8 Packing Tips for South Korea

8 Packing Tips for South Korea

I hate packing with a passion. It is the second worst part of traveling for me, the only thing worse is unpacking. Like usual, I waited until the night before to prepare for my adventure to Korea. With about 12 hours left before the flight, my packing method consisted of me throwing whatever I could find into the body bag (appropriately named by my mother because you can literally fit a human inside). I ended up bringing a ton of unnecessary things and forgot some very important items that I needed shipped to me when I arrived. So, in hopes that you will learn from my mistake, here’s some advice on preparing to move to Korea.

1. Don’t wait until the night before to pack

Obviously, if I was reading this a year and a half ago I wouldn’t have listened, but seriously get organized! It’ll save you time and money (over weight charges are expensive!) It’ll also make your last night at home more enjoyable. You can relax, have dinner with friends and family, and try to get a full night of sleep, instead of manically going through your closet and googling Korea’s climate.

2. Plan Ahead

I’m talking like plan ahead for the whole year. Korea has four seasons, make sure you bring winter boots and your bathing suit for trips to Busan. I actually bought my winter coat in Korea, it saved a ton of space in my suitcase and you can find a good quality coat inexpensively.

3. Be wary of sizes

One of my biggest pet peeves about Korea is everything is so tiny! I wear an 8.5 shoe and most stores don’t have sizes that big. I can’t tell you how many times a shoe vendor called my feet “giant” or “very large.” Also, I’d like to say I’m an average American weight and height, but still most clothes wouldn’t fit me. I’d have to do most of my shopping at foreign stores in Seoul, like Forever 21 or H&M, but even still their sizes run small. So keep that in mind when packing, especially when it comes to the basics!

4. Different Styles

Ladies especially, keep in mind there are different styles. In Korea most women rarely wear low cut tops, it is considered “glamorous” (Korean for risqué). However, short shorts are completely acceptable, so leave the deep v t-shirts at home.

5. Remember the Essentials

Korea has most of the same products as America, and even better cosmetics and skin care goodies, I’m now obsessed with Etude House’s BB cream and charcoal nose strips. However, you can’t always find things you thought would be easy to get. You have to hunt to find deodorant and tampons so bring enough for the year or have friends and family ship you some when necessary. I’d also recommend bringing toothpaste, Korean toothpaste has a weird texture and they don’t usually add fluoride. Finally, I bought a set of sheets, so you don’t have to run to Home Plus first thing, an extra-long twin jersey knit set will most likely fit, or at least hold you over until you can find some.

6. Technology and Things

One of the smartest things I did when I first moved to Korea was download the Google Chrome add on, Media Hint. By acting like a VPN without slowing down your internet speeds, it lets you watch Netflixs and Hulu without any problems. It came in handy because I didn’t have cable on my TV and I could stay up to date on my favorite TV shows back home.

7. Money and Passport
Before you leave order some Korean won (about $200) from your bank. Most banks can get it in one business day and it’ll be one less thing you have to worry about when you first get there. Along with making sure your visa and passport are up to date, head to Walgreens and get about ten passport size photos to keep around. They come in handy when applying for your ARC or visas when traveling outside of Korea.

8. Things to Remind you of Home

Getting to your empty apartment can be extreme shock for many people, including me. Putting up pictures of my friends and family helped soften the initial blow. Also, I bought some of my favorite American foods I thought I might have a hard time finding in Korea. It may sound weird, but believe me a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese or a taco night with friends can stave away homesickness for at least a little while.


Emily packing 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *