Travel South Korea on a Budget

Saving Money in Korea


Traveling can be expensive, but there are ways to save on the high costs. You can eat cheaply, stay at hostels, look for good deals for air tickets, and so on. But sometimes it's good to research ways of saving money that are unique to particular countries as well. Doing your research can ease the burden of spending so much while having fun in a foreign land. South Korea is one of the more affordable trips you can take in Asia. Saving money in Korea is easy if you follow some simple tips. 


Stay in Goshiwons
Goshiwons are facilities that are very inexpensive. They consist of closet sized rooms, with a shared kitchen, bathrooms, and showers. Some of them offer a variety of room sizes and perks for different prices. They are very bare bones but can be cheaper than even hostels in the city, with rooms ranging from 10,000 KRW to 20,000 KRW a night. For reference, the one hostel I stayed at in Seoul was around 45,000 a night for a private room.

Normally these places are for Korean and foreign students who want a quiet place to study for things like important exams for a few months - however there are some that advertise in English for expats and travelers. An excellent example is E-Livingel near the Gangnam area, which is run by a very friendly English speaking manager and has a website complete in English. If you don't mind the basic, somewhat cramped (yet still sufficient) living space Goshiwons are a great option for saving money in Korea. 

Saving Money While Traveling

Use your T-money for a discount
T-money cards are the transportation cards used for the subway and buses in Seoul. Even some taxis accept them as a form of payment. You can get them at any subway station or convenience store in the city. Besides the convenience and slight discount you get when taking public transportation, some stores also accept them when buying goods - and will give you a slight discount to boot. An example is certain Dunkin Donuts locations, which will give a 10% discount to anyone paying with their T-money cards. Look for some of the following words in Korean to see if the store you're at will offer a discount for you - (티머니 -  T-Money, 하린 - discount. ) 

Use your Passport for a Discount
Simply showing your passport can help you with saving money in Korea. Certain places in South Korea offer a good deal for foreigners traveling in the country. Bringing your passport to certain places can get you a discount or other benefits. A good example is Lotte World, which offered discounted tickets to foreigners and travelers during some Korean Holidays. Some deals are constant, others depend on certain events or times of the year. The official website for tourism in South Korea sometimes lists such information.

Korea is a rather affordable choice for most travelers, and makes a great part of an East Asian trip. Use the above tips so you can enjoy what the country has to offer on a great budget.

Find the best tourist spots in Seoul

Lonely Planet Korea (Country Guide)
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