So, you’ve finally booked the Korea Adventure that’s been top of your bucketlist! Your flights are booked, the countdown is on – but what do you need to bring? On our exciting tours you’re always on the go, so it’s important that you’re both prepared and efficiently packed. But never fear – we’re here to help! We’ve put together the ultimate Korea packing list, designed to make sure you’ve got everything without splitting the seams on your bag.
First things first – the bag. While you can certainly bring a suitcase if you’d like, on our Korea Adventure we’d always recommend bringing a large travel rucksack or holdall instead. This is for a couple of reasons – firstly, it’s your bag! You’ll be carrying it the length and breadth of South Korea, so having something that you can hoist onto your back will be both more comfortable and more efficient when making quick transport changes. In addition, some internal domestic travel in Korea – such as the flight between Busan and Jeju Island – operates a strict 15kg maximum on checked luggage. While you might be tempted to hit this quite easily with a suitcase, using a rucksack ensures you’ll help yourself stay well underneath that limit.
Korea’s seasons are fairly dramatic – when it’s summer, it’s hot, and when it’s winter? It is cold. Autumn and spring are relative blips on the weather calendar, so it’s best to prepare for the more extreme temperatures. In summer, while it can be rainy it’s often hot, so short sleeves and airy trousers, shorts, or skirts are the way forwards. In winter, you’ll always want to bring a jumper and a good coat! However, the mark of any good traveller (or Girl Scout) is preparedness, so it’s always handy to have an extra layer for either condition – a jacket in summer is never a bad idea!
- T-shirts & tops
- A warmer layer – a sweatshirt or hoodie, for example
- Trousers, skirts or shorts
- A waterproof layer
- A coat (in winter)
- A smarter outfit – for evenings out!
- A good pair of comfortable shoes
- Hiking or walking boots, if you’ve got them
You can find most of the things you’ll need while you’re out and about in Korea, but if you’ve any specifics or necessities, it’s best to bring them along. If you’re looking to save space, a shampoo bar can be a great eco-friendly alternative while travelling!
- Soap/body wash
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Suncream – even in the cooler weather, you always need it!
- Hairbrush and products (dry shampoo, etc)
- Any prescribed medications that you need to take – if you’ve got any concerns or want advice on travelling with medication to Korea, contact our team on [email protected].
- Make-up, if you wear it!
- A basic first aid kit can always come in handy – this includes blister plasters, mild painkillers, antibacterial gel etc.
Though we advise travelling light, it’s not for us to tell you what to bring! Many people like to bring a gadget or two away, whether it’s a nice camera or their phone – so make sure you bring everything you need! Having a day backpack is a great idea, as sometimes your safekeeping bag is too small but your rucksack is just too big. To be very clever, why not store this away in your luggage by using it to separate some of your items when you travel to Korea?
- Phone & charger
- Camera & charger – and if you’re snap-happy, maybe an extra memory card too!
- Headphones – you’ll be travelling a lot, so these can be very helpful for grabbing some sleep or zoning out when you’re on the go.
- Plug adaptors (South Korea uses types C and F)
- A water bottle – particularly in the summer, staying hydrated is key. Plus, it’s ecofriendly!
- A small rucksack for day trips
- A good book, or a Kindle for keen readers
- A cross-body or waist-fastening bag, for safekeeping
- Sunglasses & a sun hat
- A travel wallet, to help keep your documents together
We’ve saved the most important things on your Korea packing list until last – your essentials! These are the documents and things you’ll need to ensure your journey to, throughout, and from Asia is as smooth as possible. We recommend using a travel wallet, because this ensures you can keep everything necessary close to you in one place.
- Your passport – a photocopy is always handy to have as well!
- Proof of Visa or K-ETA – the electronic authorisation that allows foreign visitors from various countries to enter visa-free. From April 1st 2023 to December 31st 2024, visitors from 22 regions are exempt from applying for the K-ETA. You can find out more here: https://www.k-eta.go.kr/portal/apply/index.do
- Local currency (South Korean Won – KRW)
- Debit cards & travel cards
- Your plane/travel tickets
- Proof of travel insurance
- Copies of any self-arranged booking reservations
- Your Emergency (ICE) contacts
- Your driver’s licence, if you have one