Travel South Korea on a Budget
See the Best Attractions in Seoul For Cheap
South Korea remains an unexplored gem for people wanting to travel in East Asia. It's an affordable yet exciting choice for those who want to see something different in the region. Below are a few practical tips for saving a bit of money during your travels in the Hermit Kingdom
Exchange Money at Incheon International Airport, or Banks
Unlike most airports around the world, Incheon International Airport has a lot of good options for those wanting to convert their cash during their trip. Also worth noting - won is not traded very much outside of South Korea, so any rate you get in your home country, or another country, is going to be much less than what you would get inside Korea itself. Incheon International Airport has many bank branches that offer good rates for exchanging money. If you somehow forget or don't have time to do this at the airport, most banks in Seoul will offer the same service at very reasonable rates.
If flying with Asiana, use Hana Bank!
Asiana Airlines is one of two prominent airline companies in Korea (the other being Korean Air). It's slightly more expensive than other regional airlines but offers great service and quality. If you've made the choice to travel with Asiana, hold on to your ticket stub! Certain banks such as Hana Bank will give you an even better rate if you show your ticket stub at the counter.
Avoid using the KTX if possible, use other trains
The KTX is a wonderful and convenient transportation system that can get you from one end of the country to the other in less than 3 hours. Other, cheaper train services can still get the job done quite nicely, however. Also, considering how small the country is, adding a few extra hours to your trip wont' be a huge inconvenience.
When booking your train tickets on the official Korail website, try checking out the Mugunghwa service instead. For example, a KTX ticket from Seoul to Busan will run about 53,300 won one way. The same trip on the Mugunghwa will only cost you 27,300 won instead! The Mugunghwa trains aren't as classy as the KTX line, but they're still an affordable option for the traveler on a budget. You can use the extra few hours to catch up on reading about what the country has to offer.