The FIFA World Cup 2018™ is coming to Russia, and it’s time to start planning. Read this to learn what you need to know to start planning the perfect trip

If you’re planning on heading to the World Cup 2018™ in Russia, there is a lot of information you should be aware of before you go.

Traveling for a specific reason–in this case, a sporting event — can be a very different experience than traveling for vacation or leisure. You don’t have as much time for exploration and sightseeing, but you still want to experience what the city has to offer beyond soccer games.

It’s possible to do it all, but you have to be well-prepared. You’ll want to take into account where you’re staying, what transportation will be available, and what everyone you’re traveling with likes to do.

Organization will be especially critical; because the World Cup 2018™ is happening, it’s likely that there will be more crowds and tourists.

Below, we’re providing the tips you need to make the most out of your visit. Read on to learn more!

1. Get the Proper Documentation

World Cup 2018 travelWith World Cup 2018™ being held in Russia, it’s important that you’re aware of specific travel needs and restrictions relevant to that country and this event.

For example, you probably know that you need to have a passport to travel to a foreign country. In this case, however, it’s important that your passport’s expiration date not be approaching too quickly. Your passport should be valid for a minimum of six months after you plan to leave the country.

You will also need to get a FAN ID card, which will enable you to enter the various stadiums where the games are taking place. The FAN ID card is free to apply for, but it is required.

You can apply for a FAN ID card online, or at a FAN ID distribution center. You’ll need to have purchased your ticket to Russia prior to applying for a FAN ID card.

Your reservation number is required for the FAN ID application.

2. Know the Stadiums

The games of the World Cup 2018™ will take place at many different stadiums, so it’s helpful for you to have a guide on which games are being played where.

Kazan Stadium

Games Scheduled: France v Australia; Iran v Spain; Poland v Colombia; South Korea v Germany; Round of 16; Quarter-final.

Ekaterinburg Arena

Games scheduled: Egypt v Uruguay; France v Peru; Japan v Senegal; Mexico v Sweden.

Fisht Stadium

Games scheduled: Portugal v Spain; Belgium v Panama; Germany v Sweden; Australia v Peru; Round of 16; Quarter-final.

Kaliningrad Stadium

Games scheduled: Croatia v Nigeria; Serbia v Switzerland; Spain v Morocco; England v Belgium.

Spartak Stadium

Games scheduled: Argentina v Iceland; Poland v Senegal; Belgium v Tunisia; Brazil v Serbia on June 27; Round of 16 on July 3.

Luzhniki Stadium

Games scheduled: Russia v Saudi Arabia; Germany v Mexico; Portugal v Morocco; Denmark v France; Round of 16; Semi-final; Final.

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Games scheduled: Argentina v Croatia’ England v Panama; Switzerland v Costa Rica; Round of 16; Quarter-final.

Rostov Arena

Games scheduled: Brazil v Switzerland; Uruguay v Saudi Arabia; South Korea v Mexico; Iceland v Croatia; Round of 16.

Saint Petersburg Stadium

Games scheduled: Morocco v Iran; Russia v Egypt; Brazil v Costa Rica; Nigeria v Argentina; Round of 16; Semi-final; Third place play-off.

Samara Arena

Games scheduled: Costa Rica v Serbia; Denmark v Australia; Uruguay v Russia; Senegal v Colombia; Round of 16; Quarter-final.

Mordovia Arena

Games scheduled: Peru v Denmark; Colombia v Japan; Iran v Portugal; Panama v Tunisia

Volgograd Arena

Games scheduled: Tunisia v England; Nigeria v Iceland; Saudi Arabia v Egypt; Japan v Poland.

3. Book a Hotel Based on Priorities

When an event as popular as the World cup comes to town, hotels know that demand is going to be high. Which means that their prices are likely to be high as well.

There are ways to get a more affordable place to stay, but you’ll have to travel farther away from the main stadiums to find them.

Where you decide to look for lodging comes down to a matter of priorities.

If it’s most important for you to be close to the action, look for hotels in Moscow, St. Petersburg, or Sochi. They may be expensive, but it will be easy to get to the games.

The farther away you are from the main stadiums, the less expensive rooms are likely to be. If your budget is your top concern, be open to exploring some more distant spots.

You’ll have to travel longer to get to the games, but you could end up saving money.

4. Explore beyond the World Cup

Even if World Cup 2018™ is the only reason you’re going to Russia, there is a lot to see once you’re there.

Moscow and St. Petersburg are the most popular cities because of the rich cultural experience they each have to offer. Explore great art, architecture, shopping, and food and see some of the monuments that Russia is best known for.

You’re likely to have some downtime in between the games you want to see, so take advantage of that time. Booking a tour is a great option so you don’t miss out on any of the landmarks.

5. Eat Your Way Around Russia

Even if you don’t know anything about Russian food, tasting the local cuisine is one of the best ways to get an introduction to the country’s culture.

No matter where you end up staying, you’re likely to experience friendly staff who can give you recommendations are where to sample the best of what the country has to offer.

Borshch–or beet soup–is probably the most famous traditional Russian food, but the cuisine has a lot more to offer. Meat dishes like beef stroganoff and savory dumplings are both popular and delicious options.

Ready to Plan for World Cup 2018™?

Any trip to a foreign country is exciting, but when you’re traveling for a sporting event like the World Cup, it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.

The more organized your trip is, the better it is likely to be. For more information on how we can help you plan the trip of a lifetime, please contact us.