Here are some tips to get you ready to storm that harsh temperature, like a pro.
First time going to Korea? Are you excited that you can’t decide what to bring for your trip? Then read along and let me help you decide.
Now, this is important. Don’t be like me who brought everything and ended up not using anything and regretted that I didn’t buy the important things.
All of it just ended in the kilos of my baggage which, of course, I have to pay extra.
Airlines are bloodsuckers that won’t even allow 2kls extra. And don’t even think of paying for that extra kilo, the moment you did, you’ll be boarding that plane with a tear in your eye. And you haven’t reach Korea yet. Tsk2x.
So, to avoid that, here are some tips to get you started.
Don’t forget your medicines especially if you have maintenance and other sicknesses.
Also, bring medicine for cold, fever, cough, runny nose and the likes. The temperature in Korea on winter reaches negative degrees. And if you think that you can handle it… think again.
Though there are coughs and cold medicine in Korea and are much more effective, but unless you have a guide that could translate for your or that your reception at the hotel could speak your language, I suggest you bring your own medicines.
The temperature in Korea in this season is dry and cold. And I bet you’ll be wearing those winter socks, and at the end of the day, you’ll get this tiny red dots all over your feet which are very itchy that you just wanted to scratch the daylights off.
The remedy, buy physiogel lotion or any moisturizer lotion and apply it all over your legs to moisturize it before putting on your socks.
I forgot to bring this tiny baby with me since I thought I don’t need it since my feet are used to wearing socks. So guess who end up scratching their feet the whole night until those tiny red dots exploded and produced a watery, sticky texture and are painful as hell!
Don’t be like me.
Dry, cold temperature equals to the cracking of skin especially at the lips and the outline of the hole of your nose. Lips balms could prevent that, so don’t be afraid to use it regularly on your travels even if you’re a man. You’d rather lose your pride as a man than walking in pain with crack lips and nose. Besides, nobody cares since men there used cosmetics as well.
This lip balm from SkinFood is the best lip balm that I have ever used. It could instantly heal my chopped lips overnight! And it smell and taste delicious!
So get loose with this balms me’ friends!
These are all the essential things that are very useful there. I don’t recommend bringing your own shampoo, conditioners, body wash, soap, etc., since they already provide it at the hotel. But if you’re not comfortable at using the hotel’s, you can also bring your own especially the face wash since they don’t provide that. But if you’re cool with either option, I suggest you don’t, less space in the baggage. And you don’t have to fear the check security stopping you because of your liquids that exceed 100ml. But as soon you enter, there are shops that sells liquid stuffs exceeding 200ml and it’s perfectly alright to bring it to the plane as hand carries. Really, what’s with that? But hey, I’m just a nobody ranting here and there, don’t mind me.
Now, this is a topic that most wanted to know.
Without further chattering, let’s discuss these things one by one.
Why a bonnet? I have a fancy winter hat here. I have my winter coat that had a furry hood. I don’t like bonnets; they are ruining my style.
Well, the advantage of bonnets is 1. It could cover your head until your ears, so you don’t have to bring ear muffs anymore which regular fancy hat couldn’t provide. Remember, the less you have winter accessories with you, the better, since you have to continually remove them once you enter a building (temperature inside buildings are warm). 2. The most important thing, bonnet doesn’t hinder your left and right vision, unlike those fluffy, furs your jacket hood provides.
And the disadvantage is…. Maybe you’re not good looking with a bonnet, and it hindered in your pictorials and selfies? You can easily remove it and put it on again. No problem!
I don’t really recommend this since it gets in the way during picture time. Unless you want your pictures to be all eyes, then go ahead. Thus you have to remove it every time you take pictures and put it on again which is a hassle especially if you have many things in your hands.
But, masks could literary save your life. It prevents cold air from entering your lungs which is a good thing especially if you have asthma. And it can provide you with moist warm air from your mouth which added to extra warmth. Mmmm…
Just bring one just in case.
An alternative for this is, if you have a winter jacket that already provides cover in the mouth area, that’s the best. Or a neck warmer that comes with a mask like the one that guy above is wearing. You could just easily push it down to show your whole face and put it back on without hassles.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, layering is the key to survive out there in the cold, freezing temperature.
The first layer, of course, is your underwear.
Second layer, heattech base. One on the upper and another on the lower body. Uniqlo has these types of clothes.
The third layer, your regular clothes preferably thick and long sleeves as well as pants.
Fourth, is, of course, your winter jacket.
Fifth, optional. Winter Coat.
This is the most expensive one to buy, but it saves your life out there, so… yeah… you just have to buy it.
I recommend those winter jacket at Columbia or north face. Uniqlo also is nice. And make sure that is larger than you since you have all those layerings underneath. Pick the one that is water repellant, have a hood, could cover up to your neck and has an extra fabric to cover your mouth and! The most important thing could cover up to your knees and is extra light!
Most jackets are heavier than a one-year-old kid, don’t pick those, pick the one that is light, Uniqlo has those, and you could ask the saleslady in Columbia and north face if they have those types. They’re more expensive, but hey, unless you want a jacket that weighs like a kid and carries it all day, be my guess. You’ll be tired before you even walk out of your hotel.
And you ask me, why buy the one with a hoodie if you already have a bonnet? Well, if your bonnet is water repellant, then a hoodie isn’t required, but if it’s not, then I suggest to stick with the water repellant jacket with a hoodie, because, sometimes, it snows.
Important! Choose the expensive one that is touch sensitive, waterproof and heattech, so you don’t have to remove it every time you wanted to use your phone and you can play with the snow to your hearts content. Chose the expensive one at Columbia or north face. Trust me on this, don’t go cheap with this one. Your fingers could turn frigid in seconds outside that cold, and a good quality gloves could save your limbs.
I’ve bought the one in Uniqlo and Muji, but honestly, it didn’t do anything against the cold out there. I don’t know about the one in Columbia and north face since they’re more expensive, but I think that those gloves are really for below-freezing point temperatures.
And don’t buy those fabrics knitted types because, at the end of the day, you’ll be eating wool from thread-bare.
Chose the one that covered until the ankle and a size larger than you since you still have winter socks underneath. And the important thing is that, it’s water repellant and slip resistant.
Tiles in Korea are slippery, but even with the slip resistant, it still slippery! AH!
Just avoid those areas that had snow and ice. Trust me, don’t go there just to experience walking on it.
You’ll regret it.
You’re all good to go!
If you’re asking me if you want to bring a scarf and an earmuff and other things that are not listed up there, be my guest. But for me, if your clothes and jacket already covered up to the neck and you have a bonnet, a scarf and earmuffs are just a waste of space in the baggage. But if you think that you would look good with scarfs and those big fluffy ear muffs during selfies, then go ahead, just suffer the consequences of removing and putting those on again and again if you enter a building. Honestly, they’re a hassle to carry.
* The moment you reach Korea, go to the nearest convenient store and buy these little babies.
Heat packs could save your life!!
Now here are the instructions on how to use them.
Remove the heat pack from the wrapper. Yes, what you are seeing is just the wrapper, the heat pack is inside that wrapper (the one on the lady’s hand). Shake the heat pack for a minute and place it inside the pocket of your jacket.
Let it rest in your pocket until maybe five minutes or when you feel that it is already warm.
Heat packs are placed in the pockets of your coat for your hands to stay warm. There are also heat packs for the feet, tummy and other areas of the body, but let’s just buy the one for the hands.
You can also, from time to time, tap it on your mouth and nose for that extra warmth. Mmmmm….
Important! Heat packs can last 16 to 18 hours or a day depending on the numbers on the packaging, the number is in numeric and probably the only thing understandable while the others are in Korean.
Now, if you notice that your heat pack doesn’t emit heat anymore due to the frequent exposure to outside air, just shake it a few seconds and placed it inside your coat pocket. After another minute or more, you’ll feel that it has gotten warm again and you can remove it from your pocket and tap it back on your mouth or nose.
Yep, that’s the trick. And I wish I found out sooner. *sigh….
* If your itinerary includes the Han River cruise or you’re planning on going on this trip, I advise you to stop. Han River Cruise is nice on any season except winter.
If you don’t have a tour bus to take you there and back at your hotel, the hassle to take a taxi going there alone is not worth it. And the most frustrating is going back to your hotel since they don’t have a taxi station there. You have to walk like a kilometer or so to reach the outside to the nearest taxi stop. And with the freak’n cold, I don’t think so.
Don’t be fooled with the romantic, cozy atmosphere and the promise of the great view. You’ll be cruising with other tourists and mostly Koreans who, for the whole trip, just talk and talk nonstop, like annoying flies buzzing around your ears. Really, it’s just a nightmare, and you can’t even go outside to take pictures because of the freak’n weather.
Really, is not worth it.
* If your trip includes, Everland, Lotte world, Nami island, Petite France and garden of morning calm. Chose Nami island (morning), Petite France (afternoon) and garden of morning calm (evening). There is a tour for these three, and it’s on the same day complete with a bus and all. You don’t have to worry a thing except for your meals since they are not included in the tour. Just ask your tour organizer to arrange it for you. But if you’re traveling solo without the help of an organizer, Klook has these. Just download the app, and you’re ready to go!
A word of advice, check the latest news about shops and restaurant if you have a specific item to buy or food to taste because Korea has this crazy thing called relocation which happens every month? I don’t know.
The shop that we wanted to go was just there at a specific location four months ago according to the site, and when we got there, it was already closed and relocated to an area we don’t know of since the sign was in Korean. Bummer.
I Hope you have a lovely trip!
And since traveling to Korea takes time, nothing could beat reading a novel while relaxing in the plane with tea in hand.
Read novels here at www.miunovels.com