Money makes the world go around, well according to Liza Minnelli that is. In any case, it is very difficult to do anything at all without any money. So in order to do all the things I want to do while I am in Seoul I have planned out a budget for the 11 days I’m there, and I’ve tried to calculate how much each day will cost me. I thought I would share with you what I found out about daily costs and expenses in and around Seoul.
To convert my pounds into won I needed to give my local Bureau de change a weeks notice of the amount of money I wanted to convert. In order to do that, I had do do some maths… oh goody…
Getting there – £710+
So I had been keeping an eye on plane ticket prices since December, because I know how ticket prices fluctuate depending on the time of year and events at the destination. For example, just before the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang tickets were higher than usual because of the demand for tickets. I waited until the tickets were at their cheapest, and when I had at least a month to earn back the money I had to spend. The tickets I ended up getting cost me just over £500, and my seat reservations cost me around £180, so the total cost was around £680.
On top of this, I used compare the market to get some insurance for my journey. After looking at all the options available I chose to go with the Post Office’s policy, as it was the cheapest and had the widest coverage. This cost me about £30 days for 11 days coverage. While not vital as part of my journey there, I would always recommend that you get insurance for any journey you take. Especially if like me you are prone to clumsiness and accidents.
This meant that overall, the cost of getting there safely was about £710.
Accommodation – £190
Seoul is a pretty huge city, and what you want to do while you’re staying there should influence where you stay. I want to be able to walk or hop on a subway to get to local historical landmarks, cafes and places to eat, as well as the places I might see regularly when I move there. Taking these factors into account, as well as the fact that I will probably work as a teacher in a university for at least a year at first, I wanted to stay in Hongdae as that is where most student live and hang out. After figuring the rough area I wanted to stay in I used a comparison site to find my accommodation.
After this I had to decide what it was that I needed my accommodation to be or have. I wanted either a hotel or an apartment, for space and security. I wanted it to be near a subway station and for me to have internet access in my room. And, obviously, I was wanting to save as much money as possible. I set my budget at £30 a night, and managed to find a hotel in Sinchon for £16 a night for a standard double room and £17 for a deluxe double room. I know its frivolous, but I thought I’d splash out and go for the deluxe room.
This hotel had everything I needed and was very budget friendly. If you look around I’m sure you can find a great deal that fits your trip style. My hotel ended up costing me £190.
Daily spends (Transport, food, etc…) – £29.65 a day
After consulting with friends who either live in Seoul or who know Seoul well (thank you 동동squad) , I was able to calculate the average costs of each day. Three meals should cost around ₩10,000, transport about ₩8,250, and miscellaneous spends at ₩10,000 – ₩15,000. This means that for each day I will need at most around ₩33,250. While you might think this is a lot for one day, ₩33,250 equates to about £21.67. Google it if you don’t believe me. However, I’m going to be setting aside around ₩45,500 (£29.65) each day, with the intention of only spending ₩35,000, which leaves me ₩10,500 in case of an emergency.
All together, the total cost of 11 days of activity will be about £327
The Grand total cost : £1226.15
When you add it all together, it seems like an awful lot of money *laughs nervously*. HOWEVER, considering the distance I am traveling, the amount of time I am spending there and how expensive many of my other options were, this is actually a very small amount of money to be spending. Especially since I might be buying a £1000 plane ticket to Seoul in October when I travel with a group.
So, to conclude. Making a budget is hard! I really struggled to try and calculate everything and make sure that I was traveling and spending within my means. However, now that its all planned out, I feel so much more relaxed about it. I can now take it easy, knowing I have everything sorted and it means I will be able to really enjoy my first taste of Korea.
Oh, and one final piece of advice. I was told that the ₩10,000 bill (the green one) will be the one I use most when in Seoul. So, if you guys need to convert your money try and get as many
For more money related information I’d check out a video by Korean Unnie which explains it far better and far more thoroughly than I do.
How do you save money on Holiday? Do you have any tips? Leave a comment below and share your ideas.
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