I love to travel. If I just have unlimited money, I will travel around the world…but I do not have it yet. So what I do is I always save money since I started working, allot 1-2 trips ( or sometimes, 3 ) per year to explore different countries, most of the time, with my family. And by the way, I always create our own itineraries to save a LOT of money, and be flexible at the same time! Cool right? So here I am sharing with you one of our great trips- Seoul, South Korea!
This post is mainly for first-timers and budget travelers. It’s mainly focused on visiting the famous Seoul tourist spots in the cheapest way possible without sacrificing the experience itself.
Here are the preparations you need to do for your Seoul, Korea Budget Travel!
1. Buy your tickets early
- I was able to buy our Seoul ticket for only ~5000 pesos roundtrip per person, last Oct2013, for Feb2014 travel. Most of the time, I always buy promo tickets from Cebu Pacific. This requires patience, and instant money or credit card. Promo fares are usually posted without prior notice, so better watch out! It usually starts 11 pm onwards, and by the time you wake up in the morning, most of the weekend tickets and prime destinations ( like Korea, and Japan) are long, long, gone. You can also add the Pisofare Facebook group and follow The Madaldal Kid Facebook group to stay updated on latest Airline promos.
2. Start Saving money for your pocket money
- If you are not a richkid , then you need to save money regularly for your travel. Just to give you an idea, the average cost of DIY trips I had in the past are in the range of 12k-20k per person, All -in (ticket + lodging+transpo+food). For our Seoul Budget Trip, our total expenses is around 17,000 pesos per person. Not bad right? Shopping expenses is a different topic, especially in Seoul where your hearts will jump out of excitement because of cheap and super good beauty products!
3. Create your Itinerary
- Of course, you can copy the itinerary of other bloggers out there, but your trip will be more fun if you try to customize it based from your interests. If you are more into Culture, then try to put more palace visits in your itinerary. If you plan on allotting more time for shopping, then make time to visit Myeongdong and Namdaemun. Our itinerary is a combination of food,culture, and shopping. You can access it here ( The Madaldal Kid’s Korea itinerary).
4. Apply for South Korean Tourist Visa
- You can refer to my post here for the full details of Korean Visa itinerary. It is Free. You can get your visa in as short as 3 days for as long as 1 week. The validity of visa will depend upon what they will give you. During our first visit in Busan last Nov 2012, we were given a single entry visa valid for 1 month. For our Seoul Travel in Feb 2014, we were given multiple entry visa valid for 1 year!
5. Prepare for the right clothes!
- Check the weather in Seoul before your arrival. I usually use Accuweather since their forecasts have been reliable during our Seoul and HK trips! If its winter, make sure to bring bubble jackets, thick coats, thermals, hoodies/sweaters, and accessories (muffler, scarf, gloves, and heat pads). Winter in Seoul is very cold.
6. Make a shopping list
- If you plan to shop in Seoul, then prepare your list! Check the internet for the best places where you can find the cheapest prices for the products you want to buy. Just a few tips, beauty products ( BB creams, primers, makeup) are sold anywhere but the cheapest prices I’ve seen is in Faceshop Namdaemun branch (probably because they are on sale?).Korean bags are cheap in Gangnam subway station. Eyeglasses are also cheap in the optical shops in Namdaemun (around 15,000 korean won for the cheapest plastic glasses).
If you are too busy and still want to have a Budget Travel Experience, you can ask me to create a customized budget travel itinerary for you or even hire The Madaldal Kid as your budget travel tour guide! >>click here.
For other posts, you can refer to my Budget Travel in Korea series.
- Korean Visa Requirements and How to Apply?
- Part 1 – Seoul Korea Budget Travel – DIY Guide
- Part 2 – Seoul Korea Budget Travel – Itinerary and Budget
- Part 3 – Seoul, Korea Budget Travel – Day 1 – Changdeokgung Palace, Samcheong-dong, Bukchon Hanok Village, Namsan Tower, Dongdaemun Market
- Part 4- Seoul, Korea Budget Travel – Day 2 – Nami Island, Namdaemun Market, Myeongdong Cat Café
- Part 5 – Seoul, Korea Budget Travel-Day 3 -Self Bar, Everland
- Part 6 – Seoul, Korea Budget Travel-Day 4 –Namdaemun Market and Incheon International Airport
- Part 7- Seoul, Korea Budget Travel – Cat Café in Myeongdong
- Part 8-Seoul, Korea Budget Travel – Myeongdong Gyoza Food Experience!
- Part 9- Seoul, Korea Budget Travel-Notes and Personal Learnings about South Korea
- Myeongdong Wonder Dogs Cafe
- Funtastic Tours Korea- Affordable tours and Nami Island + Petite France experience
- Hongdae Foodtrip -Must try Restaurants and Coffee Shops
- Gangchon Rail Bike experienceand Eel Grilling in Ungilsan