Can you believe I have not stepped onto the land of Kimchi yet?
Planning a First Trip to Korea?
Yes, I’m currently planning my very first trip to Korea! It was an impromptu decision for this trip as I wanted to go somewhere during my birthday week cause got birthday leave and PH. 😛
Korea appeals to me with its K-POP culture, K-Beauty and the street food! But one big hurdle that prevents me to plan a trip there till now was the language barrier. I mean, those phrases I learnt from watching K-dramas and variety shows like running man do not count.
So as someone who is thinking to visit Korea for the very first time, I put together some tips that I personally find useful!
Tips to your First Trip to Korea
Book your flight and accommodation together.
After travelling pretty regularly for a few years. (Eg. Twice a year) I find that you really do get to save quite a bit of money if you booked through sites like Expedia. To think about it, they are basically travel agencies in Digital form. Plus you get to compare all the flight prices available at one glance. And I like how I can search through the hotels in a particular area that I want.
I don’t really know Korea well but I know that Myeongdong is the place to stay for all sorts of convenience.
- Buy Travel insurance (Especially so since I’m flying MAS)
People often neglect this but I feel that this is really important especially so when you’re flying to a Foreign land with language barriers that is more than a 4 hours flight away. Plus travel insurance is not that expensive I feel. It’s super easy to just buy online nowadays but I find that buying from an agent is better cause if touch wood anything happen, you have someone to consult and help you with all the processes.
- Book your WiFi in advance
Once you have confirmed your travel dates and booked your flight and accommodation. It’s very important to book your WiFi in advance and locally. In advance, so you don’t have to panic and I find it a good habit to just book it right after your flight tickets are booked. Locally, so you will have WiFi the moment you landed in your holiday destination!
Also, you save a lot of time to look for local sim card or WiFi rental upon reaching. You can just march straight to your accommodation from the airport without fussing over all these.
Personally I’ve tried several local WiFi providers and I love the service by Roaming Man SG. Firstly, they courier the device to you 2-4 days before your travelling date. I prefer this as I can pack in the device with everything else and not having to queue at the airport to collect the device. Returning the device is as simple as calling the hotline to arrange the return when you are back from the trip at your own convenience.
What’s best? Roaming Man SG is currently having a $3/Day promotion on the rental of WiFi device to North East Asia which includes Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan and of course, Korea! $3 a day is definitely one of the lowest WiFi rental I’ve seen around! Book your WiFi here now before the end of April! There’s no restriction on the travel dates as long as you booked within the promo period!
Also, apply promo code “RMY05” to enjoy a further $5 off your total bill!
Check the weather (You don’t want to over-pack, save room for your shopping!
Depending on the period you’re going, you might need to pack that extra jacket and heat packs. But if the weather is turning from cold to cool like air-con kind of weather, you won’t want to bring that thick jacket that takes up half your luggage space. After-all, Seoul is sort of a shopping paradise no?
Research hanbok rental ( Save time by doing your research beforehand so you don’t need to go shopping around for a rental place)
To me, it’s a must to try on the traditional costume of the country I’m visiting if possible. Especially when I know that I won’t visiting the country anytime soon after this trip. Rather then searching for a Hanbok rental that can take you in, best to research and make your booking in advance so you can save time and spend it picking that perfect Hanbok and photo-taking instead.
Plan your shopping (Prep shopping list!)
With the array of Korea Beauty Brands, you don’t want to particularly spend too much time at just 1 store. Do up a shopping list of the products you want to get from each brand. It saves you a lot of time if you go into a stores with a list than blindly looking and swatching etc. Well, that’s fine if you have catered all your time on shopping.
Bring extra cash just in case ( I read from a friend that some shops gives discount if you pay by cash)
Always bring extra cash with you. Even if it’s Singapore dollars, you can easily change in Seoul itself. The last I heard, is that the rates there, especially in Myeongdong is more attractive then the rates in Singapore.
That’s all on the tips I’ve for planning a first trip to Korea! I’m excited for my trip and hope it will be a good first trip!
Read my travel adventures here!