Monthly Archives: November 2013

Duration & Destination

The next step in my planning phase is determining the trip duration and destinations.

For me, the minimum duration is 2 weeks. Maximum is 4 weeks. Why? Simply because, as an employee, i only have 17 off days per year. The company’s rule only allowed 6 consecutive leave days to be taken at once. So, if i want to go for more than that, even though my off days are available, i have to ask my direct supervisor’s permission to use unpaid leave. It means, the longer my trip is,  the less I’ll be paid for my work.

Another factor in determining the duration is of course, money. How much do you prepare to spend for the trip? The longer it is, the more money that you have to prepare.

For the trip to Korea, I decided to see the country for 2 weeks. Is it enough? Of course not! Kekeke…eventhough Korea is not that big, there are too many interesting places to see there.

The key is, knowing what you want to see and do on the trip. I usually make a list of things that I want to do and then planning the itinirary according to that wish list. I have to chose what I really…really…really want…I can’t be greedy hehehe…

My wish list for this Korea trip was:
1. Enjoying autumn in Mt Seorak.
2. Meeting with my friends in Korea.
3. Seeing the places visited by 1N2D members in Gyeongju episode.
4. Visiting Busan’s Santorini
5. Experiencing Jimjilbang
6. Shopping in Busan & Seoul

That’s all.

I know that the flight from my country will take me to Seoul and will leave from Seoul. So, Seoul is the beginning and ending destination.

Other destinations are Mt Seorak in Sokcho, Busan and Gyeongju. I decided to visit Jeju too…because…it’s an iconic place in Korea.

Next is determining the duration in each destination. It depends on how many places that you want to see there. I also have to estimate the time that will be needed to travel between destination.

Another important thing to consider is the possible routes and mode of transportations between destinations.
How do I know about all of these informations? Of course, I have to search for them. I mostly use Google.

Korea is one of the countries that I’ve visited that have a great tourism organization. The KTO – Korean Tourism Organization do a great job in promoting the tourism and providing information for traveling to and in Korea. Their webpage is well maintained. They have events all year round to encourage people to visit Korea. Their free apps are available in Apple Store and Google Play.

The KTO website was my main source of information. I also read a travel book about Korea, which was a gift from my friends. My other source of information was my friends who had visited Korea.

This was my original final itinerary (I made several itinerary versions and finally chose one that I felt as the best):
Day 1: arrive in Seoul, attend Sunday mass at Myeongdong Cathedral and meet with my friend.
Day 2: travel to Sokcho
Day 3: see Mt Seorak
Day 4: travel to Jeju
Day 5: sightseeing in Jeju
Day 6: travel to Busan, see Busan’s Santorini
Day 7: sightseeing in Busan
Day 8: take a walk to Mt Jiri
Day 9: travel to Gyeongju, sightseeing in Gyeongju
Day 10: travel to Seoul
Day 11 – 14: sightseeing in Seoul

Next: hunting for discounted tickets and accomodations. How? Wait for my next post ^_^


Planning is Half the Fun

For me, planning for a trip is half the fun. I already feel excited before the actual trip. Planning for a trip is a side-tracking activity that I actually like.

I’ve never really written about how I did this planning process in my other traveling blogs. So, this time, I want to share how I prepared the trip to Korea.

Let’s see…..where should we start? Hem….okay……

For me, the first thing that I have to decide when planning a trip is: WHEN to travel.

It’s important because:

1. I’m an employee, so I have to follow the company’s rules about taking day off for travelling. Careful planning will make sure that I will be able to finish the jobs/projects on time before leaving for a trip. I won’t be able to enjoy the trip if there’s unfinished business at the office. Actually, informing my direct supervisor months in advance usually will make it easier to get the permission for taking the days off from work.

2. Deciding when to travel will affect the itinerary of the trip. For this trip to Korea, I decided that I wanted to see autumn leaves at Mt Seorak. Looking up for the information about “danpoong” (단풍) or the peak autumn colors from the internet helped me decided to travel on during early November 2013.  At first I decided to see the southern part of Korea first but after studying about the foliage peak color, I changed my itinerary and visited Mt Seorak soon after arriving in Korea because the autumn color appears on the northern part first and then slowly move to the southern part of the country.

3. Having a decided date to travel will make it easier when hunting for the (cheaper) airplane tickets. The biggest expense for a trip is usually the plane tickets. Too keep the cost down, I usually travel during low season. Somehow, most people travel during summer or spring and that’s why the airplane tickets and the hotel during those seasons are more expensive. For me, the prettiest scenery in 4-seasons countries can be found during autumn. That’s why I usually chose to travel in autumn.

4. Knowing the travel date will also make it easier to coordinate the schedule with other friends. Sometimes when I travel, I have friends that I want to visit during the trip. I have friends in Korea and by letting them know in advance about my travelling plan helped us to coordinate our schedules.

5. Deciding on the travel date helps me manage my finances. How? I think I better explain this topic further in another post. I will tell you about my financing tricks later.

What else? hem…can’t think of any….

Well, that’s the first step of planning the trip. Next step will be revealed in my next post. See you later ^_^