Well well, I am glad to be on the ground! Going from Dallas, TX, to San Francisco, CA, to Narita, Tokyo, and finally to Incheon, S. Korea was exhausting. Funny thing is that I sleep most of the time on the trip. I met so many wonderful people and I was happy to hear that many of them were going to Seoul as well, but for vacation. A lot of them did not know very much Korean either which made me feel even better about it.
Flight from SFO-NRT:
I tried to make a video about this one, but Youtube crashed on me right as I hit the upload button, but that’s okay. This was the longest flight I have ever been on and the most difficult flight to be on. Not difficult because of the people, but because of how long you have to sit down. I was so happy to have an aisle seat. I drank so much water that I went a ton! haha The food on the flight was surprisingly good. There was only one thing that I thought was strange and that was some weird sandwich with eggs, uncooked seasoned bacon, and some cheese. There was even dessert! I was so happy! I did not know what all of that came with such a long flight. I had purchased a wrap before leaving the San Francisco airport so I didn’t have to be charged an exchange rate price in Tokyo for buying food, but I never needed to eat it so I still have it in the mini fridge of my room. I will probably eat it later today because I’m sure after wandering for a while I will want a nap.
Here are some traveling tips I thought of:
1: When booking a flight make sure to choose an aisle seat if you know you go to the restroom a lot or you know you will be drinking a ton of water. The larger planes have 3 person rows so getting out from a window seat is not fun.
2. Pack light! I’m so glad that our study abroad office put that in our packets because I was seriously bringing so much and re-packed twice lol.
3. Know a little Korean. Seriously, if you know greetings and how to say please give me ____, I want ___, or what is this, How much is this, Does this bus/train go to ___, will all come in handy. Also you should know your numbers and how to count the money. Numbers are important because of the buses around town. It tells you how many minutes until they arrive.
4. Bring your own towel. I am glad that I saw a vlog about that because the towel I was given …well lets just say it would take a while to dry off. I ended up using it has a hand/face drying towel. I only brought one towel since the places I will be at have laundry facilities.
5. Bring your own Deodorant, toothpaste, and other normal hygiene stuff. I was lucky enough to have a friend who told me about the deodorant and toothpaste. Also if you are a woman it is highly recommended that you bring your own personal items until you are comfortable here or you know Korean to know what you’re buying.
6. Plan out some places ahead of time. I made a list of places I wanted to see my first two weeks. I have yet to be back outside since I came to my hotel, but I am ready with a map and my list.
7. Download the app called I Tour Seoul! It explains a good amount of stuff to you. Like how to use the bus, subway, and KTX (Korean Train Express). It also shows attractions, food places, and other great tips. The best part is that it works off of wifi.
8. Have some sort of phone app to call your friends and family. I have Skype, Kakao Talk, and Rebtel. Kakaotalk is free to call anyone who uses the program. This application is mostly used by Koreans. Rebtel is a calling program. It says that its free if someone else has signed up for it too, but I have yet to find that out. There rates seem to be slightly more than Skype, but since I still had money on my account I thought I should use it. Keep in mind for all of these programs you have to be in a wifi area unless you are paying the international rates on your cell phone while overseas. Be sure to put your phone account on a temporary hold (as I have done) while gone if you don’t want an outrageous bill once returning.
8. Keep your camera ready! I missed out on several things because I didn’t have my camera nor my phone out.
9. STRETCH! Be sure to stretch your body! I woke up this morning at 5am with a charlie horse! I just wanted to cut my leg off. So please stretch, I would hate for that to happen to you too.
10. Bring a pillow and blanket. I brought one of those fleece blankets in my carry on bag. I didn’t use it on the flight (although I wanted to), but I did need it in my room last night! It was freezing. The pillow came in handy on my first flight because those seats were uncomfortable. I also have a neck issue and since I had purchased a new pillow maybe two months prior I thought it would be a good idea to bring it.
I’m sure as the days go by I will have more tips for you, but until then.