Published on : 08 July 20206 min reading time
Your trip to South Korea is scheduled, you have bought your flight ticket, and you are ready to go? Here is the “To Do List” to follow before you leave!
Wi-Fi & telephone subscription
Are you afraid of being without internet access during your trip? Don’t panic, there are different solutions:
- Use free Wi-Fi hotspots in cities. You can access the Internet free of charge in many public places, such as shopping malls, restaurants, subways and terminals, among others.
- Take a Korean prepaid SIM card with data (example: for about 20,000 won (15 euros) you can have between 2/5 Gb of data and access to free Wi-Fi for one month). Check the compatibility of your smartphone before leaving; the Korean 4G is not necessarily accessible for Western phones.
- Rent a 4G Wi-Fi router, you can rent a small router that you can carry with you and thus have access to Wi-Fi wherever you want, visit https://www.my-webspot.com for more about portable Wi-Fi. (Examples: WifiKorea, KT Olleh (the largest operator in Korea), SK Telecom, LG U+ offer small, easy-to-use pocket Egg routers).
Kakaotalk / Whatsapp
To communicate in Korea, you can use two applications Kakaotalk or Whatsapp.
Kakaotalk is a very intuitive Korean application even for foreigners. This application is free and allows you to send messages, photos, videos, voice messages…etc. The application is very original with its variety of emojis and stickers typically Korean. For me, it is a must if you want to discuss easily and share with Koreans.
Whatsapp is much better known internationally, especially in Europe and the US. The application allows you to chat for free with your family, create groups, and make phone calls thanks to the internet.
Mobile application to install
Don’t go to Korea without downloading the following applications that will become your must-have during your trip.
For public transport:
- For the metro, use the Kakao Metro or Seoul Subway applications.
- For buses you can choose between KakaoBus or Korea Subway Bus applications
To find your way around use Google Map or KakaoMap
To make Tourism you will have the choice between several applications:
- I Seoul Tower
The plane ticket
The most important part of your trip is the flight ticket! Feel free to read our article on this subject again, we give you some tips on how to buy your flight ticket at the best price.
Choose a travel guide that looks like you and will be your companion when you discover it.
The T-money & CAshbee card
Before you leave, the T-money and Cashbee cards are used as transport cards (bus, metro) in the main cities of Korea. These rechargeable cards allow you to use any transport (because you do not need to buy the ticket every time) and to benefit from a discount when transferring lines. You can buy these cards in mini-markets or simply in the metro.
Changing money into won
You can choose to change your Euros to Wons (￦) directly at a currency exchange office in France (in your city or at the airport in Paris) or when you arrive in Korea. The advantage of changing euros into won in France is that you can anticipate, compare the exchange rates of the different offices, ask your bank directly (some banks can buy currencies for you) and have cash when you arrive in Korea (take into account the fatigue due to time difference). Whether you choose to change your euros in France or Korea, be careful with the exchange rates!
Knowing public holidays so as not to be surprised
Travel means organization, visits and travel, but…your projects can be frustrated if you haven’t thought about taking public holidays into account. Because sometimes offices and shops can be closed, roads can be blocked for a festival… Only one advice: ANTICIPATE. Here are some examples of public holidays:
- Lunar New Year -Seollal (January or February according to the lunar calendar)
- Buddha’s Birthday (May 14)
- Chuseok (September, changes according to the lunar calendar)
Starting the right season
In our article entitled “When to go to South Korea” you were told that autumn and spring were the best times for a trip to South Korea. Feel free to read this article in detail!
Finding the right accommodation
The ideal accommodation will depend mainly on how long you stay in Korea, your budget, the style of experience you want to have and the city you go to.
We are preparing an article on this subject for you, stay tuned!
Notify your bank before your trip
It is important to inform your bank of your dates and the destination of your trip, a few days before departure.
This will save you from having to fly 11 hours from France with a blocked credit card. Because yes, if you use your credit card in Korea your bank may consider that these transactions are unusual and that someone with bad intentions is using your card.
Buy travel insurance
Travel insurance will allow you to leave with peace of mind and it will also include some assistance benefits, depending on the insurance, in case:
- cancellation of a flight,
- unexpected health expenses,
- loss or theft of luggage,
- death or disability,
- of damage caused to others,
- bankruptcy of the airline or in the event of a strike by the airline’s staff,
- Or in the event of a disaster that occurred at your home during your trip (flood).
Take out travel insurance adapted to your needs. Feel free to check out the different offers available and be curious.
Register on the Ariadne’s thread site
Register on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: Ariadne’s thread. This is important so that France knows that you are in Korea, in the event of a natural disaster or crisis that requires the protection of French nationals.
If you are on the Ariadne’s Edge list, the local embassy can provide you with information on weather conditions in the event of a hurricane or earthquake and will indicate assembly points if necessary. However, if you stay in a foreign country for more than 6 months, you will have to register in the register of French nationals abroad.
Good news before finishing this article: no need to bring an adapter! We finished the TO DO LIST; I think you’re ready to go to South Korea! And if not, you should read our article: 20 reasons to travel to South Korea, you are given all the right reasons to make this fabulous trip.