Upcoming Trip: Seoul Spring 2013 (7D/6N)

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
After the last trip to Taiwan last year, I just wanted another holiday and DramaQueen was the only person available, so the plan to head to Seoul was hatched. We decided to head out sometime during spring and utilize one of the public holidays in May. Seeing that it takes about 6 hours to get to Seoul from Singapore, we decided on 7 days.

As usual, I was in charge of the planning and it was quite challenging to find affordable (not cheap per se but more towards the lines of an amount I felt happy to pay) air tickets and accommodation. I won’t say that this trip is really a low budget trip, but stretching that dollar really would help maximize the experience (more shopping and food!). So with the dates and duration set, it was time to start researching!

Breakdown (per person):
  • Flight tickets:  S$705
  • Travel Insurance: S$0
  • Accommodation for 6 nights: S$700+
  • TOTAL: S$1405.00

Air Flight
I already started looking at flight fares 3 months prior. The cheapest tickets for direct flights were about S$950-990+ (Asiana and Korean Air, in no particular order) and the cheapest with a stopover was Cathay Pacific at about S$750++ (but it would take about 8-10 hours to reach Seoul instead of 6 hours). Compared to the cost of tickets to Taiwan, getting to Seoul is more expensive and only two more hours’ away if the flight is direct. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Fortunately, while waiting to see if there were any cheaper flights, Singapore Airlines happened to have a promotion and it only cost S$705 per person! A usual direct flight with Singapore Airlines to Seoul would usually be about S$1000++. So S$705 for a direct flight with Singapore Airlines is very worthwhile - no time was wasted securing those tickets!

Hotels in Seoul are not cheap and for 7 days the cost for a hotel we I wanted was in the S$1000-2000 range. And even for that price, there were some things that seemed undervalued (e.g. the mini-bars are not free, breakfasts were either expensive and/or not that great, and toothpaste and toothbrushes are chargeable, service seemed to be inconsistent). If Wi-Fi, breakfast and mini-bar were complimentary, I might have considered the choices of hotels/service apartments that I was looking it (or maybe I just need a bigger budget the next time).

Thankfully while trying to find suitable alternatives, I stumbled upon AirBnB and managed to secure an accommodation (apartment) for about S$700+ for 6 nights. Sure there is no daily cleaning, but we get to live like a local in a cozy apartment which suits the purpose just fine. Of course, if the budget were not a consideration, my choice would have been The Classic 500 or The Plaza. ^^

Communications - Evergreen Mobile prepaid SIM card Event 
Having learnt my lesson that the Singtel data roaming plan might be a little of a hit-and-miss depending on the country you are in, I decided to get a local (Korean) SIM card this time round. The timing couldn’t have been better that the Korea Tourism Board (KTO) was having a special even in collaboration with Evergreen Mobile, all that was needed was to download the KTO’s smartphone application and fill up a form online to win/get a SIM card and free calling cards.

The event is still ongoing so don’t forget to sign up for your free SIM card if you are heading down to South Korea! I think it ends in June 2013.

With ticket and accommodation settled, all that's left is what to do and actually go! ^^

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      When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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