Things to consider before travelling to South Korea

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N Seoul Tower


  • Pack for the season

The outfit that you need to wear depends on the duration of your travel period. You don’t have to go fancy trying to bring your whole closet unless you are staying there for a long time or will have to attend a fashion show. Pack light as much as possible. Wear garments appropriately, Winter is for heavyweight clothing, this is to keep your core body temperature warm at all times most especially for the times that the temperature falls down from 0 to ( – ) degrees, Lightweight clothing is great for the Summer Season, a delicate and breathable feeling even if it’s freaking hot during summer. In addition, it’s best to pack for lightweight clothing that will work for every kind of adventure/ outdoor activities.

Tip: Leave an extra room on your suitcase for souvenirs/stuff you wanted to take home.

  • Language

The national language of the country is Korean, you might encounter Koreans who treat you like an alien because some of them literally don’t have any idea what you are talking to, barely speak nor understand the universal language. But there are still locals who can speak fluently and understand the language most especially the Millenials. If you happen to know mandarin, there are locals who know the language especially the elders, road signs with Chinese characters that you may find helpful to you. Before King Sejong introduced the Hangeul to the Koreans, this is widely used and still adapted up to now. But if you don’t find this helpful because you don’t know the language, you might need to bring out your sign language ability to the next level to be able to communicate with them. This is an effective way of letting the person you are talking to what you wanted to say in a form of body gestures. ( Applicable for Backpackers )

For travelers who book their tour with a tour agency, No worries with the language barrier! Because there are multi-lingual guides who can speak both Korean and other languages or a native speaker of a specific language that is more convenient and comfortable on your part as a way of communicating.

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Note: You just need to pay for an additional fee for that.


  • Money

Korean Wonphoto courtesy from Korea Tourism Organization 

Won is the currency of the country, expected that you will be using Korean won in exchange of the goods, T-cards or souvenirs that you want to bring home, though there are shops/restaurant who accepts USD/Cards but better be prepared for your trip. It would be best to have a cash-on-hand (Korean Won). You can exchange your money at the airport and if planning to back-up your cash-on-hand with cards:

CARD

Debit Card: notify your bank ahead of time where your card is affiliated with to convert your money to Korean won.

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Credit Card: Before taking card overseas, Be sure to check for the validity of your card, the credit limit of the card to avoid any problem while you are using it on your trip if it covers any travel insurance and keeps this in mind because you might get shocked when your statement of account arrive over the charges you have accumulated, Check if your card charges a foreign transaction fee.

Some cards offer protection if your travel plans go awry, but that protection comes with limits that are important to understand. If you’re really lucky, your card may even come with a ton of perks that will make your travel plans a breeze.

Note: Currency exchange rates are in constant fluctuation all the time, it is determined in the flow of currency in and out of a country. Might as well know the value of your currency into Korean won or any other country that you plan to spend your trip to be able to budget wisely and accordingly.

  •  Places to visit

Before you start exploring a country on what has to offer you during the duration of your stay, you have to know the season of the country during the whole trip because it generally determines what Attractions or Activities you can engage yourself with. De novo, it depends on the season because there are attractions or activities that are available only for a specific period of time ( Seasonal activities ) though there are activities or attractions that are open or available all year round, it’s an important factor that you plan according to what kind of adventure or activities you would want to experience, you can search over the tourism sites of the country or if booking with a travel agency, it would be better to inform them on your purpose of why you are traveling because it will serve as there basis as to what kind of experience will be served to you. In general, the best time to travel in Korea still depends on your desire. Plan subsequently.

  • Electricity and Voltage

The standard voltage in Korea is 220 volts at 60 Hertz, and the outlet has two round holes. If you do not have a multi-voltage travel adapter, you may ask to borrow or purchase one from your hotel’s front desk. You can also find them at the airport, retail stores, major duty-free shops, and even convenience stores.

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  • Travel Essentials

According to SMART TRAVEL :

  • Toiletries, Medicine and Necessities

It can actually be challenging to find basic personal necessities in Seoul as they are not usually displayed out in the open. And unless you read Korean, distinguishing the exact product you’re looking for by looks alone can be even more difficult.

  • Underwear

While clothing shopping in Seoul is wonderful in general, underwear shopping is often not so great for visitors. Finding the right size and fit can be a pain indeed. So, it’s best to come prepared.

  • A Decent Camera

Unless you’re fine with just taking photos on your phone (providing your phone will still work in another country), bring a decent camera with you. There’s so much you’ll want to capture!

  • Basic Etiquette

Before you get on that plane on your way to South Korea, it’s important to know the DO’s and DON’T’s of the country or you are aware of the acceptable code of ethical behavior for you to be able to know on how you will deal or behave during the duration of your stay.

You find it helpful? If you want to add something I wasn’t able to include in this article, Share your thoughts in the comments below!

About the author

A filipina affiliated writer/self-proclaimed globetrotter who spend most of her time creating travel stories and dealing with her nomadic soul.
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