My Top 3 Travel Secrets
Time to start a meme, perhaps? Or simply time to get people traveling some more? Take your pick - with the fall weather upon us, one of the best times to travel Korea is just around the corner.
My Top 3 Travel Secrets?
1. A weekend trip requires very little stuff. Leaving Friday night and getting back Sunday night? That's two nights and two days - two pairs of underwear, two t-shirts, two pairs of socks. I can fit that in my Nikon camera bag and still have room for my DSLR camera and two extra lenses. Leaving early Saturday morning? ONE pair of underwear, ONE t-shirt, ONE pair of socks. You're already wearing the rest - pair of jeans, jacket if necessary, etc. Add a small toiletry kit if you want.
2. Love motels are the best. Seriously - the name may be a turn-off, but the vast majority are clean, comfortable, and stocked with the necessities of cleaning up. Check this previous post for more on finding a cheap place to sleep. You'll have no problem finding them - look for the neon signs near virtually any train station or bus terminal. The price is almost always right (less than 50,000 won - spend more than that and you get a big-screen TV, a jacuzzi in your room, some fancy pictures on the wall, etc.)
Jimjilbang (those day spas / saunas I wrote about before) are fine for you bare-bones backpackers, but sleeping on the floor - possibly in the buff - is not for everyone.
3. 1330. Call it. Use it. Love it. If you're unfamiliar with 1330, it's a government-sponsored tourist hotline you can dial from any phone. Bus schedules, 'how do I get to...' questions, and translation help are lifesavers when you're puzzling over a map.
By default, you'll get routed to the Seoul office; if you're looking for help in another part of Korea, add the local area code to the front of 1330. For example, add 051 for Busan, 053 for Daegu, 042 for Daejeon, and so on.
In the interest of keeping travel secrets flowing, I tag Brian in Jeollanam-do, Roboseyo, GRRL Traveler, Foreign/er Joy, and Seoul Suburban to share their top 3 travel secrets. You've all done your share of traveling - time to spill the beans, people!
© Chris Backe - 2010
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