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Five Holidays Where You Can Avoid the World Cup

Where should you go if you want to avoid the mayhem of Rio 2014? What options are open to those who loathe football or just want to keep away from the final score? Here are a few ideas.

Every so often we see new aerial pictures of uncontacted tribes living in some remote part of the Amazonian rainforest. The images are usually quite similar in nature - a slightly grainy shot of confused people gazing upwards, trying to get on with their lives as an intrusive pilot buzzes them. However, don't be surprised if the next time these people are rudely bothered we instead end up with a photo of indigenous Brazilians filling in a World Cup football wall chart.

That's because it is now virtually impossible to escape the grasping claws of the greatest game in the world. It would seem that wherever you go across the globe there is a TV showing a football match and during the World Cup it is even harder to escape.

For example, during the final of the 2010 tournament, I was due to fly from Montreal to London. In homage to TV series 'The Likely Lads' I decided to avoid the result of the game until I got home to the UK. As I made my way through the terminal I saw a gathering of almost 100 people dressed in either Dutch or Spanish football shirts gathered around a bank of televisions. Sensing what was going on, I tried to quicken my stride and get away - just as half of the crowd erupted in glee as Andrés Iniesta scored what proved to be Spain's winning goal. Even in Canada, a country whose ambivalence towards 'soccer' has traditionally been unrivalled by all except my mum, being a World Cup dodger had proved impossible.

So where should you go if you want to avoid the mayhem of Rio 2014? What options are open to those who loathe football or just want to keep away from the final score? Here are a few ideas.

A Golfing Holiday

A golf course was the location chosen by the great Manchester United (amongst other clubs) striker Denis Law on the 30th of July 1966. He refused to watch England take on West Germany in the World Cup Final being played that day mainly because the fiercely patriotic Scotsman could not bear the thought of seeing England win. They did just that, and he only found out when he got to the 18th hole. Mission almost accomplished.

Inconvenient Time Zone Holiday

It's not too leftfield a notion to presume that England won't get out of their opening group, and that means all their 3 games will either start at 8 or 11 o'clock in the evening, our time. In which case, it maybe worth going to a time zone where these matches would be taking place at a horribly nasty hour of the morning, ideally about 5 hours ahead of us.

In my opinion you have two main options - Turkmenistan or the Maldives. Go on, be bold....

Wherever Footballers Go On Holiday

The theory here is that footballers want to holiday somewhere where they won't be recognized or bothered by other vacationers. Logically then, they must be going to places where football coverage is not yet at saturation point. The most popular places for Premier League stars these days include Dubai, Barbados, Ibiza and Florida - but if I were you I would opt for Las Vegas. Once ensconced in a casino there is no way that the pit bosses there are going to risk stopping you gambling by tempting you with a World Cup match on the TV. You may end up out of pocket but at least you won't know the score.

Other Sport's Strongholds Holiday

The FIFA World Cup isn't the only sporting event coming to a crescendo in June and July. For example, in Ireland the Gaelic sports of Hurling and Gaelic Football will be capturing everyone's attention, and with the Irish national team failing to make the World Cup they may just push the tournament in Brazil to the margins. If you fancy venturing even further afield, then go to New Zealand. Again, it's a country whose football team will be staying at home this year and they are also obsessed by another sport. In the case of the Kiwis, it is of course rugby union. The Super 14 rugby tournament will be reaching a climax over the next couple of months, and you can bet your life that this will have priority over events in Rio. It's a risky strategy, but start to look at ferries across the Irish Sea or flights to Auckland.

Off the Grid Holiday

Finally, this is the nuclear option - get off the grid altogether. As someone who tried to monitor England's 1990 World Cup semi final from a narrow boat on the River Thames I can let you know that this certainly used to be one sure fire way of missing out on the biggest international game since 1966. Technology has moved on quite a bit since then, but if you make a similar trip somewhere a bit more remote, for example a sailing trip around some of the outlying Scottish islands (yes, these trips are available and look fantastic) then the action in South America will truly feel like it is happening not just thousands of miles away, but on another planet.

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