Seoul Korea on a Budget is POSSIBLE!

So I’ve mentioned in my previous entry that I was able to score free tickets to Incheon Korea. But in this post, I will be breaking down my expenses. I will show all of you that it is possible to go to Seoul with only 20,000 pesos or less all in.

Visa

Read how to get a visa here. I didn’t have time to bring my requirements to the embassy therefore I got Pioneer tours to fix my visa for me. I paid 1,500 pesos which is a bit pricey but I guess it’s better than taking a leave. I suggest though that you do it yourself because it’s free.

Also, I suggest that you DO NOT book anything (lodging, flight, etc.) if you haven’t gotten your visa because you might be wasting a lot of money. However if you find a seat sale go for it! Take the opportunity to grab those cheap tickets.

Round Trip Tickets

I was lucky enough to get free tickets which cost 12,000 pesos from Air Asia. It is a bit pricey for me because my budget is always less than 10,000 pesos. I recently was able to score tickets to Osaka for only 7,000 pesos (round trip with baggage) therefore I know that you can get round trip tickets to Korea for the same amount or less.

I assume that a promo fare is about 7,000 pesos. I will be adding that to my expenses.

Airlines that fly to Incheon from Manila:

  1. Cebu Pacific
  2. Philippine Airlines
  3. Jeju Airlines
  4. Korean Airlines
  5. Air Asia

Philippine Travel Tax

Sadly this is an added Php 1620.00 on your airfare. Remember that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A TERMINAL FEE. If you book with travel agencies and they collect a terminal fee from you then it is probably a scam.

Round trip tickets + Travel tax= Total amount of Airfare

7,000+1620= Php 8,620

Lodging

You can either book in Airbnb or Agoda. Since I was waiting for my visa to get approved, I did not want to book via AirBnB because they are very strict with cancellations. Luckily I saw this guesthouse online called “Come on Guesthouse” which is very near Myeongdong. The cost was Php 7,000 for two people for 4 nights.

Cost of lodging per head for 4 nights= Php 3,500

Transportation

I suggest you buy the T-Pass/ T-Money Card. Just like the octopus card in HK, you can use it for all public transportation (Bus, Subway, Taxi) and some establishments (7/11, fastfood chains, etc.)

Kindly see breakdown below

Transportation  Korean Won Conversion in Philippine Peso
Express Train to Seoul Station (Roundtrip)                         16,000.00
Tpass Load                                                                      13,600.00
Taxi to Nami from Gapyeong Station                           5,200.00
   
 TOTAL                         34,800.00                                 1,600.00

 

I took a cab to the Nami island port because it’s faster and because I didn’t want to take a bus. Haha I was lucky that the guesthouse was near Myeongdong therefore I did not have to take the subway. I got to save money. I also walked to N Seoul tower which YOU SHOULD NOT DO. Blame waze! It told me that it was really near but damn it took me an hour and a half to get there. It’s like I went hiking. Anyway…

I went to the following:

  1. Myeongdong
  2. Petite France and Nami Island (Gapyeong)
  3. Gyeongbugkung Palace
  4. N Seoul Tower
  5. Everland

Not bad for Php 1,600 right?

Attractions/Activities

  Korean Won Philippine pesos
Zip line Nami Island                         38,000.00
Petite France                         9,000.00
Everland entrance                         36,000.00
Nseoul Tower                         10,000.00
Gyeonbugkung Palace                           3,000.00
 TOTAL                      96,000.00                                 4100.00

 I took a zip line to Nami island because it’s part of my bucket list. It’s really pricey so I suggest you take the boat going there and going back. You will get to save more than half. Also, look for vouchers on line if you plan to visit Everland. I got 30% off my ticket.

If I didn’t take the zip line then I would have easily saved Php 1,000.

Food

Food  Korean Won  Philippine Peso
Sandwich Breakfast                           2,500.00
Grocery                           3,000.00
Food Cart                           5,000.00
James’ Cheese Ribs                         15,000.00
Lunch in Nami Island                         20,000.00
Burger king                           5,000.00
                          4,900.00
Mom’s Touch Fried Chicken                           7,500.00
Shrimp on the street                           4,000.00
Cheese in the grocery                           1,300.00
Sandwich Breakfast                           2,500.00
Food in Everland                         12,000.00
Dinner                           8,000.00
 TOTAL                         90,700.00                                 3,900.00

I splurged on food because I love food. To be honest, I could have spent less but FOOD IS FOOD. I love food and that’s something I won’t save money on. Surprisingly the food in Seoul is really affordable. It really depends where you eat. I could have saved 1000-2000 pesos if I wanted to.

Shopping

Shopping  Korean Won  Philippine Pesos
Forever 21                         48,000.00
Facemasks and Makeup                         40,000.00
Chocolate                               750.00
 TOTAL                         88,750.00                                 3,800.00

 Most people know that I rarely shop. But because of my free tickets, I did a bit of shopping. You can save a lot of money if you do not shop. I suggest though that you splurge on beauty stuff because Korea is known for it. I was able to get really good makeup in Innisfree. They also sell their facemasks for a really cheap price so I suggest you hoard.

Summary

Tickets                                                                                                 7,000.00
Tax                                                                                                 1,620.00
Lodging for 4 nights                                                                                                 3,500.00
Transportation                                                                                                 1,600.00
Activities                                                                                                 4,100.00
Food                                                                                                 3,900.00
Shopping                                                                                                 3,800.00
Total in PHP                                                                                              25,520.00

I didn’t include the visa fee because you can do it for free. You can actually spend less than 20,000 pesos by saving on shopping, lodging, and activities.

Tips on how to save:

  1. Wait for a seat sale and book it immediately even if you haven’t gotten a visa yet
  2. Book in AirBnB. I’ve seen rooms for only Php 700
  3. Look for coupons online especially for Everland! I got 30% off my ticket
  4. If you plan to go to Nami Island, take the ferry instead of the zip line
  5. Food is relatively cheap and you can really save a lot if you eat in convenience stores but why save on food right? Eat street food because it’s delicious, affordable and worth the experience

Any other suggestions or tips on how to save? Let me know!

 

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