The 2022 Qatar World Cup is almost underway. The first match fixture will take place on November 20th, when host nation Qatar will take on Ecuador. That promises to be an exciting game, but of course, there’s lots more football to look forward to, so if you’ve managed to secure yourself a ticket, you should feel lucky.
With that said, there are things you should bear in mind when it comes to travelling to Qatar for the World Cup. Some of these things are, of course, travel tips that apply across every journey you’ll ever take. Others are things you’ll need to bear in mind for this specific trip. Here are some of our biggest travel tips for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Make sure you haven’t forgotten anything
Some of the most commonly forgotten items for travelling include passports and other documents, medications, and clothing, so make sure that you’re not falling foul of any of those all-too-familiar traps. Check and double-check everything you’ve packed in your suitcase to ensure that you have everything you could need. Compile a checklist before you even start packing so that you know where to start and what to prioritise. You’ll thank yourself for doing so.
Keep local laws and customs in mind
The choice of Qatar as a venue for the World Cup has met with a lot of criticism, with advocacy and rights groups sharply admonishing Qatar’s human rights record and its lack of LGBTQ+-friendly laws. Make sure to travel with Qatar’s particular laws and customs in mind. It might not be much fun to do so, but the last thing you want is to run into trouble while you’re in the country to watch some spectacular games of football. Don’t cause yourself any unnecessary pain.
Arrange relevant documentation beforehand
Don’t leave packing your documentation until the last minute. If you do so, then you’ll quickly find that rushing means you’ll overlook something crucial, like your passport, travel visa, or any other document you might need to travel to Qatar. Depending on what airline you book, you may well be given a rundown of everything you’re going to need to get into the country without incident. Make sure to check that, and if you don’t have one, then compile your own and refer to it often.
Have your match itinerary ready
One of the most important documents when you’re travelling for a World Cup is your match itinerary. This will help you to get to each game for which you have tickets, because you don’t want to miss anything, especially if you’re travelling a long distance. FIFA has sold tickets for individual games, individual teams, and four-stadium packages, so depending on which one you’ve got, you’ll be allowed to watch different games. Don’t fall foul of forgetting which games you’re actually able to watch!
Check your flight constantly
Missing your flight would be a once-in-a-lifetime mistake, and while it’s relatively common for this to happen, doing so while you’re flying out for the World Cup wouldn’t be a mistake you’d want to tell your friends about. Download whatever travel app you need to track your flight and make sure that you’re checking it as regularly as you possibly can. When you get to the airport, always keep an eye on the travel boards so you can be informed of any delays or cancellations and act accordingly.
Think about what else you want to see while you’re there
If you do want to indulge in a spot of sightseeing while you’re in Qatar, then you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of other things to see. Of course, this will depend entirely on which city you’re staying in while you’re not watching World Cup games, and it is important to plan any sightseeing activities around your match schedule as well. Still, there should be time to explore and discover some of the things that Qatar has to offer while you’re there.
Don’t pack more than you need
This is an important travel tip no matter where you’re going, but it definitely applies to the World Cup in Qatar as well. Don’t pack more stuff than you’re going to need. Think about how long you’re staying, what you’ll be doing while you’re there (outside of the World Cup, of course), and what you think you’ll need to engage with those activities. Leave any extras that you’re sure you don’t need at home. This will help to keep your luggage manageable.
Always check local weather
Qatar is well-known as one of the hottest countries in the world, and while that may well suit your personal tastes when it comes to temperature, there’s also a good chance it’ll be something of a culture shock for you. Make sure you’re amply prepared for hot weather, and that doesn’t just mean packing shorts and flip-flops; it also means staying in the shade, keeping your skin healthy with suncream, and not going out into direct sunlight where possible.
Don’t cause trouble
This should go without saying, but even if your team loses a game, you should strive to be as polite and calm as possible. You are a guest in another country, and it’s important not to let your emotions spill out into violence against either other people or property. You’d be amazed at just how many football fans don’t take that advice to heart, so don’t become one of the people who gives their country of origin a bad name. Stay calm, no matter what happens.