Korea is a beautiful country with an ancient culture. It’s well-known for its stunning architecture, delicious food, and lively nightlife. Whether you’re a tourist or resident, there are some essentials to pack when traveling to Korea.
Suggested reading before you leave for Korea
How to dress when visiting Korea
How to wear in South Korea: When visiting South Korea, it’s important to dress modestly. You’ll likely see a lot of Koreans in traditional clothing, and you don’t want to offend anyone. Try to avoid wearing too much makeup or showing too much skin.
Despite Korean streetwear’s global popularity, travelers to South Korea won’t change their style.
Ensure that you dress with a touch more formality than usual. Clean garments in subdued colors and avoid garish prints or bright hues for maximum success!
The severe weather in South Korea
The summer months can be sweltering and humid, while wintertime is bone-chillingly frigid with snowfall. While spring and fall are optimal periods to explore Korea, pack appropriately depending on the season you visit. It’s because what goes into your suitcase will depend upon which part of the year it is!
What to bring when traveling to Korea (more than 20 must-have items)
Things to pack for your trip to Korea:
A rechargeable battery with power adapters
With multiple power banks or converters to keep you going all day, dipping into one at night may be just what your phone needs!
You will want to bring your smartphones just in case you run into any issues and need to contact someone back home. If you have a Google Pixel, you will have access to a fantastic feature called ‘Google Remote’. This allows you to control your device even when you’re not in the same room!
Tablets or laptops
Tablets or laptops can come in handy when you want to check something on the internet or if you are looking for a way to watch a movie or TV show.
If you’d like to capture some of your travels and experiences in Korea, then a camcorder might be the perfect piece of equipment for you!
Most individuals pack headphones to prevent other passengers’ noise while relaxing in Korea.
Items of personal interest
Personal hygiene tools (such as soap, toothbrushes, floss, and towels)
In order to keep yourself clean and healthy while in Korea, you’ll want to bring along some of your own personal hygiene items.
Comfortable footwear and attire
In order to walk around and see all of the amazing sites that Korea has to offer, you’ll want to bring along some comfortable attire and footwear.
Both over-the-counter and prescription medications
To ensure that you have all essential medications with you, it’s wise to bring along as many of them as possible, preferably in up-to-date forms!
Finding a prescription in Korea may be more trouble than appreciating the local culture.
Just in case you get sick while you’re in Korea, be sure to bring along both over-the-counter and prescription medications.
When viruses and other diseases are common in closed or gray markets, medical masks can help.
A first-aid kit
No matter where you go, bringing a first-aid kit is always a good idea in case something goes wrong on your trip.
A deodorant product
If you tend to perspire a lot, then it might be a good idea to bring along a deodorant product in order to keep yourself smelling fresh and clean.
To feel more comfortable and presentable in hostels or hotels, pack your own beauty items.
Linens (sheets and pillowcases)
Visitors typically complain about Korean sheets and pillowcases, especially compared to foreign brands.
Since the quality of the bedding is different from what you might be used to, it can be strange at first.
Things that remind us of home
To make sure the trip is a good one, it’s important to bring pictures and other reminders of friends and family. Creating an oasis of familiarity in your lodging is no small feat!
Just put these little things away carefully so they don’t take up too much room in your luggage. You’ll be glad you brought them!
To minimize issues while traveling, pack cash since Korean banks are typically closed or have limited hours.
Either a suitcase or a backpack for check-in
When packing for your trip, it’s important to take into account the weight and size of your luggage. You don’t want to have to pay extra for check-in because your luggage is too heavy or bulky.
The perfect bag for packing in South Korea is the carry-on backpack. This essential item protects and organizes you while exploring Seoul or day-tripping nearby.
A substantial shopping bag
To prevent carrying everything you buy, buy a large shopping bag.
Key components: Packing cubes
They are a great way to organize everything in your closet, from swimwear to underwear and everything else.
Documents and bank cards needed for travel
- Depending on your nationality, you may or may not need a visa to travel to South Korea. However, it is always a good idea to bring passport-sized photos and copies of all relevant documents with you. Things needed are birth certificates, driving licenses, etc., and proof of sufficient funds.
- Since ATMs are not always available, it might be a good idea to bring along your own credit and debit cards in case of an emergency.
- Travel Insurance: No matter where you go, it’s always a good idea to travel with travel insurance in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
- Because Korea has so many official holidays, certain establishments might be closed or only open for a short period of time on specific days. Bring a list of the major public holidays so you can be ready for any potential closures or openings.
- Health insurance documents
Health insurance card (your regular plan and/or supplemental travel health insurance plan) and copies of claim forms
- Copies of all prescriptions
Make sure prescriptions include generic names. Bring prescriptions for medicines, eye glasses/contacts, and other medical supplies.
- Contact card
Carry a contact card containing the street addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of the following:
-Family member or close contact remaining in the United States
-Health care provider(s) at home
-Lodging at your destination
-Hospitals or clinics (including emergency services) in your destination
-US embassy or consulate in the destination country or countries
Collected from wwwnc.cdc.gov
South Korean seasonal packing tips
Bringing the right gear for spring in Korea
Springtime in South Korea is an exciting time to visit! The season’s gorgeous blossoms and balmy days make for a bustling tourist destination. So be sure to pack comfortable sneakers for those cool evenings or bring along a denim jacket for cooler nights. After all, it can get quite chilly during this time of year.
Prepping for summer in South Korea
Summertime is the time of year when it rains, and is often swelteringly humid. It could be a wise decision to depart during this period if you desire to avoid chaotic crowds or remain unaffected by heat levels.
Pack an umbrella, a hat, and light-weight garments for areas that feature air conditioning. In addition, make certain to pack plenty of water!
What to pack for South Korea in fall
In the autumn, temperatures cool down a bit and leaves change color. However, there’s no need to fret—Korea is still a beautiful country to visit!
In preparation for the cooler weather, pack layers of clothing and accessories so you can adjust as necessary.
Winter packing list for Korea
The winter months in South Korea are notoriously harsh. Bring along heavy coats, boots, and hats so you can brave the elements while still enjoying your trip.
Be sure to pack snacks and drinks in case you can’t find any open stores, as well as heating pads and extra blankets if needed.
Things to avoid bringing to South Korea
- Avoid bringing anything that is heavy or bulky, as you’ll likely have to pay extra for check-in.
- Don’t bring any weapons or illegal substances with you, as they will not be permitted into the country.
- Don’t bring too much cash.
- Do not bring priceless jewelry or garments.
- Hairdryer: Expect to pay an additional fee for it when you arrive in South Korea.
- Shampoo: Most hotels include shampoo in the room price.
- Books are going to be bulky and take up room. You’ll be grateful for the extra room if you can read on an eReader or smartphone.
FAQs What to bring when traveling to Korea?
What to dress in South Korea, and what not to wear?
It is a conservative country. So, avoid revealing cleavage; keep shoulders covered. If you wear a short skirt, do what the local women do and cover your knees while you sit with a pashmina or wrap.
What’s illegal in South Korea?
Guns, narcotics, pornography, subversive, traitorous, and counterfeit items are banned from Korea.
What should I bring when studying abroad in South Korea?
The answer to this question depends on your scenario. However, The packing list for study abroad in South Korea includes textbooks, note cards, and a laptop are advised for studying in Korea. Chargers, headphones, and adaptors are also recommended.
Which items should I bring to South Korea in April?
Things I wish I brought to South Korea: Layers are key in April in Korea. Jeans, trousers, skirts with leggings or tights, and long-sleeved shirts or sweaters work. Bring a sweatshirt, cardigan, or light jacket in case it is windy or cold.
Packing for your upcoming trip to Korea is key to ensure that you have everything you need while still enjoying your time in the country. Make sure to research what items are not permitted into the country and pack accordingly. And if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to a local or tourist center. Thanks for visiting gonseekorea.com!