Preparing for a trip can be one of the most important and stressful parts of travel. When you are going to a foreign country, there is even more preparation. Because of the situation with COVID-19, there are some things you have to do before you board the airplane. Preparing will make your travel experience and arrival easier. I hope that this blog lessens your worries, answers your questions, and gets you excited to travel to South Korea!
Many people wonder what you should do with your phone when you are in a foreign country. You could pay expensive fees from phone companies, rely on wifi, or buy a SIM card. I found that buying a SIM card was the least expensive and easiest option. When you are traveling to Korea, it is best to buy a SIM card when you enter Korea or beforehand. It is cheaper and it can be ordered online in advance and be picked up at the airport. There are various plans depending on how long you are staying. Korea has a lot of free wifi networks so if your phone is not compatible with a SIM card, you can stop in subway stations or connect to other wifi networks throughout Seoul. Another essential item for your phone is an adapter. You can find a Korean adapter online.
Other common questions that travelers wonder about involve money. Make sure to call your bank and put in a travel alert for your credit and debit cards. Most places accept international cards and there are global ATMs where you can withdraw money. Most street vendors only accept cash, so it is important to have cash with you. There are also currency exchange locations all over the city and it is a lot cheaper to exchange money in Seoul than in your home country. Usually, there is no commission fee at all and if there is one, it is usually very small. To have a better sense of the conversion of won to other currencies you are more familiar with, I have included a table!
Another important thing to know is that due to COVID-19, all travelers must fill out a visa to enter Korea. If you are staying in Korea for less than 90 days and you do not meet the requirements for a student visa, work visa, etc., you should fill out the Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA). It is very easy to fill out and it will be approved in just a few days. Make sure to have a copy of it when you are entering Korea. If you are traveling through the Incheon International Airport, registering for the Q-Code will make entry easier and quicker. It helps shorten the time for quarantine inspection because all of your vaccination and test results are included in the QR code. Submit the QR code after receiving your negative test results before arrival. Because the COVID-19 guidelines change very quickly, you must keep up to date with the most current information regarding entry and quarantine guidelines. This is the most accurate information we have right now, but the guidelines could change when you decide to travel.
It can be hard to prepare for a trip abroad and not knowing what to prepare for can be difficult as well. I hope that you now know how to prepare for going to Korea!