While all of my Global Package experiences are for EXO concerts, I believe that at least 90 percent of the experience is the same for any tour that SMTOWN Travel runs. In the true spirit of fandom, it doesn’t matter which SM Entertainment group (or solo artist) you stan because knowledge is for sharing and sharing is caring.
The page is basically a compilation of what I’ve written about in my previous posts and I’ll link back to them as appropriate but this page is fully updated as at the date below.
Information is fully up to date as of June 5, 2019!
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, additional nights of accommodation, travel insurance, transfer to/from hotel and airport, food and spending money.
It is important to note that SMTOWN Travel does not sell concert tickets only – if you’re interested in seeing just the concert and do not need accommodation/transport/guide, then you’ll be better off getting the concert tickets from the respective concert organizers. Information about each country’s official concert organizer (and the ticket prices!) is easily available online.
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.
As a rule of thumb based on my previous experience for the EXO’rDIUMdot in 2017, the single Economy Package for one night’s concert ticket with 2 days of accommodation in Korea (the most basic of all packages) starts from USD 539 onwards.
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. It seems that the budget now needs to be increased to USD 300 per additional concert night. As of June 2019, a single Economy Package for the EXplOration now starts at USD 539 – compared to USD 529 for ElyXiOndot and USD 499 for EXo’rDIUMdot previously.
Also, only the Seoul concerts have varying levels of Global Packages. 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. As of June 2019, a single Premium Package for the EXplOration starts from USD 1,079 – compared to USD 1,059 for ElyXiOndot and USD 999 for the ElyXiOn previously.
Based on my observations, you can expect an increase between USD 20 to USD 60 for each subsequent ‘special’ concert held by SM’s boygroup EXO. So if you’re planning to watch subsequent EXO PLANET concerts in Korea, take note and budget for about 5% more than the previous Global Package prices and you won’t feel sticker shock when the time comes.
The cost of the package will differ for other foreign countries (because of hotel and currency). However, based on the trend I’ve observed for packages in 2018, taking up a global package outside of Korea is more expensive. 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 can see the list below for some reference points to do your own budgeting (do note that they are all based on a single package, for one concert night only):
- January 2018 – EXO in Saitama (Tokyo), Japan @ USD 899 with seating ticket
- February 2018 – Super Junior in Hong Kong @ USD 899 for either seating or standing ticket
- March 2018 – EXO in Bangkok, Thailand @ USD 899 with seating ticket or USD 854 for standing ticket
- February 2018 – SHINee in Tokyo, Japan @ USD 819 with seating ticket
- July 2019 – TVXQ in Manila, Philippines @ USD 839 with seating ticket
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. Please 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 or bank account 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. Update: As of January 23, 2019 the payment period is now reduced to 30 minutes before the package is released for sale. So be aware of this!
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.
There is no deferred installment plan – you can only break the payment into 2 (ie. split it in half) for those going on a twin package. I personally find it easier if one person pays the full amount first though.
I want to get the best seat available! How did you get your seat and how close can you be?
As a fan myself I understand that you naturally want to be as close to your idol as possible. It really is down to your luck whether you’ll get it. The seats are randomly distributed so you could even get a front row seat (met a lucky fan who got it before) and my own past experiences have been 2-3 rows from the front. You’ll probably be close enough for the artistes to see your fan signs but whether you’ll make eye contact or get to touch them is really dependent on the venue and how strict security is.
SMTOWN also states that the section (not row) of your seat may depend on your package level. On Premium package for the ElyXiOn I was seated near the main stage, 3 rows from the front (see picture above). On the Economy package for EXO’rDIUMdot, I was seated one row from the extended side stage (see picture below).
As for “best” seat, I can’t advise you on that. Only you know what you want/like. You may prefer a standing ticket to be closer to your idol or you might prefer a seating ticket to enjoy the concert without having to crowd with masses of people. Some like the center area to view what’s going on for all stages, still others like the wings when the artists will come close by. So please don’t ask me for a recommendation of a “best” or “good” seat.
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. As I’ve mentioned above, 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 40-50 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. Twin package participants will get consecutive seats next to each other at the concert.
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 5-10% and this percentage increases the closer you get to the concert date. There is also no option to change concert dates or “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 day you can attend and level you want or can afford up front. Remember to budget accordingly!
How many packages or reservations can I make? I want to go with a group of friends.
According to the website, you can reserve for up to 2 people including yourself. So that means you can only help one other friend who must be going with you.
(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.)
Updated : I’ve been told that you can reserve more than one package BUT the purchaser has to be the person attending the concert. As an example, person A can reserve multiple packages and attend the concerts, but person A cannot reserve on behalf of person B unless both A and B are on the twin package. So, you can’t reserve a single package using your name for your friend as they will check the name in your ID against the name in the reservation. SMTOWN also states that you can’t reserve the package in your name and pass off the concert ticket to someone else. If you want to attempt that, I’m sure they can blacklist you and your friend from future concerts.
When will SMTOWN start selling a Global Package for [insert artist] concert?
I’m afraid I don’t have a magic ball that can predict this sort of thing. If you already have an account with SMTOWN Travel, you will get the email notification from them when a Global Package is released. Otherwise, you can also follow their official Twitter account for news.
Pro tip: For highly popular concerts in Korea, you will have very little advance warning as SMTOWN Travel will only announce Global Package sales the day before or on the same day that sales starts. If you really want a Global Package, you will need to have the money or savings beforehand.
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. If you’re really unsure about the whole process, no harm trying it out with one of the other packages like the MCultour package that SMTOWN Travel also runs from time to time. Just click through (before the payment page) to see what kind of info is needed and get a feel of how long it will take you to fill it up.
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. It seems that more and more fans are trying out for the Global Package nowadays and you probably only have a few seconds to select your package especially for first round opens.
For the ElyXiOn in Seoul concert Global Package sales in October 2017, 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 ElyXiOndot in Seoul in July 2018, there were packages available for only the first or second night of concert as at midnight on June 5, 2018. For the most recent EXplOration in Seoul in July 2019, the servers crashed almost immediately from overwhelming response and fans were not able to buy the packages easily during the first round.
For the ElyXiOn in Japan sales in December 2017, 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/category 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. Another example is the ElyXiOn in Bangkok sales in January 2018 – the official concert organizer limited the number of participants to 38 pax per concert night. So you can work out for yourself just how high in demand the concert tickets are.
Oh no! I didn’t get the package I wanted! What do I do?
Firstly, decide on several options before the ticketing starts. Which package level you’ll be comfortable with and which concert dates you wish to attend. Make a list of your first and second or third choices. That way you won’t feel so pressured or limited in your choices.
If you completely 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!
Update: As of January 23, 2019 this is pro-tip is no longer applicable as SMTOWN Travel now limits the number of open/unpaid reservations per account to 1 and you only have 30 minutes to make payment.
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 2017, twin packages remained available far longer than the single packages.
Pro tip: If you’re not picky about which concert night you want to watch, then availability is much higher for say, the middle concert night. If you want to watch all nights of the concert, then good luck to you in the initial scrum for tickets! Also, packages for Deluxe and Superior are much easier to get because there’s less competition for those.
Based on my observations for the EXplOration in Seoul for July 2019, the packages sold out in the following order:
- 3 concert night packages (for all levels – Premium / Deluxe / Superior / Economy)
- 2 concert nights on Saturday & Sunday
- Opening concert night
- Closing concert night
- Week 1 (19 – 21 July) sold out faster than Week 2 (26 – 28 July)
- Economy packages for any concert night
- Premium packages for any concert night
- Single packages sold out faster than twin packages (for all levels)
- Deluxe and Superior remained available for far longer than Premium and Economy packages
- Packages for just one concert night on Saturday (in between Friday and Sunday concerts) were generally available for a longer time
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 when it’s available, you can experience the awesomeness that is the Premium package!
Is the Global Package connected to the official fanclub(s)? Can we go for special events?
I believe that the Global Package is not connected with any of the official fanclubs run by SM Entertainment. They don’t ask you for any fanclub registration or membership number when you reserve a Global Package. Unfortunately, this also means that if there is any fanmeet or special fan event going on, you’ll have to apply for that separately.
With the recent launch of the paid EXO-L ACE membership, there is now a field for you to indicate your ACE membership number when you buy a Global Package. Also, certain events in Korea that have Global Packages (like fan meets or birthday parties) now require this paid ACE membership before you can even buy the Global Package.
As of now this membership requirement is only for events in Korea and does not extend to the Japan fanclubs.
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!