I had some readers leave a couple of questions on my original post about attending EXO’s concert in Korea using SMTOWN Travel’s Global Package. I guess the write up wasn’t comprehensive enough for eager fans so I’ll do an extended post here that will hopefully answer any questions you may have.
Last updated on December 26, 2017!
Disclaimer: I don’t work for SMTOWN Travel and these are all just my opinions based on my past experience and what information I received from the tour agency or their website.
What do I get with a Global Package?
At a minimum the Global Package covers the concert ticket(s), accommodation, tour souvenirs and transport to the concert venue and back to the hotel based on the number of concert nights you want to attend.
Nothing else is covered so budget accordingly for your flight tickets, travel insurance, transfer to/from hotel and airport, food and spending money.
How much does a Global Package cost?
There are too many variable factors to consider – e.g. type of concert, number of nights, package level, standard of hotel, country, etc. – so there really isn’t a single definitive answer for this.
But as a rule of thumb based on my previous experience, the single Economy Package for one night’s concert ticket with 2 days of accommodation in Korea (the most basic of all packages) starts around USD 499 and up. I feel that it’s safe to budget USD 200 per additional concert night, so think in terms of USD 499, USD 699, USD 899 and so on. The better the package (Economy / Superior / Deluxe / Premium) the higher and more expensive the pricing will be and can run into the low 4 digits.
The cost of the package will differ for other foreign countries (because of hotel and currency) so I can’t give you an actual estimate for that. However, based on the trend I’ve observed for recent ElyXiOn packages in Japan and Taiwan, taking up a global package outside of Korea is more expensive than Korea. Expect to budget around USD 899 for just one night of concert / 2 nights of accommodation and add around USD 300 for each additional night to be on the safe side.
You mention USD – how much does the Global Package cost in my local currency?
All of SMTOWN Travel’s tour packages are quoted in USD. You’ll have to use a currency converter to find out how much it costs in your local currency.
I don’t have a PayPal account – can I pay SMTOWN Travel by other means? Is it safe to use PayPal?
There is no other payment option in the website. But there really isn’t any reason not to use PayPal – it’s free to open an account online and you can link to your local credit card for online payments that are secure.
Can I reserve the Global Package and pay later?
In the website it states that payment will have to be made within 2 hours of selection, if not it will be released for sale again.
So if you really want to take up a Global Package, make sure you have the funds ready in your PayPal account or have a valid credit card linked to your account in preparation for the reservation process.
How will I know where I’m sitting/area I’m assigned for the concert?
You won’t know until the day before the concert when you draw your tickets in the hotel lobby. It’s completely random.
But I’m going with a friend! Will we be separated?
If you buy a single package separately then yes, it is likely you might end up separated or even at different hotels (there can be up to 50 buses for all the Global Package participants in Korea!). If you really want to go together with your friend SMTOWN Travel recommends taking up a twin package. Downside is you’ll have to share a room though.
What if I change my mind? Can I get a refund or change the type of package?
I really hope you don’t change your mind because the moment you complete your payment, there’ll be a cancellation charge of 10% and this percentage increases the closer you get to the concert date. There is also no option to ‘upgrade’ your package except to cancel the original purchase and hope for availability of the new package you want. So, it is important to know which level you want or can afford up front.
How many packages or reservations can I make? I want to go with a group of friends.
According to the website, you can only reserve for 2 people including yourself. So that means you can only help one other friend. (Note: the English on the website isn’t very clear so I’m not sure if you can reserve two single packages or if the maximum of 2 pax means you can only book a twin package. Based on how the website is setup, I think each individual can only reserve one package, either a single or twin.)
How easy is it to reserve a Global Package? How fast will it sell out?
The website itself is pretty straightforward and no translation is needed because there is an English version mini site for each event. Just do your preparations – create an account with SMTOWN Travel and PayPal ahead of time.
As to how fast the packages will sell out, it won’t be as bad as the stories you hear about trying to get regular concert tickets in Korea. But, that being said, it doesn’t mean you should be complacent about trying to book your tour package. You’ll probably have a window period of 2-5 minutes after release (on the stated date/time KST) to make your selection after which choices will get progressively narrowed down.
For the recent ElyXiOn in Seoul concert Global Package sales in October, packages remained available (as in, not completely sold out in all categories) for a good 20 minutes or so but you might not be able to reserve your package of choice.
For the ElyXiOn in Japan sales in December, the sell-out rate was even faster than the Korea concert. Within 1 minute right after the release the global packages were completely sold out. This probably is because there is only one hotel in Japan compared with 4 different hotels and categories in Korea. So demand is greater for the Japan/overseas packages due to the smaller group of fans that SM can cater for.
If you miss out on the first round, usually there is a second round – it’s said these are usually the packages released for sale again after people didn’t make their payment in time.
A pro-tip for those who are willing to take a gamble – SMTOWN Travel is very strict with the 2 hour payment time frame. You could possibly make a reservation on a second choice but not pay and keep on refreshing the page at the 2 hour mark to see if your preferred package gets released due to non-payment. Please bear in mind I don’t recommend doing this because it’s really risky and you might not even end up with a package AND you’d potentially be depriving some other fan of an available spot. So please do think long and hard before you do this!
I don’t want to miss out! Which type of package has better chances of availability – single or twin?
I would say it depends more on the package level you’re aiming for. This is because availability most likely depends on the number of rooms at any one particular hotel that SMTOWN Travel has probably booked. Hence that is more of a limiting factor (to me) than a single or twin package. Also whether you intend to watch all concert nights will be a factor as well – eg. there might be less tickets (and therefore packages) available for say, a final or opening night than the one in the middle. Having said that, for the ElyXiOn in Seoul concert Global Package sales in October, twin packages remained available far longer than the single packages.
I want to experience the Premium Global Package! When and where can I get it?
Premium packages used to be based on a roulette lucky draw or so I’ve heard. The good news is that now the Premium packages are available for the Seoul concerts and as long as you’re willing to fork out the moolah and you have fast fingers to book the package, you can experience the awesomeness that is the Premium package!
Got a question that still isn’t answered? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer. Any additional questions I get will be added to this guide!