I Traveled Internationally For Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour

POPSUGAR Photography | Yerin Kim
POPSUGAR Photography | Yerin Kim

I don’t know if there’s anyone or anything more hyped than Taylor Swift and the Eras Tour. I’ve been a casual fan of Swift since I was in middle school, waning in and out of the fandom over the years. I’ve had my fair share of singalongs to her greatest hits and a few deep cuts, and while I was excited for her to revisit some of the older eras when the Eras Tour kicked off in early 2023, I was overwhelmed by the chaos surrounding scoring tickets in the US (specifically, at the stops in the New York area closest to me). Sure, I wanted to experience Swift’s eras in all of their glory, but not that badly.

So when I was invited to join Marriott Bonvoy for a trip from New York to Stockholm to go to the Eras Tour, I was very excited. Diehard Swiftie or not, seeing an artist of Swift’s caliber on a career-spanning tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’d also never been to Stockholm — or any part of northern Europe for that matter.

My trip was by way of Marriott Bonvoy Moments, a platform in which Marriott Bonvoy members can use their points to redeem unique experiences like concerts and sporting events, which they can either purchase or bid on auction-style. I got to experience a Moments package that included a two-night stay at Nobis Hotel, pre-concert glam session, fancy dinner, massages for two, and of course, two premium tickets to Swift’s Stockholm show.

While my experience took place in Stockholm specifically, Marriott Bonvoy is currently still offering Moments packages at Swift’s shows in Miami, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Toronto, and Vancouver through August. In addition, the hotel loyalty program has various sweepstakes opportunities available for members to attend the tour, including a trip to see the show at three different tour stops, a trip for Swift’s Vancouver stop, and tickets for the tour at upcoming legs including Vienna, Miami, New Orleans, and Toronto. You can enter all of the remaining sweepstakes here.

I’m one of many who’ve opted to travel to tour destinations mainly to see Swift in concert, whether that’s because they missed the show in their local city or want to see her perform on different stages. Some US fans have found it cheaper to travel internationally and score tickets for shows outside of the country due to ticketing regulations in Europe and the strong US dollar.

According to a recent itinerary calculated by CNN, a trip from New York to Stockholm including a round-trip flight, concert ticket, and one-night hotel stay would cost around $1,300, whereas a single concert ticket to upcoming US destinations like Miami, New Orleans, and Indianapolis would cost anywhere between $2,000 and $8,500. That’s why concert tourism, or gig-tripping — traveling to destinations for the purpose of experiencing live music — has been on the rise in recent years. The global music tourism market is expected to reach 14 billion by 2033, according to Future Market Insights.

So for this casual fan of Swift, was traveling for the Eras Tour — and gig-tripping in general — worth it? Keep reading to find out.

My Experience at the Eras Tour International

POPSUGAR Photography | Yerin Kim

I’ve seen Swift live a few times over the years — namely at her Speak Now World Tour in 2011 and Reputation Stadium Tour in 2018 — and I am an avid consumer of the internet, so I’m aware she knows how to put on an A+ performance. At night one of her show in Stockholm on May 17, I got to see that firsthand in a whole different setting. Though I’d seen many clips of the tour on social media, the production and entertainment value of the concert were truly impressive. But most of all, the storytelling throughout the three-hour show was a work of art.

Swift’s Stockholm concert was also one of the first shows that incorporated her newest album, “The Tortured Poets Department.” (She had kicked off the European leg of the tour in Paris a week prior with a slate of new costumes, choreography, and an updated set list to accommodate the album.) That meant I got to witness performances and scenes I had not yet seen all over social media. It was clear Swift wanted to show off her latest work in the tour — while her energy and efforts were certainly alive for all of the eras, she amped up the theatrics and sets for songs like “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” with a moving stage and special effects, and “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” with an acted-out scene of Swift as a doll, telling the story of the track. Despite the fact that I hadn’t familiarized myself with “TTPD,” her performances pushed me to give the album another listen in my post-concert depression.

I unashamedly sang my heart out when it came to earlier eras like “Fearless” and “Speak Now,” which took me back to my middle and high school days, filled with sweet crushes and coming-of-age moments. And for the eras I wasn’t as familiar with, the concert was still a welcoming space for casual fans like me. I recognized and knew the lyrics to more songs than I expected, and happily danced to those I didn’t. With that said, Swift really gives fans their money’s worth with a set of over three hours, so be prepared to run out for bathroom breaks and take a seat for a few songs. (For me, that was much of the combined “Folklore” and “Evermore” eras.)

Aside from the performances themselves, it was special to see fans of varying ages, backgrounds, and levels of fandom experiencing joy and connecting with fellow Swifties around the world. There were fans from Sweden as well as those who had traveled from the US, but also folks visiting from neighboring Scandinavian countries and across Europe. Fans with stacked wrists traded beaded friendship bracelets left and right. It was almost magical to experience girlhood in its truest form, and witness the ways an artist has the power to bring people together. I left the venue giddy with excitement, my mouth hurting from smiling for hours.

Is It Worth It to Travel Internationally For the Eras Tour?

POPSUGAR Photography | Yerin Kim

All in all, I’d say traveling abroad for the Eras Tour is worth the time, effort, and money — though I’d consider a few factors before committing to a trip centered around concert tourism. If you can swing a few extra vacation days and maximize your time in your visiting city, you’re in for the trip of a lifetime. I wouldn’t recommend flying in just for the day or even two; I’d find it difficult to justify the cost of a flight and hotel stay for only one night of a concert — no matter how amazing the experience is — and beat the jet lag that comes with it.

I’d never traveled to northern Europe before, and it was such a treat to be able to take in a new city — which turned out to be one of the most beautiful I’d been to. I had two full days to explore Stockholm before the day of the concert, and I was able to pack my schedule with must-see sights, local experiences, and plenty of touring. Thanks to Marriott Bonvoy, I dined at top-rated Swedish establishments, where I of course tried the famous Swedish meatballs; explored famous sights like City Hall, Stockholm’s historic old town Gamla Stan, and the Swedish Royal Palace on a walking tour; and indulged in a luxe Swedish spa experience at Sturebadet. I also enjoyed afternoon espressos, adapting the fika lifestyle like a true Swede, and even squeezed in a little shopping at Scandinavian fashion brands like Acne Studios, Ganni, and COS. While the main event of your trip may be the concert itself, I recommend taking advantage of everything the city has to offer as best as you can.

If you have plans to travel somewhere that happens to be a tour stop, or if you see a bucket-list city on a tour announcement, I’d definitely recommend planning a trip around the concert. Given there are rumblings that the Eras Tour may extend past this summer, I’d certainly keep an eye out for upcoming travel opportunities.

Yerin Kim is the features editor at POPSUGAR, where she helps shape the vision for special features and packages across the network. A graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, she has over five years of experience in the pop culture and women’s lifestyle spaces. She’s passionate about spreading cultural sensitivity through the lenses of lifestyle, entertainment, and style.

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