South Korea’s tourism industry is flourishing, with many people visiting this vibrant and culturally rich country every year. While it’s not the cheapest Asian country to visit, that won’t stop you from visiting! Here are five money-saving tips when traveling to Korea.
Use the subway
If you are going to stay in Seoul, the subway is definitely the cheapest means of transportation. Buy a T-money card from any convenience store and top it up at the subway station. Many travelers often buy odd tickets for each journey they travel; but if you stay in the city for more than a day or two, this will probably be more expensive. Another tip is to have an airport rail line that runs from Incheon International Airport to Seoul. This is a much cheaper option than a 16-mile taxi ride.
Take advantage of free templates
Korean skincare and makeup products are often popular with tourists. One thing you probably don’t know is that a lot of stores like Etude House, The Faceshop, and Skinfood will give you free samples when you make a purchase. The more you buy, the more samples you get – usually full-sized, expensive products! It’s a good tip to buy all your cosmetics at once to take advantage to get more free products.
Filling side dishes
When you dine at a Korean restaurant; it is expected that there will be 3-10 side dishes, such as kimchi, tofu, and quail eggs, brought to your table. Initially, you may be confused because you didn’t order them – but these side dishes called banchan in Korean, are free. Think of it as a basket of bread. Moreover, if you complete a side dish, it will usually be replaced. Enjoying these toys is a great way to enjoy a variety of Korean flavors, and recharging these free items means you won’t have to buy snacks between meals!
Eat all street food
While you’ll get a free banchan to treat for eating out; you will still spend between $10-$15 on a meal at an average restaurant. On the other hand, street food will not be more expensive than $2 or $3. Tteokbokki (think gnocchi – but made from rice, with sweet and spicy sauce) and Kimchi Jeon (a savory pancake with kimchi cooked in it) are two of the many popular and delicious street food.
Stay in Jjimjilbang
Jjimjilbang is a public bath, with different hot tubs and shared saunas. Lovers also have other great facilities. It’s an experience you should definitely have while in Korea. Access will cost about $10 and you can sleep there too! Staying overnight at jjimjilbang for a night or two is a great way to save money on accommodation.