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
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 ^_^