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9-days #SeoulFun Summer Trip with $2000 + Travel Hacks

Hi there! Back to Seoul again when I swore last year that I will never return to Korea again after my trip because it's like endless stairs climbing and massive communication breakdown (except tourist spots). But here I am, back again after 15 months. Women are so fickle-minded, I know right?

I initially planned to visit Melbourne (again), but after my friend knew and wanted to tag along, I changed my plans to Seoul as she has lived in Melbourne for three years and that place is probably the last place that she will want to go for a holiday (for now).

The tricky thing about flying to Seoul from Singapore is that there is no direct budget airline, as my favourite carrier for short distance travelling has always been Scoot, and economy flights are like two to three times the price. Luckily, we checked in time (3 months before) and managed to grab a pair of tickets at $668.80 each via SIA, woohoo! Usually economy seats go close to or more than $1,000 for each ticket, and the best thing about SIA is that it is 30kg check-in baggage instead of the usual 20kg.

When you arrived in Seoul, the first thing that you will want to get is the public transport card. For public transport card, you can either opt to get the T-money Card or the Korea Tour Card. T-money Card is Korea's public transport card that works just like Singapore's EZ-link card, and costs KRW2,500. It can be bought at selected convenience stores, subway stations and from ticket vending and card reload machines at subway stations. The Korea Tour Card is an exclusive travel card for tourists and costs KRW4,000. Other than working as a transportation card, it also entitles you to discount benefits at participating tourist spots, shopping malls, restaurants and theatres; such as 30% off Lotte World and Everland tickets, 10% off O'sulloc items and 20-30% off theatre performances.

Last but not least, sharing some of my all time favourite travel hacks:

1) Travel Journal

For all my holidays, I always carry with me a travel journal. In it is a checklist, packing list, itinerary, addresses and information of visiting places, meal planning and expenditure. I also write down my daily travel journal. All of this helps in keeping things organised and makes sure that I do not miss out anything, or get lost, as I travel on my own most of the times, I really only have myself to depend on, so I usually make sure everything is as detailed as possible. Having the habit to write down daily journal and expenditure helps me to keep track of my activities as there are so many things that happened in a day, and also to make sure that I work within my set budget to avoid over-spending.

I also put a copy in my phone as at certain situations, it can be a hassle to bring the book in and out.

2) WIFI on the Go! Prices for SIM card with data plan ranges for various countries. Prepaid SIM cards with data is not relatively that affordable in Korea. One with a minimum usage of 1GB data will cost you KRW30,000, with an additional KRW5,000 for a nano SIM card, valid for 30 days from date of activation. It probably only lasted 6-7 days for my previous Seoul trip. This time round, I booked an overseas WIFI router instead through Changi Recommends, and that costs me $5/day for unlimited data usage (no charge on day 1), which is more worth it as compared to getting the SIM card. Such routers usually have a battery life of 6-8hrs. The Airbnb that I booked this time round also comes equipped with a portable WIFI router , so that act as a backup.

Another plus point for renting from Changi Recommends is that it is really convenient. Pick-up and drop-off at any terminals of Changi Airport!

To rent and reserve one, one of the ways is to WhatsApp to (65) 9134 1516 with the following details:

- Collection date and time

- Collection terminal

- Return date and time

- Country - Name (as in NRIC)

- Contact number

- Email address

- Nationality

- Passport/NRIC number

- Promotion code (if any)

- Singapore Time Zone, UTC +0800

3) Hair Straightener I found out this hack by chance when my helper has not iron my work uniform and I was in a rush. I straighten my hair every morning, so I was thinking if I could just use my straightener to iron my uniform since it is already heated up, rather than getting the iron board and wait for the iron to heat up; and it worked! A perfect travel hack to iron out all the creases on your clothes from all the folding and stuffing.

4) Bag for Dirty Laundry

Wet clothes like swimsuits or from perspiration always start to stink up if not let out to dry properly, and you would not want them to stink up your clean clothes and your luggage. Keep your dirty clothes in a separate bag, better still a large ziploc bag. Throw in a piece of dryer sheet as well as it will help absorb all those smell.

5) Airbnb with Washer Airbnb is my all time favourite accommodation for travelling, and I always opt for one that comes with at least wifi, kitchen and washer. With washer, you can always wash and re-wear your clothes which - i) pack less clothes; and ii) have clean clothes when you arrive home and not have to deal with the pile of dirty laundry. The washer that is equipped also comes with drying option. So I put the clothes to wash before leaving, and when I returned in the evening, I have fresh warm clothes to re-wear.

6) Less Clothes With a washer, comes the next hack. Since there is a washer, I can always wash and re-wear my clothes, so which means I can pack a lot less. Clothes usually are able to dry out completely indoors within 2 days for dry season/weather. You just have to get the right indoor-dry laundry detergent so that it will not leave an unpleasant musty odour. Pack clothes that you can mix and match easily and off a simple or plain design, as striking designs tend to catch more attention and is more noticeable that you repeat your clothes. Packing less also means you have more room for shopping! ✌🏻

7) Extension Cord When I travel, I always bring along an extension cord, multi-plugs and of course my universal adaptor. I bring along a lot of electronics and if you are unlucky enough, there might be only just 1 or 2 power sockets in your room/apartment, and that is never enough for me. But of course with all those doubling-up of power sockets, we should also bear in mind not to overload as it can lead to serious consequences.

8) Ziploc Bags

Ziploc bags are like one of the best innovations. Place your important items like travel documents, chargers and cables in ziploc bags to waterproof them.

9) Perfume Bottle X Socks I do not really use perfume, I use body spray and they do not really come in sizes less than 100ml, which means I have to pack them in my check-in baggage instead of carry-on. A good way to cushion the bottle and organising your socks at the same time is to place the bottle in a sock and layer the socks over and over. By doing so you also use up less space as you are doubling up the space used.

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