Swiftie from the Philippines is spending $1,600 for concert tickets in Singapore, extended vacation – Business Insider

This as-told-to story is based on a conversation with Eunice Mecija, a 24-year-old graphic artist and Taylor Swift fan from the Philippines. It’s been edited for length and clarity. Business Insider verified Mecija’s expenses.
I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan for as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, my dad and I used to bond over Taylor’s music during car rides. We often purchased her burned pirated CDs at a local mall in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, where I live.
I’ve had to follow Taylor from afar. The last time she had a concert in the Philippines was in 2014 during her Red Tour. So when it was announced that Taylor’s only Eras Tour stop in Southeast Asia was in Singapore, I knew missing my favorite artist was out of the question. Singapore was one of the five countries I traveled to last year, and knowing how safe the city-state is influenced my decision to secure tickets.
Expense: Concert ticket
How much it cost: $294
My friend’s sister lives in Singapore, so she helped me score a ticket during the pre-sale for cardholders with United Overseas Bank. There were over 1 million people in the virtual line to snag tickets.
I managed to purchase a Category 3 ticket for $294.
Expense: International transportation — flight and bus
How much it cost: $260
The next step was to book flights to Singapore. Direct flights from Manila on carriers like Singapore Airlines and Scoot were already sold out. I decided to book a flight from Manila to Kuala Lumpur with AirAsia instead for 14,000 Philippine pesos, or around $250.
To get to Singapore, I booked a return bus ticket from Kuala Lumpur to the city-state for 664 pesos, which is way cheaper than flying there.
Expense: Lodging — nine nights
How much it cost: $1,110
I’ve planned to be in Singapore from March 6 to 9 to catch the concert. I’m also planning to spend three days before and after the concert in the Malaysian capital. I invited my parents to join me in Kuala Lumpur in the days following the concert.
I booked six nights at a four-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur, which cost 335 Malaysia ringgit, or around $70, per night. That amounted to some $420 in total.
In Singapore, I booked a four-star hotel for 311 Singapore dollars, or around $230, per night. For three nights, it cost me $690.
In total, I budgeted a little over $1,600 for this trip. I avoid being too tight with money on vacations as I enjoy some luxuries on my trips. After all, why settle for less when you can treat yourself a little?
I’m also gearing up for another trip to Stockholm for Taylor’s Eras Tour stop there in May. I managed to snag the “We Never Go Out of Style” package, which cost 2,625 Swedish krona, or $250. That includes a reserved standing room, early entrance privileges, and VIP perks. Surprisingly, international tickets were more affordable than typical concert tickets in the Philippines, which can cost more than $300 for the best categories.
Overall, I feel like it was absolutely worth it to splurge on this trip. Many of my friends are Swifties, and they were supportive and happy that I could finally see Taylor in person. And I’m excited to indulge in Singapore’s food scene again. I’ve been craving the perfect fishball noodle for a year and can’t wait to have a feast at a local food court.
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