a passport. You will need one to leave your home country. Next start saving your money; any overseas trip will be expensive with the flight alone likely costing $1,000 or more. Picking your beginning and ending destinations while purchasing a multi-city plane ticket is a good idea so that you have a course to follow.
Pick out the matches that you want to attend, make a list of what cities they are in and where are they located in accordance with your travel route. The planning process is the hardest part, so be logical in consideration of your time and money. Attempt to strategically plan out the trip. Try to travel along the same directional path at all times, do not spend extra money and time back tracking through countries.
Figure out how much time you want to spend in the places you visit and how much spending money you will have for activities. Find out if the matches you chose are in big cities or smaller ones. This will give you a good idea on how long you will want to stay in those places.
To find soccer match tickets you can visit the participating club’s website and purchase tickets through the club itself at face value. Other websites like livefootballticketsonline, stubhub, or clubfootball tickets, provide tickets through a third party, and at a greater cost on the resale market. You can retrieve your tickets through e-mail or will call at the venue.
Other ideas with a bit more risk involve going to the venue itself and purchasing tickets at the ticket center, or even buying tickets from a scalper outside the venue. This is a risky maneuver because there is a chance you will not get a ticket and miss out on the match. However, you may be rewarded with a great deal on cheap tickets right before kickoff.
A popular approach of booking tickets to see a match involving a big club in Europe is to pursue a tour that the club offers. Clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Real Madrid all offer exclusive dream and match day tours that include hotel accommodations, match tickets, stadium tours, and vouchers for meals and shopping.
Another option is booking a soccer tour through a travel site like, xltravel or soccergetaways. These businesses offer families and more importantly youth soccer players a chance to visit stadiums, attend matches, and even compete in friendly games against kids of the same age, who play in the team’s academy program. Packages are designed to include travel, hotel, and match tickets for individuals. You can choose from several different packages based on what region you want to travel to and what club you want to follow.
If your heart is set on seeing a smaller match in a lower division, you can simply search the local clubs of your choice and visit the team’s website. Shoot the team an e-mail about your interest in attending the match, and many times the club will be happy to accommodate you with tickets at a discounted price. Lower division matches usually do not fill up, and the club is happy just to have fans in the stands.
When traveling to foreign soccer matches, you should always research the culture and history of certain club rivalries, becoming aware of particular customs and traditions of that society. You should be sensitive to the fact that, if you attend the “Old Firm Derby” between Rangers and Celtic in Scotland, you should not wear certain colors and you will hear political and religious chanting. The match is not just between two soccer clubs, but two separate ways of life; including religion, politics, and opposing social attitudes.
This goes for several other rivalries throughout Europe: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, Manchester United vs. Liverpool, and Inter Milan vs. AC Milan. You should always be aware of the environment to which you are traveling.
In you arrive in Europe, you need to figure out how to get around. There are many options for getting from country to country, so decide if you want to take the train or fly from place to place. Depending on where you’re traveling from there are many cheap flights on airlines like Ryanair, which enables you to fly for as low as 15 Euros.
You can also buy a Eurail ticket before your travels so that you know how much you will be paying in transportation. The Eurail is a train that runs throughout Europe. Eurail tickets are bought dependent upon the number of countries you plan to visit.
Other options include state run trains that can take you from city to city inside any given country, as well as buses for short trips. All information on public transportation can be found at a hotel concierge desk or online.
Much of what you decide depends on what type of person you are. Some enjoy having everything planned out before, having a set itinerary, in which case soccer tours and package getaways are your best bet for achieving a smooth and stress free vacation. Others prefer a spontaneous approach and will visit venues of the city they are in.
Whatever plans you make, your European soccer experience will truly be worth every penny. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the passion as you create memories that will last a lifetime.