My Experience Traveling to Tomorrowland Via Global Journey
You have probably heard of the massive international EDM festival, Tomorrowland, but have you heard much about Global Journey? Uniting people from multiple countries, Global Journey provides a once in a lifetime travel experience, offering an all-in experience, covering your trip from the moment you take off. I was really curious to learn more about this as my husband and I had never been to Europe and wanted to get the full experience after watching countless Tomorrowland and Global Journey after movies. Global Journey guarantees you access into Tomorrowland with the bonus of making some friends along the way! It’s been almost a month since my Tomorrowland journey ended, and this is the final entry of my Tomorrowland blog series. If you are curious how the festival was, read all about my thoughts here. To learn about what it was like to camp in DreamVille, click here. Today I want to focus on outlining as much as I can about the process, cost, and my experience of traveling to Tomorrowland via Global Journey, aka Discover Europe.
Pre-Registering for Global Journey
So before you can even begin planning for Tomorrowland, you want to make sure you pre-register as Global Journey tickets go on sale before the actual festival tickets do. I believe I registered here for updates. You will then receive an email as to when Global Journey and general ticket sales for Tomorrowland are happening. Registration typically begins in January, so make sure you’ve got money saved and an alarm set once the day comes!
Choosing Your Package
Before you actually book any sort of package, I highly recommend reading about all of the different options here. If you are coming from the US or anywhere besides Europe, I think it’s worth it to book the Discover Europe trip as the Tomorrowland team makes it so easy. All you have to do is select the countries you are interested in and which price tier you want to go with, and the rest is taken care of (for a pretty penny of course)! For Discover Europe, package options include 3, 4, or 5 European cities and the weekend of Tomorrowland. We opted for the 3 cities package which included Amsterdam, Paris, and Belgium and the price for this with our Cabana camping was around $7,000 (not including our flight there and back). I’m not sure if Tomorrowland changes the city options every year, but I recall seeing Budapest, Ibiza, and Barcelona on the lists as well. We actually didn’t know what cities were offered until about a week or so before registration.
The second factor in price is what kind of hotel you choose to stay in. Hotel packages come in hostels, bronze, silver or gold hotels. We are kind of princesses and decided to go for silver! This is also where you have the option to choose between camping in DreamVille or staying in a Tomorrowland themed hotel. As mentioned previously, we opted for cabana camping.
On the day of registration, make sure you’ve called your credit card company as you will be paying a large sum of money at this time. It also helps if you know what kind of camping accommodations you would like as these go really fast! We logged on immediately to pick our packages and luckily we got our first choice, but we did meet some people who had to go with their second or third due to everything booking so quick! Side note, Global Journey allows you to add activities on to your trip. There is a “surprise activity” at every city that is included, but there are other items such as pub crawls, tours, or biking that you will have to pay out of pocket if you are interested. Most were reasonably priced at around $35/person and it was a great way to meet some people!
Traveling to Europe
Global Journey will cover your transportation from country to country as well as in and out of the festival. However, you will need to book your flight to the first country of your choice and have a way to arrive at the hotel. We ended up visiting some family in Munich first, so we flew Austrian in (I loved this airline)!
Arriving in Amsterdam
After spending four days in Munich, we took a short flight to Amsterdam and arrived at around 2 PM. We went ahead and purchased a 3-day public transportation pass that included access to the metro, train, and tram. I highly recommend this as it was only around $30 per person – much cheaper than Ubering! We stayed at the Double Tree and it was so nice! We were very central and had a nice view of the water. Once we checked in to our room, we noticed a Global Journey staff member (they are called hosts) on the side who greeted us and gave us some fun swag and more information about our activities (the Dutch were my favorite hosts)!
Once we settled in, it was time for us to grab a bite to eat and head out for our welcome drink. The get together was in a cute little restaurant where we were served appetizers and given 3 drink vouchers for either beer, wine or water (I kept forgetting that the Europeans don’t really give out free water)! This was a fun meet and greet where we got to know the group (I believe there were around 100 or so of us in Amsterdam at this time) and we stayed for the raffle. I actually ended up winning some nice sunglasses and we also won a Tomorrowland flag!
The next day we went around exploring and wandered until our first surprise activity in the afternoon. I’m so glad we didn’t end up booking a canal tour because this happened to be the activity! The boats showcased Tomorrowland décor and included a couple of free drinks. This was my favorite activity as we had a great tour guide and the weather was perfect!
Right after this activity, there was a tour of the Red Lights District, but we ended up forgoing this and checking it our ourselves (which was such an experience)! I kind of wish we went, because the others in our group raved about how informative and fun it was. We ended up doing the pub crawl instead but looking back, I wish I had swapped the two!
After some much needed rest, our final day consisted of a bike tour through the country side. I hadn’t ridden a bike in a while, so I was a little nervous to navigate through the city as advanced bikers are everywhere and it’s mayhem walking near a bike land! There were about 20 of us in a group so our instructor was able to keep a close eye on us. After biking 15 minutes through the city, we took a quick ferry ride over to a quieter part of the city and began our journey through the peaceful country side. I actually didn’t get any photos because we biked for 2 hours straight! The other group, for some reason, had a 3-hour tour with a few breaks to stop and walk around. Either way, I am so happy we chose this activity as it was amazing to see the charming villages, green grass, and wild farm animals everywhere.
After just 3 nights in Amsterdam, it was time to say goodbye to our favorite city and to make our way to Paris. The staff was so great at keeping us up to date in the lobby and let us know to be at the train station with our ticket by 11 AM. Paris was just a 3-hour train ride away and it was nice to sit back and look out at the view as we traveled on to our next spot.
So this day was a little wild since we ended up arriving to Paris on the final day of the World Cup. We arrived at the train station easily but weren’t told that there was a bus taking us to our next hotel. My husband and I almost purchased a bus pass, but fortunately saw the group in the distance. There were about 60 or so of us on this charter bus and we the silver package group was dropped off first at Le Pigale.
Although our hotel was charming and very boutique-like, I actually didn’t love that we were placed in a not so great area of Paris. For the amount we paid, I was hoping we would be by a nicer area of the city, but we were actually in the worst spot of the three. At least we were close to the subway!
Since the World Cup was going on, we actually didn’t end up going to the welcome drink. It was nearly 5:30 when we arrived, and Paris was so crowded (some metros were shut down), so we stayed in and watched the game downstairs at the restaurant of our hotel. I feel so fortunate we were in Paris to witness this once in a lifetime opportunity of France winning the World Cup! The streets were packed and everyone went wild celebrating!
The next day we spent touring the Luxembourg gardens, visiting Notre Dame, eating gelato, and a ton of other must-see spots. This same day, there was a surprise activity around 2:45 in the Tuileries Garden. Since Paris is so massive, we had planned our day around the activity and didn’t notice anything unusual on the bulletin in our hotel lobby (the Tomorrowland hosts update this frequently), so we assumed everything was still on. We arrived promptly on time for the event, but noticed that no one was there. After spending about 30 minutes walking and searching, we gave up and got gelato. It wasn’t until later that we noticed an email was sent out just a few hours before saying that the meeting spot was changed due to the French team parading around the are for the World Cup win. I understand that this was an unforeseen circumstance, I just wished our host was a little more prepared in general. Not sure if the communication was off in Paris, but there was a lot of confusion for us on the meeting spots and pick-up times in general.
Our final day was jam packed. We had a four-hour electric bike tour that took us through a ton of Parisian landmarks. This was probably my favorite event of the trip because our guide was amazing and provided so much historical background.
Later this same day, we had only a few hours to eat and go back out for our City of Lights Tour. This was a walking night tour in which we saw a few blocks of Paris leading up to the sparkling Eiffel Tower. It was nice to see everything lit up and to hear more history of the city.
The next day we woke up and had to get ready for our 5-hour bus tour. I will say, I wasn’t sure why we took such a long bus ride when we could have taken an hour and a half train, but it is what it is! I thought we were going to have a themed bus too, but it was pretty basic. Some of our friends from Amsterdam that went to Ibiza ended up getting a Tomorrowland themed plane ride complete with glow sticks, drinks, Belgian waffles, and a DJ! Not sure how we got the short end of the stick, haha!
After a long bus ride and one stop with a really sad lunch, we finally made it to Belgium! It was nearly 5 at this time, so we only had enough time to eat dinner and walk around a bit. I honestly loved this city and wish we had spent a little more time here. Belgium is so clean, has beautiful architecture, and is a smaller than somewhere like Paris or even Amsterdam so it’s easy to see more in a short amount of time. We stayed at the NH and it was really nice! If you participate in Global Journey, Belgium is where everyone ends up regardless of the other cities you choose as Tomorrowland is in Boom (45-minute bus ride away).
In the morning we had a complimentary breakfast which was super tasty and kind of lavish! We also were able to purchase some Belgian chocolates before leaving 😊. At around 10, our bus came to pick up our luggage for Tomorrowland. If you weren’t camping in DreamVille, you stayed in this hotel for the remainder of the trip. We all boarded for our day trip to Antwerp.
Antwerp was adorable and I am so happy we got to check this city out! Tomorrowland set up some scavenger hunts such as collecting your country’s flag, tasting waffles, trying some Belgian beer, and snapping some photos. I liked that they gave us a little passport so that we could receive a stamp at each stop. This whole day was a lot of fun because you get to reunite with all of your friends from past cities and this is where the pre-party is.
The pre-party event had a single but impressive stage with some local DJs. Everyone received 2 complimentary drink tickets where you could get beer or water. The DJs played mostly main stream music and it was a fun bonding experience with the other attendees. We were pretty exhausted from the trip and didn’t love the music, so after a few hours we actually ended up stepping out to see the city a little bit more. You are able to leave, but you can’t come back. We were fine with this as you just had to meet at the buses at 5 PM for DreamVille.
After relaxing a bit, we met up at the bus lot and waited for about 30 minutes until we left for DreamVille. I’ve detailed the rest of my journey here, but I hope you found this somewhat insightful and interesting! Thanks for reading through my long diary entry! All in all, I had a positive experience with Global Journey and would recommend it if you have the money and are looking more for a once in a lifetime experience. The cons would be the price, the fact that Tomorrowland cheaped out on some of the hotels and transportation, and that you don’t get to choose your mode of transporation. The pros would be that it’s a very convenient and easy experience, you meet a lot of cool people, and everything is planned out for you. Have any of you participated in Global Journey? If so, drop a comment! Very curious what your experiences were like.