The Jet Set

Taking Your Kids To Taylor Swift's European Tour Is This Year's Status Vacation

As the Eras Tour makes its way across Europe, expect your Instagram feed to be flooded with mother-daughter selfies from London, Milan, and even Warsaw.

by Hannah Seligson

Forget Greece, the Amalfi Coast, or Majorca; the “it” places to spend family vacation this summer are Vienna, Lisbon, Amsterdam, and Dublin. While all culturally rich destinations, these cities also happen to be stops on the European leg of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. For a certain crowd, the summer of ’24 will not be complete without a selfie video at Wembley or San Siro Stadium. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of famous Swifties in the audience — the Kelce brothers, for example, or Prince William, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte.

It started in Paris, where Swift’s tour dates came a little earlier than most schools let out. But what’s a few days out of school for a mother-daughter trip to Paris? And while there are certainly bragging rights to be had, there are also very practical reasons to take school-age Swifties on an eight-hour schlep across the Atlantic. For one thing, tickets are generally less expensive and the prospect of tacking on a vacation to, say, Madrid, Milan, or London is an appealing proposition for many parents.

After Embark Beyond, a luxury travel company sent out an email in May with the subject line, “Yes, We Can Get Taylor Swift Tickets in Europe and Canada!,” they had 70 booking requests in 12 hours. “It was shocking. Taylor Swift’s ability to move business is like nothing I’ve ever seen in my career,” says Jack Ezon, founder and managing partner of Embark Beyond. “More than the Olympics, this is the status ticket — it’s ‘where can I go to be cool and see Taylor Swift?’”

Certain stops, however, are more desirable. “You have to be a real die-hard fan to want to go in Warsaw,” he says.

At the boutique hotel in Paris where one family stayed, there was a basket of friendship bracelets — a Swiftie badge of honor — at the front desk.

Ezon says that some ticket brokers are selling tickets for $5,000 to $10,000, but because of Embark Beyond’s extensive network all over the world, they can find prices that are much lower and plan a unique and equally “’grammable” itinerary to tack on. Think: a stay at Ashford Castle after a performance in Dublin or a jaunt to the exclusive seaside town of Forte dei Marmi combined with seeing Swift in Milan.

Nicky, a New York City-based mother of a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old, took her daughters to the Taylor Swift concert in Liverpool this month as part of a larger family trip to England. “We paid less than we did in the United States,” she says, estimating the cost was around $1,000 per ticket.

They didn’t have to travel far, but the Wales family made sure the Eras Tour was on their summer itinerary.

This all might sound like a real-life fairytale for Swifties, but there’s a hitch. (There always is, right?) Nicky, who asked to only be identified by her first name, says the tickets weren’t sent to her until a week before the concert — standard practice for Viagogo, the third-party site she purchased them from. (Ticketmaster is no longer brokering sales for the European Eras Tour. And according to reports, the show, which spans three-and-half hours, sold out within minutes on Ticketmaster and AXS in the United Kingdom, with nearly 40,000 people joining the online queue for the presale.)

“It was nerve-wracking because you just hope you haven’t gotten into a false ticket situation, which of course could also happen in the United States,” Nicky says. “I read extensively on Viagogo’s site, and they said they do their best to give you replacement tickets, but there is no replacement ticket when you are standing in line in Liverpool. Everyone I know was stressed about this. We didn’t really relax until we received the tickets.”

It also pays to read the fine print while planning the trip of a lifetime. After purchasing tickets for Helsinki, one mother discovered that the venue did not permit anyone under 13 and had to unravel the whole trip.

“It’s one thing to have fun watching the Taylor Swift concert on Disney Plus; it’s a whole other thing to venture to another country to see her, even though it’s quite tempting and the Instagram posts do make it look fun.’”

Another mother based on the East Coast, who asked not to be identified, says she was considering taking her rising first grader to London, Milan, or Vienna, and while price was not an obstacle, she didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a trip she wasn’t sure her 6-1/2-year-old could truly appreciate, especially a three-and-half hour concert while jetlagged.

“I’m just imagining we get to Wembley or some other venue, and my daughter, even though she loves Taylor Swift, is overwhelmed by the crowds, it’s too loud, she wants to leave early, doesn’t like the food and has a hunger meltdown, is bored, or falls asleep, and then I’ve come all this way and spent a fortune,” she says. “It’s one thing to have fun watching the Taylor Swift concert on Disney Plus; it’s a whole other thing to venture to another country to see her, even though it’s quite tempting and the Instagram posts do make it look quite fun. And I say this as someone who is not ‘a concert person.’”

Others, however, are not deterred. Sarah Evans, a partner at J. Public Relations, is taking her three daughters, ages 5, 9, and 12, to London in August for one of Swift’s concerts at Wembley. “After I saw Taylor in Denver last July, I was mesmerized by her,” Evans says. “She is such a great role model. We had floor tickets and we, my middle daughter and I, danced for three-and-half hours.”

Another appeal of a Taylor Swift concert for parents is an experience with their children that isn’t mind-numbingly boring or tedious for the adult. When she travels to London in August, Evans is staying at the chic Dorchester hotel, which happens to be one of her clients. “My kids will hopefully look back on this and it will be like seeing Madonna in the 1980s or New Kids on the Block in the 1990s,” she says. “I am always thinking about how to create core memories and how to really be in the moment with my children.’” (The cost of Evans’ four tickets in London is comparable to what she paid for two seats in Denver last July.)

Evans, too, has ticket anxiety, wondering if they will indeed come through. She is comforted, however, by friends who went to see the Paris concert in May and had no issues with Viagogo.

Fans who snagged tickets to one of last weekend’s Eras Tour shows in London were rewarded with a Travis Kelce sighting — on stage no less.Gareth Cattermole/TAS24/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Comparing notes on the buzziest vacation of the summer is half the fun. Urban legends are already circulating. “I heard someone got a ticket for $95 in Stockholm,” Evans says. Kristin McClutchy, who is based in Darien, Connecticut, took her 11-year-old daughter to Paris in May, paying around $900 a seat. “The concert,” she says, “was so amazing that we decided to go back the next night.” Her daughter found a third-party site that was selling seats for $350.

The special touches — not just the surprise songs and celebrity sightings, but the posh hotel sleepovers and group lunches and dinners with other friends who traveled for the concert — are all part of the experience. At the boutique hotel on the Left Bank where McClutchy stayed, there was a basket of friendship bracelets — a Swiftie badge of honor — at the front desk. And when McClutchy’s plane landed in Paris, the pilot started playing “Love Story.”

Some may rightfully wonder: Do elementary and middle schoolers really need to travel to Europe for a concert? Of course not, but it offers a chance on something that feels in short supply these days: wholesome (or at least screen-free) fun.

“The flight home was filled with girls in Taylor Swift concert ‘merch,’ and they were all comparing stories. It was cute to see everyone interact in such a positive way,” McClutchy says. Now the conundrum is: Will she go back to Europe for another concert? A few months ago, when more seats were released, McClutchy received a Ticketmaster code and purchased tickets for London. “Still TBD,” she says, “if we will go or not.”

What is not uncertain, however, is that McClutchy will have no problem reselling those tickets — most likely making some other American girl’s summer dream trip come true.

Hannah Seligson is a freelance writer who has written for The New York Times, Town & Country, and more. She has previously written for Romper about the Summer Nannies of the 1% and the Mommy Wars of Covid.