5 ‘Must-Have items’ For Your Next Trip to Korea!

5 ‘Must-Have items’ For Your Next Trip to Korea!
I know, I know, with the current COVID restrictions, travel isn’t a hot topic right now. But, in saying that, it’s never too early to plan for Korea 2022!
Trust me, from personal experience, having a heads up on what to bring can save you a lot of time, money and in many of my cases, embarrassment.  So, grab a pen and paper and get ready for the ‘Top 5 items you need for your next trip to Korea’. 

Let’s start with what I can only describe as the single most important item on the list. I cannot express how much this product helped me throughout my stay! Just trust me. 

A good Lip balm

Yep, that’s right, lip balm. It may be small, but this little gadget will save you a lot of hardship during the long, dry nights in Korea. Anyone coming from a humid climate will thank me for this one because I can't describe how chapped your lips get in this type of environment (think of Sahara desert on the hottest day with no water or shade in sight!). Surprisingly, lip balm was one of the only beauty products that was more expensive in South Korea than Australia (that or I have a horrible sense of bargain hunting). So, for the sake of your lips, please make sure you stock up on lip balm before you head over, because traveling with a split lip was definitely not a cute look!

 

T-Money Card

This bad boy is a MUST HAVE item to check off your list. While you can get around using ticketing booths and cash in hand, no method is as convent as scanning your T-Money card on and off public transport at each stop. Think of it as an all-inclusive pass to the busses, trains and even taxis in Korea. You can buy one of these at any convenient store (for around 2,500 - 4,000 won) and top it up in stores and through the ticketing machines. There are also numerous covers and stickers specifically designed to decorate your card, so you can get around and show off your love for Jimin at the same time! Just remember, Seoul is a fast-paced city that waits for no one, and without one of these, you can easily get left behind, literally. Again, take my word for it, I have experienced this firsthand way too many times!

 

Internet dongle

Of course, the classic case of ‘going off the grid’. Sadly, it sounds cooler than it actually is. Let's be real, you won’t want to run to a Starbucks every time you need to check your messages, maps, email, or watch your fav K-drama on the go. That’s where a dongle comes into play. A dongle is a small device that acts as a portable WIFI, allowing you to access the internet from anywhere. They can be as cheap as $2 per day and you can pick it up as soon as you land at the airport. Make sure you get one, they are a real lifesaver!

Slippers/Slides

I USED THESE EVERYDAY! As an Aussie, taking off your shoes before going indoors isn’t really a thing. But in Korea, it’s a completely different story. In many of the guest houses, guests are not allowed to wear their shoes past the main entrance, meaning you have to walk through the communal halls with your socks/bare feet. This is where slides come in handy. Not to mention the bathrooms usually combine the shower and toilet, so walking around without protection on your feet isn’t ideal. There are countless stores that sell cheap slides of all styles and colours, however, if you are above a size 8, best pack your own shoes!

 

Eco Friendly Rubbish Bags

Okay, I'm sure a lot of you are thinking "Why would I bring rubbish bags to Korea!?". Yes it's weird, but very necessary. For a country that is so beautiful and clean, Korea surprisingly has almost no public rubbish bins, or as the Americans would say, 'trash cans'. I remember walking around for what felt like hours freezing my hands off trying to find a place to leave my street food sticks and paper cups, having to use a McDonald's restroom bin in the end. There were also hardly any bins in the hostels and guesthouses (even in the bathrooms) as well as on public transport. So bringing a couple of eco friendly, disposable, sealable, portable bags will be very useful for you in those times of need, plus everyone carries their takeaway in plastic bags so you won't stand out!

There you have it! You are all ready for your next trip to Korea. Now all that's left is for the boarders to open up and for international travel to resume! FINGERS CROSSED DAEBAK FAM! 

— Lara Unternahrer

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