I’m a Swiftie Dad who traded a family summer vacation to take my kids across the country to an Eras Tour concert. It was worth every penny.

I’m a Swiftie Dad who traded a family summer vacation to take my kids across the country to an Eras Tour concert. It was worth every penny.

Winter/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management; Cork Gaines/Business Insider
We had already been to one Taylor Swift concert, but we wanted to try for a better experience.
We decided to give up a typical summer family vacation and travel to LA instead for a show.
We still had to plan carefully to keep the costs as low as we could.
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Don’t tell my friends, but I am apparently now a full-fledged Swiftie Dad, to the point that I have the quintessential fan friendship bracelet with my favorite song — “The Lakes.” Additionally, I decided the family needed to forgo our usual summer family vacation and travel from Texas to Los Angeles for our second Taylor Swift “The Eras Tour” concert.

You read that correctly — we had already been to one show.

The first show was great, but we knew it could have been better
We were one of the lucky ones who could afford tickets and spent seemingly all day on Ticketmaster before finally securing seats to one of the shows in Houston.

The seats were OK. About mid-level, to the side of the stage. Swift came over and waved once, but, to be honest, we watched most of the concert on one of the video screens.

A view from the author’s seats at the Taylor Swift concert in Houston. Hannah Gaines
It was all still a win for the family. We got there early and got all the right swag — I’m talking about the twin iconic blue Eras Tour crew necks — and Taylor Swift sang live to us for several hours.

It was great.

Still, as an avid concert-goer, I knew the experience could have been better for my diehard Swiftie daughters, aged 12 and 13, and I knew opportunities to see your favorite artists live don’t come around often.

As we approached the summer, my better half and I started to plan what we would do over the summer break. We kept bringing up the usual haunts — Disney World, the beach, and New York City. Maybe even overseas to Ireland or Puerto Rico.

But we had a better idea: What if we took the girls to LA for one of the final Eras Tour shows at SoFi Stadium?

We needed to plan carefully
This is where things got tricky.

We didn’t have tickets and prefer budgeting for a vacation ahead of time. I knew the tickets were commanding steep prices on the secondary market, sometimes thousands of dollars each, even for seats only slightly better than we had in Houston.

As a veteran of the secondary market, I knew the prices might get better the closer we were to the show, but that would require committing to flights, hotels, and LA in general before knowing for sure we would get into the concert. I also didn’t want to get the girls’ hopes up before I knew we had tickets in hand.

One component helping our situation was that, after being stuck at home for two years during the pandemic, we saved up a lot of airline miles and hotel points. This made me feel better about how much we might spend on tickets.

The author’s Taylor Swift bracelets, including one for his favorite TS song, “The Lakes.” Cork Gaines/Business Insider
Then I went to work. I checked all the secondary ticket sites several times a day, hoping to get lucky.

About three weeks in, it happened. Checking late at night, I found somebody who had posted tickets for $1,500 each, 15 rows from the stage!

It was just two seats, but as an avid reader of Business Insider, I knew the average price for a ticket to “The Eras Tour” on the secondary market was about $3,800. Some even regretted splurging on good seats.

The last time we went to Disney World and stayed at one of its resorts, we spent about $6,500 for five days at the parks for our family of four. And that was before any merchandise the girls just had to have.

This was undoubtedly a first-world problem, but it felt like I had just struck gold.

This solved the biggest obstacle — the girls were going to see Taylor Swift again, and this time, they would be within shouting distance of the Queen herself.

As for the wife and I, we decided to wait until the day of the show and snag whatever “cheap” tickets we could find. We would be in the same building and having been to one show already, it felt safe.

It turned out better than we could have hoped
Did the girls regret going to a second Taylor Swift show versus going somewhere they had not been before? To quote Clare, our youngest, “No!”

“It was so much fun,” Clare told me. “I love looking back at photos and videos. It was really fun.”

The author’s better half and their oldest daughter before a Taylor Swift concert in Los Angeles. Cork Gaines/Insider
When the girls reflect on their two concert experiences, it is night and day. The second one will always be foremost in their memories.

“We were a lot closer to the stage, really close to her, so that was pretty cool,” Hannah, our oldest, said. “It felt like we were more a part of the show the second time. The first show, we were more looking at the screen, as opposed to Taylor, but we got to actually watch Taylor a lot more in the second show.”

Photos taken by the author’s daughters at the LA Taylor Swift concert. Clare Gaines; Hannah Gaines
Clare also noted that being on the floor was a much better experience for trading friendship bracelets, as it was easier to walk around.

The girls also described the surprise songs at the second show as “winning the lottery.” In Houston, they heard “Cold as You” and “Begin Again.” In LA, they got “Dress” and “Exile.” Hannah described the latter pair as “fan favorites,” and Clare noted they are her favorite songs on their respective albums, “Reputation” and “Folklore.”

Does this Swiftie Dad have any regrets? Not a chance, and others have told similar stories.