World Cup fever is heating up! If you’ve been watching the soccer and wishing you were in Kazan or Moscow, you’re not alone. With teams from every country and an exotic backdrop, it’s hard not to get travel envy, but with accommodation and flight prices skyrocketing, Russia isn’t exactly backpacker destination number one.
Luckily here at Backpacker Deals, we’ve got you covered. With a few handy tweaks, you can ‘visit’ St Petersburg and Volgograd from the comfort of your own home! Here are 5 ways to feel like you’re actually in Russia watching the soccer… without the sting of $1000+ flights.
1. Crack open the vodka
Russia makes some of the best vodkas in the world, so stock up on a few bottles to enjoy over a 4.00 am game. Russian Standard Gold and Mamont Vodka are some good ones.
If you’re not a spirits fan don’t worry, there are plenty of great Russian beers to enjoy. In fact, Russia is actually running out of beer for World Cup fans, so drinking at home looks like the better option!
2. Turn down the heating (or turn it up)
It’s actually pretty warm in Russia right now, with most cities sitting in the mid-high 20’s, so depending on where you are in the world, you might want to crank the heating up to et that Russia-esque temperature.
Then again, Russia is known for its icy winter climates, so embracing the chill and donning some fur might be a better way to trick yourself into believing you’re there. Find yourself an ushanka (fur cap) to complete the illusion.
3. Get the right snacks
Russia has some snacks that are a little different but sound strangely delicious nevertheless.
Lays Chips in Russia have flavours like shashlik (traditional grilled meat), red caviar, pickled cucumbers and crab but the favourite would have to be sour cucumber and dill. They probably taste a bit like crunchy pickles, so if you cant locate a bag in your city, improvise with a jar of pickles and plain chips combo. Or maybe just keep things separate…. We’ll let you decide.
There’s also a cucumber-flavoured version of Sprite in Russia, which sounds refreshing. Maybe a glass of regular sprite with a cucumber slice is a better combination idea…
4. Take your shoes off
It’s customary in Russia to remove both your coat and shoes when entering someone’s home so if you’re going to a friends place to watch a game, keep this in mind. Generally, in Russia, hosts will provide tapochki (slippers) to wear. We can’t guarantee your friends will do this, however, so maybe don’t expect more than a strange look… unless they’ve read this blog of course.
5. Set the mood
This one’s scraping the barrel, but if you’re really going to feel like you’re in Russia, you need the surrounding scenery perfect, right? Not everyone’s going to have the time to buy/draw/print posters of St Basil’s Cathedral, Church of the Saviour on Blood or the Kremlin, but don’t worry, chances are you wouldn’t see these from the stadium anyway. An easier way to get set World Cup mood is to just build a stadium in your living room and surround yourself with screaming fans. Sounds easy enough right?
In all seriousness, a bit of face paint and a few excited friends is probably all you need.