Swiftie Travel: More than a Concert
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Arts & Culture
I still remember my very first concert, way back in the 90s: Michael Jackson, Dangerous Tour, October 15, 1993, Sao Paulo, Brazil. I didn't even need to look at a calendar to remember the date - it was powerful, magical and memorable. 100,000 people packed into Estadio de Morumbi. Yes, you read that right, 100,000! I can still feel the energy pulsing through the air, long before MJ took the stage. Fifteen years later, I was all set to travel to London for what would have been his final concert residency. Sadly, he passed away before it began and I never could relive the experience.
Since then, I’ve hit the road for everything from small jazz shows to multi-day festivals. I’m always ready to grab a ticket, pack a bag and be on my way.
Scoring tickets, especially to mega-shows like Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, is just the start. Once you’re in, the fun part begins, and the potential to turn a concert into the highlight of your year - or maybe an Era.
So, what comes next?
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Where to stay
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Decide Where to Stay
Location, location, location! Think big picture: Do you want to be as close as possible to the venue or make the city center your home base? How much walking or driving do you want to do and are you willing to take public transportation?
Don’t wait to book your hotel: You and 50,000 of your best friends are going to be looking for the same room! Don’t wait to book your hotel or you may find yourself in a less-than convenient location or worse, at a hotel that isn’t quite up to par.
Fly in Early
Plan to arrive in the city at least a day before the event. Two days is even better! You’ll be able to adjust to local time and enjoy the city before the festivities begin.
No, I’m not talking about a tailgate. Elevate your experience by planning an early dinner or a late lunch at a nearby restaurant before the show. Not only will you have an awesome meal that isn’t stadium food, but you’ll also beat the crowd to the gates. Scope out your top restaurant picks and make your reservation far in advance! Don’t expect to walk in and get a table. Of course, always make sure your server knows you’re going to the show so you don’t get stuck waiting for your check.
Get to Know the Venue
Check the location of entry gates, parking options, and any other logistical details. You’ve made it this far, you don’t want to be late to the show!
Download event apps, maps, and transportation apps to navigate the city efficiently and sign up for event notifications if applicable. These weren’t available for my MJ show, but they sure would have been helpful.
What are your transportation options after the event? Taxis and public transit can get crowded, especially at large venues. Some venues have pickup restrictions for rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft, so you might not be able to rely on them immediately after the show. If ridesharing is in your plans, be prepared to walk a bit away from the venue before asking for a ride.
Extend Your Stay
Don't just pop in for the event and leave. Extend your trip to truly appreciate the destination. Explore the local culture and attractions. Jump on a food tour or stop at a cool museum. You won’t regret it.
Your journey awaits – as your travel advisor, I’d love to make it legendary and make sure you’re treated like the VIP you are!
P.S. My only regret about my first concert? That I didn’t save my ticket stub. Make sure to hold on to yours!
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Hannah Taylor's guides, Travel Along Dead & Company's Final Tour: Los Angeles. This trip report is part of our ongoing series on Arts & Culture.
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