Question

What should I definitely include while packing for my trip to South Korea?

This is the first time I am travelling abroad. I want to know what I should essentially take in my trip to South Korea so that I don't feel any difficulty during my stay there.

Location

Country: South Korea

Answers

Hi, a smal english-korean, talk korean language book, its really very useful to make contact with the local people.
its a great country, i love it ! Ali
Basic amenities are a must, although they provide those at most hotels. The rest is completely up to you. However, I suggest that you pack both long and short sleeves because the South Korean weather is rather erratic. A tour map in your native language and a basic Korean phrase book would be really helpful as well. Make sure you have traveler's check or credit card in cases of emergency. If you have any more questions, message me and I'll be happy to help you.
It really depends on where you are going in Korea. Just let me know alittle more about where you are going and I can help. Thanks
Depending on when you travel...
If it's summer, bring an umbrella and your hot-weather clothes - Korea is in the path of the monsoon, so it can rain very heavily...
If it's winter, bring your warmest clothing - Korea can reach -15 in winter.
If it's spring or autumn, bring both hot and cold weather clothes, because the weather changes daily.

As to other things - if you can't speak the language, a translator would be best, but at the least, bring a phrasebook.

Also, if you're clean shaven, bring shaving foam/cream because korean men are relatively hairless and it can be difficult to find shaving products (apart from simple razors).
As to other things - you should be able to find most things you need once you arrive.
If you need help with anything language-related, give me a shout - I speak fluent Korean and would be happy to help~
Your favorite toothpaste, deodorant (for the summer) and a beach towel... they don't sell big towels here for some reason (or they're really expensive)... Don't bring a computer, there are cheap internet cafes everywhere and be sure to pop into a convenient sauna... like an urban oasis for a shower and a refresher.... and bring a digital camera to share and remember your adventure... finally... get a cellphone when you enter the country...cellphones and cellphone service is relatively cheap here...make friends and they'll translate... tourist offices are also numerous with helpful folks...you'll find any and all korean language books here in korea... and learn han geul (korean characters!!!)...
More information might make it easier to answer- (ie how long you are staying, if you know anyone in Korea, when you are travelling, where you plan to stay)

but I agree with people who have responded above that a phrase book might come in very handy. If you are travelling without a guide, a guidebook can also be useful. There are a few good ones that I've seen out there, and they are really good for telling you where to sleep and eat for a decent price.

Bring a variety of clothes- always good to dress in layers- as somebody else said, a big towel is really hard to find, so bring that if you want one (although in most westernized hotels they do have them nowdays)- and don't forget your passport!
I wonder if you have been to Asia before.. Some of my buyers told me that.. they thought that korea is not like their country as USA :), so they thought that there was no bus or car.. might be.. there's transportation with cows.. etc.. :) I would like to inform that most of things are the prepared well here in Korea also and you can buy most of the same brand products in Korea (but a expensive price.. ) also. I wonder whey you stay... If you donot stay in the big city as seoul or busan.. I think it is a better idea to buy some korean teaching books with your own language.. You can easily find that they can't speak at all in english.. but they have great heart to help you... (but it is diffciult to find something that you need even they are hurry to help you.. :) Except that.. Ah.. I would like to tell you that.. the shoes.. is different than yours.. even it is from the same brand as Nike or Adidas... they make shoes to fit Asian here.. and Asian has a different body structure(foot structure..)... So it is a better to bring some shoes.. from your country...
Hi traveller, in addition to what i wrote to you yesterday, please be aware that in Korea they have a differend mobile phone system, yours will not work there! the best you can do is to rent one at the arport,there are many renting companies, i always got a good deal at LG, its pretty cheap and they give you a special acces code for international calling, but they need a print of your creditcard in case you loose the phone or dont show up after the period is finished, the fine for not returning was last time 400.000 KW. good luck! Arie
I generally agree what others' suggest. It will be also helpful if you read or bring a small book about customs and lifestyle. I believe you can easily buy "Culture Shock - Korea" there. You can also pick up several free magazines for tourists and foreign residences (Mostly Seoul) which are readily available at hotels and western styled restaurants (TGI Friday, Outback and On the Border to name a few). If you need more information, please send me email. I will love to help you so that you can have enjoyable stay in Seoul.
Bring a credit card, maybe buy a "Lonely Planet - Korea" guide, extra underwear (sizes here are very different), and a few things more. Korea is a modern nation and has almost everything a traveller will need if you are travelling in cities. For more information please look at my Localyte profile -- I have made a good list of everything that you might need to bring. The link is under "lists" at the bottom of the page.

If you need anything more, feel free to contact me once you get here!

-Scott Husted
Hello there, to be totally honest with you, there's nothing you REALLY need to bring something from your home for visiting Korea except some special medication for yourself. You can get EVERYTHING you need in Korea, especially in Seoul. No worries. It's south Korea you are going to travel, not North. :-)
We use 250volts here for the output so you might wanno get prepared for that, and you might wanno bring some good toothpastes and sheets that aren't desinged to be fitted, and some long towels!
Depending on how long you are going to be here for? If you are trvelling during winter, bring warm clothing, as it gets really cold here. What to bring: one heavy jacket, gloves, beannie, scarf, and inner clothes. if you don't want to carry to much things around with you, you can always buy it here as most stuff is cheap. gets extremely cold here. If its during summer, light summer clothing, shorts etc, as it gets very warm/hot. And as most people have suggested, i.e. English/Korean dictionary etc.
It depends on what kind of trip you are planning.I assume that you wnat to travel alone backpacking bumping into locals making friends.If not You need to find one of the travel agencies in your town.Basically Korea is not like Japan. Even though I am Korean they might not be so friendly as Japaness because of the language barrier. More over It is useless to have a language booklet. Trust me. you can talk but can't understand what Korean says. I was in the same box when I was in Japan. Easy to speak in Japaness. In seconds, you will find yourself struggling so hard to understand Korean language. fortunetly Young Korean spesks English more or less Some are really good. others not.so It wouldn't be so difficult to make yourself understood in English. You come to Korea to enjoy not study,right? If you take medicine for personal reason bring it with you.vitamins for example. Cell phone? yes or maybe not. If you want to talk with your friends or you think you may want to stay in touch all the time while you are in Korea, business calls, emergency calls etc go to the cell phone service company. They will tell you about roaming service. Don't forget the battery charger. It may have a different pin type. I personally had hell of a hard time recharging my cell in Japan because they use different pin type. voltage in Korea, We use 220vlt. Weather here will be warm as of next month but a little bit chilly during the night time. You don't have to bring your big thick jacket anyway.
Food? not a problem. You will find lots of fast food restaurants and pizza places. If you are a student, make a international student ID. You might get some discount but not so many places.
Visa card.traveler's check. In Korea It's not that easy to use traveler's check at the local stores it's useless.I had a chance to be a tour guide for American naval destroyer's crew and captain. They couldn't buy a local souvenir only because they didn't have cash. They couldn't use their credit card. In big cities like Seoul Busan and Degu you can use it anytime almost anywhere but small cities? maybe not . Traveler's check? so far as I am concerned, no way. You need to run to the bank. To carry lots of cash, not a good idea I believe. You may want to pay a regular visit to the bank every time you think you are low on cash. but That's what I did while I was travelling. Just to be on the safe side. You must make up your mind which places you want to go first. If you want to visit as many places as possible and try to do many things You might want to have a international driver's license. Check out your local place isseuing it. Personally everytime I go aborad I take it with me.transportation,food and lodging are the main money eating monster and worst enemy when travelling. So be well prepared according to your plan. Good thing is that south Korea is similiar to the United states. Easy to buy things and less dangerous to hang out during the night time. We don't have guns It's banned.You can find a convenience store whinin a spitting distancefrom where you stand.Personal items should be with you of course. Just think you are going camping for a couple of days and pack just like the way you pack then. The only difference is people use a different language and you move around from one place to another. One more thing. If you want to see Korea and you are more like a outdoor person and nature-loving stay away from Seoul. personal opinion though. Talking about tourism We officially say Jeju island is the number one priority. The best. and east coast is awesome. Seoul? I say No.
Hope I am giving you enough answer If not send me a mail again.
Hi,
Well I arrived 6 months ago here's my reccommended list:
Warm coat (i didnt bring one and as im lanky nothing fits here...men are usually alright...girls arn't)
Bring deodorant man, that's a must they think they dont sweat for some reason and you cant find it. Stock up.
Big Towel and also bring a bedsheet!! Theyre well expensive here!!
Dont forget your teabags...that's the first thing you will crave if you are a tea drinker and you cant get tea over here only maybe if you are going to seoul. (if you are going to seoul its far more westernized, lots more thins for foreigners...the south not so much but still has foreigner shops.......but they sell mostly curry products and a few spices) Bring warm and cool clothes, forget bringing an umbrella you can get them everywhere well cheap and as it doesnt rain for long you usually forget you brought one when you come out of the shop so you end up forgetting it!! Doh! errr they have really good opticialns here so if you wear glasses or contacts dont bother stocking up, mine cost me about £25 including eye test last week! Brill man. Bring a computer if you have a laptop, you want your home comforts and it's always good if you need to speak to your family prvately or just to watch films on etc. there are PC cafes but loads of kids in them addicted to blowing things up. Also...you can fit loads more items into your laptop bag!! Dont worry about hat and scarves and gloves, plenty relly cheap and lovely ones here, i think i have a scarf fettish at the moment. The tooth paste isnt bad here as long as you pick the minty one. They have most things here but deodorant and your own coat is probably the most vital, and the towel and bedsheet. That's what i kicked myself for. They have lots of shower gels etc forget that stuff..........OH and not to sound crude at all........bring plenty of underpants......the Korean men are small and if when you walk past the underpant shops you will understand (i dont know from experience) but those shops are ridiculous!Hope this has helped. Have fun :-)
deoderant . several years ago it was kind of hard to buy it. These days you should drop by local cosmetic store around you . easy to have one.
Yeah but the stuff is crap. I have to use that Sure stuff and they dont sell it here, the stuff they have here leave white marks and lasts for 5 minutes..............it all depends if you are a sweaty betty.
travel light. and I'm pretty sure it is 220 not 250. anyway if you are really big, footwear can be a pain to find. a camera sounds best to me.
Hello^^ Well, it's almost spring time and during this season (including summer), there are major typhoons and rainfall. I would suggest getting a good umbrella or purchasing one when you get here. Also, a good pair of sunglasses and spring jacket. The thing is, I would suggest not bringing anything since you are able to go shopping for all the necessities once you arrive. It's really cheap here (especially with the current exchange rate) and packing light so you can buy more is a better idea. One thing you definitely have to realize though is that korean people are "small," so if you are a typical foreigner, they are not going to have clothes or shoes that will fit you. For example, the largest shoe size they have for men here is a 9 or 10...sometimes 11. The largest shoe size for women is a 7. Bring a good pair (if not two)of walking shoes, because here you'll be doing a lot of traveling by foot. Hope this helps you with your questions and feel free to contact me with any further inquiries.
IT really depends on when you will be coming.

If you are coming in the winter time, pack heavy. It can get rather chilly and windy walking around the tall buildings. A thick sweater, a heavy coat, a hat, and a scarf. (I also have some long-johns that I wear on long day trips.)

If you are coming in the Summer pack very light and be prepared to sweat. Due to its location most people wouldnt think that S. Korea is very hot or humid. I am from Oklahoma in the U.S. and I was very shocked as to how humid it gets here. The sun is not very strong but moisture wicking clothes would be ideal for walking around for the day.

If you are going to be climbing mountains which I suggest you do, that opens up a whole new realm as well. Just let me know what you will be doing and what time of year.

I hope this is of some service to you.
It's warm now. U don't have to bring a coat or a thick jumper. Just bring a jacket or a hoodi. And I think u need a dictionary and a map.
Hello, Where in Korea will you be traveling? I have lived here for quite some time. The language barrier can be very difficult. First don't believe the taxi drivers when they say yes they know, most of the time they don't. Don't get me wrong the people are very nice but yes means no.you can email me with any Q's you have I will be willing to help.
Nothing special, because everything is for sale in Korea. The one thing you should keep in mind, not all the cell phones can be used in Korea. So check before you leave. Otherwise you can hire a phone at the airport! Enjoy.
You should try and learn the Korean alphabet: Hangul. If you can read signs you'll be far better off, and it's incredibly easy to learn. Having some kind of guidebook with usefull phrases and clear maps is pretty much a given, but other than that things are incredibly accessible in Korea. As far as attire is concerned it all depends on the season you'll be visiting in. Seasons here are very cut and dry. Winter is very cold, Spring is sunny and warm, Summer is humid and hot, and Fall is warm. Do take into account, though, that the monsoon season is in the summer. So though it may be hot out, you can expect showers from time to time. If you're coming for a visit, you may want to bring some comfortable but presentable clothing. Since Korea is not a huge tourist pull, and we rarely see backpackers waddling around, Koreans may be startled if you look homeless. In some cases cabs won't even stop for you. Just use good sense. You may want to pack some antibiotics just in case, as the drugs here are rather weak. Now, if you're coming to stay or work, that makes for a slightly different story. So, if you have any more specific questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Hello,
depending on when you are planning to come; for e.g. now (March) it's cold and even rains so I would advice warm clothes, a rain coat and a scarf.
On a more private note, I would say condoms because the ones found here are expensive, small size and not good brands .....

If you crave your country food (where are you from?) know that good cheeses, dry sausages and exotic food are expensive or not available in Korea.

Have a nice trip
Don't know if you're a man or woman, but bring a lot of deodorant!!! You can find it here, but it's really expensive. A phrase book is ok, but you can learn basic Korean by going to click on TV shows, go to the bottom.. click on Pilsners language, go down to Korean and start there. I've found my phrasebook to be a little out-dated and there's also different dialects of the Korean language... so what's normal in Seoul is not the same as Busan. The toothpaste seems to be lacking in quality here too. Also if you like beer, bring as many micro-brews from home as you can and savor every one! The Korean beer is crap! Butterfingers are also almost impossible to find!
I am 5'10", slender, and equipped with size 11 shoes, and have not had much trouble finding clothes here, but a good many of my foreign friends have complained to me over the past decade about their difficulty finding clothing large enough to fit well. If you are larger than average, consider bringing an extra pair of shoes and ample clothing for your entire stay.
Visa card. It's just the same like your country.depends on where and when you want to visit in Korea.
A good sense of your surroundings and a knowledge of what a bustling city is.

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