OMG! Where did my 35,000 php go?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Is traveling on a shoestring possible in South Korea? Yes. At first, I thought it's not. Sure, traveling can be expensive, if one chooses it to be, but if you've done your research well, then you'll be ok. Here are 8 tips that can help you get the most out of your travel:
locks of love at N Seoul Tower
1. Seat Sales
I usually book an out of country flight ticket a year before the actual travel date. Low cost carriers such as Cebu Pacific and Air Asia are my favorites when it comes to seat sales. 

2. Cheap Accommodation
I mainly use Tripadvisor for reviews before deciding to book a specific hostel/guest house. I use Agoda for online booking because I like the pay later option. Some guesthouse/hostels also offer free cancellation. 

Where to Stay in Seoul

G2 Hotel
24, Supyo-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 04555, South Korea
Check Rates and Availability

Lotte City Hotel Guro
300, Digital-ro, Guro-gu, Seoul 08379, South Korea
Check Rates and Availability

Makers Hotel
33, Donhwamun-ro 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03139, South Korea
Check Rates and Availability

3. Use public transportation
South Korea has an efficient and reliable public transportation system, especially within metropolitan areas. You can easily find your way around the subway stations. Buses and Taxis can be worthwhile alternatives.

4. Check out the official tourism website
Everything you need to know about South Korea is in here! The website provides sample itinerary based on the number of days you will be staying in South Korea. You can also find latest promotions and coupons that can help you minimize travel costs. If you are a Koreanovela fan, they have a page dedicated to korean drama locations. Amazing right? :)

5. Read Online forums
Pinoyexchange and Female Network are my primary sources of travel information. You'll find useful travel tips from expert Filipino forumers. How cheap is cheap? You will find the answers here. I don't recommend foreign forums because sometimes their concept of cheap is different from us. Another thing, If you are going to ask a question in the forum, make sure to do your research first. Most of the time, your questions have been raised and answered already. Do some back reading.

6. Download Online Coupons
Thanks to Korea Grand Sale, we got a discount for AREX. We only paid 6,900 KRW for Incheon International Airport- Seoul Station non-stop express train. Adult tickets normally costs 14,500 KRW. 

7. DIY Tour vs Package Tour

If you're touring around Seoul and nearby province, go for DIY. Majority of tourist attractions are accessible by their subway system. If you are including Jeju Island, then it would be best to hire a cab that is usually good for 8 hours. The only tour package that I think is acceptable is the Ski tour package and DMZ tour. We availed the S9 Ski Tour + Nami Island which costs 129,000 KRW per pax. And the verdict? It's sulit! :)

8. Ask a local
I remember on our first day in Seoul, my T money did not work and I have no idea where to go. An ahjusshi went and helped me. Despite the language barrier, they have this way to communicate with foreign visitors like us. They are very helpful and accommodating.
you can download or view the excel file right here
I was able to calculate how much I spent exactly for my recent South Korea trip. I am surprised I only spent this much considering the fact that we included Jeju Island in our itinerary and we went Skiing in Gangwondo. My RT Incheon-Manila tickets are not included though because I did not pay for it. My friend Jett gave it as a birthday present. Lucky me! If I will include the tickets, then the total would have been around 39,000 php. But still, not bad for a 7 days trip right? :)

Update (December 12, 2015)
I just came back from South Korea and I created another excel file to track my expenses. You may check it out right here. Happy travels!

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  1. Hi! can you please share the excel file of your trip costs?

  2. Thanks, this will help me budget my South Korea trip!

  3. Hi Seren140! Here's the excel file link:!107&app=Excel&wdo=2

  4. Hello Mithun! Thanks for dropping by! :)

  5. thank you very much!

  6. Lately I've been into Korean dramas and songs. Now I'm really torn whether I'll put SK as my #2 destination and move Japan to the 3rd spot. Haha.

  7. For me, South Korea is too perfect sometimes it gets boring. Haha. Japan is soo much better in my opinion because there are so many things to see and experience. And Japan is a cheaper shopping destination compared to SoKor. :)

  8. Okay then. I will make sure to visit these two countries before I turn 30 then =) Mahirap mag-ipon nang pang-travel! Ang mahal! LOL