An ultimate ₱15k guide to 7D6N winter in South Korea

To witness the snowfall is everyone’s dream especially to the ones residing in a non-four season country (e.g. me lol). Add to that, the fascination for wearing chunky, stylish winter staples. It has been a dream I could only fulfill through gliding on ice in a skating rink in our town’s shopping mall. It is sort of a “winter feel” albeit not seeing a real snow drop on my head. I couldn’t wait for that rare moment. Thus, I planned out an itinerary, packed my bags, and then flew to Seoul in December 2015. Join me as I finally witnessed the freezing cold weather in the Land of the Morning Calm. Through this post, I will share with you my exciting 7-day winter season trip to South Korea with a tight budget.

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AIRFARE

Thanks to the birth and proliferation of low-cost carriers, traveling to the K-Pop nation is not anymore an option, it’s a must! I booked 9 months before my flight and luckily opened the web browser with a surprise. Without any hesitation, I reserved my ticket to South Korea via Cebu Pacific.

Cost: 6,510.31/$138.34 (inclusive of roundtrip meals on-board, 20-kg baggage allowance, seat selection, terminal fee, Fly Me Next privilege)

Quick tip:

The technique doesn’t change at all. Scoring a wallet-friendly airline ticket fare entails a simple effort; make it part of your daily or weekly grind. Always check! Or better yet, subscribe to their newsletter!


ACCOMMODATION

In my post about Hostel Maru, I mentioned all the inclusions of a ₱441/$9 per night stay. To cite some, an unlimited American breakfast, high-speed Wi-Fi, showers, etc. Book it to stay cheap and stay hip!

Cost: 3,085.00/$65.55 for 7 days

Quick tip:

I discovered that when reserving your accommodation, booking late is a good thing this time. Which contradicts the hack in booking an airline ticket. Based on my experience, I booked my stay 2 days before the check-in date. It was by accident when I realized that most of the hostels I was browsing through the previous weeks, obviously cheapen their prices to almost 70%-80%! I was then indecisive of which guesthouse to stay at, which brought me to a late but cheaper reservation. Cool right?


FOOD

With a budget of ₱400/$8.5 per day, surely you can find a decent and delicious meal without getting your wallet run on empty. You can opt for store-brought ramyun, cheap meals in subway stations, restaurants like the Food Cafè, and of course, street food!

Cost: 2800/$42 for 7 days

Quick tip:

Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, always do a run through the inclusions when booking your hostel/guesthouse. It’s best when there’s free breakfast; it’ll save you up a bunch of money. Plus you can bring with you whatever breakfast is served, placed in a plastic container. That’s what I did and trust me, it’s the best tip ever.


TRANSPORTATION

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, the fastest way to get you to your favored tourist attractions is through subway. Upon arrival at the airport, you can already purchase your T-money card. Convenience stores, all subway stations, and other dealers (with the T-money logo) sell these cards as well.

Costs:

T-money card –  ₱1,566.10/$33.11 (loaded up with ₩40,000, good for 7 days)

Bus – ₱236.04/$5.02 (Gapyeong shuttle bus that will take you to Nami Island and Petite France)

Ferry – P314.73/$6.7 (ferry to Nami Island)

Quick tip:

The advantages that the T-money card can be overwhelming; it can also be used when riding a bus, some taxi cabs, public telephones, and when making a purchase at convenience stores and vending machines. Works just like your debit card!


ACTIVITIES & ADMISSION FEES

Listed here are the fees to different attractions in my DIY 7-day Itinerary.

Costs:

Gyeongbokgung Palace – ₱118.02/$2.5

Deoksugung Palace – ₱39.34/$0.83

Namsan Seoul Tower (one-way cable car) – ₱236.06/$5.02

Trickeye Museum – ₱590.15/$12.56

Petite France – ₱314.70/$6.7

Quick tip:

Don’t consider going to Nami Island and Petite France on a Sunday, these two places are a bit touristy. Another thing, the four major palaces in Seoul (Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace) have an Integrated Palace Ticket for ₩10,000/₱392.87/$8.35 valid for 1 month of unlimited use.

Know more about the palaces here.


VISA PROCESSING

Fortunately, the Philippines is given a lenient process in terms of visa application. On top of that, 59-day tourist visa can be availed for free!

Quick tip:

It’s better to include your roundtrip itinerary receipt (if you’ve booked already) for a higher chance of getting your visa application approved; although that’s not listed as one of the requirements. It will serve as a strong supporting document. The price of visa processing through a travel agency ranges from ₱800-₱1,o00.


To sum it all up, here’s the breakdown of expenses:

      AIRFARE – ₱6,510.31

 ACCOMMODATION – ₱3,085.00

                           FOOD – ₱2,800.00

  TRANSPORTATION – ₱2,124.47

  ACTVTY & AD FEES – ₱1,298.27

   VISA PROCESSING – Free of Charge

     TOTAL – ₱15,818.05/$335

 

Share this to your friends and you might just see yourselves touring around Seoul in the next yuletide season…..without being broke!

Follow my DIY itinerary!

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33 thoughts on “An ultimate ₱15k guide to 7D6N winter in South Korea

  1. The embassy don’t accept plane tickets. Just submit what is asked. 😊 And the 8,000 krw is the entrance fee to Nami. Not the ferry ride 😊 Just a tip, been to Korea 4x already. Nice article tho.

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    1. Hi Tess, the best option I can give you is to opt for a travel agency based in your area. However, if you have a friend or relative in Manila, just advise them to help you with the application. 🙂

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    1. Yes Sojeannie, it is highly recommendable that you put enough amount of money in your bank acc. It proves that you are financially stable and will not attempt to exceed the allowable stay to be given to you. 🙂

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  2. Hi! Great and helpful post there! Waiting for your detailed itinerary, since I’m going back to SKorea again with my friends this time and I really need to budget since my parents won’t come along. I hope you’ll post it soon 🙂

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  3. Hi Chedrick! I’ve been reading your post over and over again. This inspires me to finally push through my travel in my dream destination! (Oh yeah, coz I’m a KPopper. Lol 😉)
    And to cut it short… happy 20th anniversary to Cebu Pacific! Because of their piso fare promo, my friend and I are in Korea in this year’s winter. Wooohoooo! Though I wasn’t able to catch that P701 one way fare promo (due to heavy site traffic! Good thing I’m waking up at 3am everyday so I caught it while it’s hot!)… I’ve got to book a P14k roundtrip tickets for the two of us!
    Can’t wait for December to come! 😂😂😂
    (Sorry for the long comment. I just can’t contain my feels! 😜)

    PS: Thank you! 😊

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  4. Hi! Great blog post and this definitely made me book our tickets to Korea since it can really be affordable! Just have a few questions. 🙂

    Did you stayed in a hostel room that’s mixed dorm? Since I saw that the cheapest price of hostel rooms are the mixed dorms. Checking out good accommodation options since we’re 5 and majority are girls.

    Aaand, how long did you process your visa prior to your flight? How much do you think would be needed in your bank account to get approved? We’re staying 9D8N in Korea!

    Thanks a lot!

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  5. Such a big help for me and my friends have booked our flights to Korea this August. We’re excited for the trip yet nervous for our visa. Two out of four are first timers in going abroad. The third one visited HK earlier this year and the other one has been to HK and Taiwan already. Crossing our fingers for our visas tho. 😀 Thank you!

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