Now that I had the dates and duration of stay at each cities, I could begin the hunting for discounted airline tickets. The key is, you have to know when the airlines’ promotion period. How do I know about it? By signing up for their newsletter.
Here’s a little tips:
1. Jet star always have promo every Friday morning. Their big promo (take a friend for free or return for free) is usually in late Oct or November.
2. Air Asia free seats promo usually occurs in late November.
3. Late November to early December is a good time to hunt for discoubted tickets from pricier airlines such as Lufthansa, Qatar, Malaysian Airlines.
For this Korea trip, I choose to use Garuda Indonesia airline because their discounted tickets is only a little bit more expensive than Air Asia’s regular price. My friend gave me the tip to look for the discounted ticket from the airline’s website around late January-February. I did that, and got the tickets for USD 520, the regular ticket price was around USD 700.
Next is hunting for accomodation. This one takes more time than looking for the tickets. I usually use Hostelworld.com for hostels, Tripadvisors.com and Agoda.com for hotels. Hunting for good accomodation takes time and that’s why I usually do this months before the trip – especially for a long trip like this.
The steps are:
1. Looking for available accomodations during the time of my visit. The really good ones must be booked up to 6 months in advance.
2. From those available accomodations, I usually rank them based on the review score. I believe that the higher the score, the better it is. I also compare the number of people who gave the score. A score of 7.8 from 50 people is more solid than a score of 8 from 2 people.
3. After that, I sorted them by the location. How high is their location score, how detailed is their instruction on how to get there. It’s important because I don’t want to stay at a really nice place but it’s in the middle of nowhere without access to public transportation.
4. Then from the selected few, I read the people comments. If the recents comments are all good then it’s a good one but if there’s 1 or several unsatisfied comments recently, even though the total score is still good, I won’t chose it.
Booking from Hostelworld is easy and you only have to pay for only 10% down payment. While booking from Agoda, sometime they have a promo for paying later – you book the hotel now but they will charge your credit card a month after that.
The nice hostels and hotels usually send a confirmation email directly after the booking website send their confirmation email too. They don’t just send the confirmation, they also give a detailed instruction with map on how to get to their premise.
Here are my selections:
1. The Suitcasers Hotel in Myeong Dong, Seoul.
2. Casa Seorak, Sokcho
3. Sum guesthouse, Jeju
4. Kim’s house, Busan
5. Nahbi guesthouse, Gyeongju
6. Hill House Hotel, Seoul