A lesson that I have worked very hard to learn is that a Diva should always take time out for herself. Something that I REALLY want to start making sure that I do is to travel outside of the city (or country if possible) one weekend of every month. Since I have some vacation time to burn, I decided to take a week off and go to Busan. If you are coming to Korea soon, or would like to travel Korea while you are here, here is the Solo Angel Travel Method.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post.
Traveling with others is fun, but sometimes, I don't want to have to work around someone else's preferences and vice versa! The timing for this trip is very weird. As I mentioned, I am starting a new school soon and had a week to kill. It is also right at the start of Lent and I go Pescatarian for Lent. I have an 언니 that had suggested going to Busan together for the weekend, but since I am not eating meat (and she has a new boyfriend), she didn't want to go. Another co-worker may have been interested but she doesn't like seafood. It was just better to go it alone.
Also, with having to change schools, and everything being on a stand still due to the Corona-virus, I have had the time to really reflect on what my time in Korea is going to lead to. I don't have the lifespan for just taking time off I need to be working to move forward, towards something; and that is this blog. I want to work towards being a travel blogger and a travel photographer and later a travel planner. So I am taking this time to build a foundation towards just that.
First thing I do is look and see if there are any events that I might be interested in going to. Facebook and Google are great places to start. Just a simple "Events in Busan" does the trick for google. For Facebook, I'll check the events tab. This gives me all of the things that are associated with different groups that I am in or friends that I have. I didn't find anything worth attending so that does not set the plans for me.
Next I check out Klook. Klook is my new best friend. It is a website (and app) that has thousands of different touristy things to do from sightseeing, bus tours, private tours and amusement parks. It even has lists of popular places to eat and discounts on hotels and travel. Klook is not just for Korea. If you are planning a trip to Seville, Spain, which I am, you can also check out those Double Decker tours and have your tickets purchased before you get on the plane! If you like to Dream Vacation Plan, you can also create a wish-list of all of those Fabulous Places that you would like to visit. It is cheaper to use the app, they give you a discount!
I like to schedule day tours. For usually under $50 but definitely under $100 I can see 2-5 different locations, someone else takes care of the travel and the admissions. If you saw my "Seoul-cation Day 1" post, that was a whole tour. $75 got me on a plush tour bus and took me to three different locations, with admission included. Just a heads up, not all tours include admission or they may include partial admission. I also did a tour with a friend before that took us to the Gwangmyeon Cave, but in order to do some of the inside activities there was an additional charge. Just make sure you thoroughly read the "What to Expect" section.
I chose to do two tours, The Busan East Cultural Tour and the Gyeongju UNESCO World Heritage Site Seokgulam Bulguska Temple Day Trip. Both tours are over 10 hours and it is only costing me $94.00!
So now that I have an itinerary I will book my hotel. I book my hotel after I plan my itinerary because if my tour does not include "Hotel Pick-up" I want to be somewhere close to the Rendezvous Point or at least easy access. Or I want to be in an area that is near some other landmarks or points of interest.
I booked my hotel through Agoda using the Klook app for an additional 7% discount on top of the 75% discount that Agoda already had on the hotel that I chose. When you use Agoda you are able to filter your search to choose accommodations based on their price, location, popularity, reviews, amenities, and more! My filter is pretty simple:
Clean double bed
single room (I don't like hostels)
Close to KTX
Under $40 a night
Using the app I was able to search on a map and find the perfect place for my preferences. 4 nights in Busan set me back 156,000 Korean won, which is about $130.
Klook offers discounts for Agoda, Booking.com, and Hotels.com. I've used Agoda for the last two places pretty much for the discounts. Let me tell you a little something about me. I am very "frugal". I also understand that I get what I pay for. So considering that I was spending $20 a night for my Seoul stay I wasn't mad about the hot water situation.
If I was leaving Korea, I would have done this first. I am an avid fan of Skyscanner and always use it to check airfare prices. Since I am not leaving Korea, just going from one side to the other I'll be taking KTX. I was able to purchase the tickets online. 46,300 won each way comes out to 92,600 won or $78; and a window seat to boot! It's a little more than I would like, but it is highly unlikely to find a sale on KTX tickets! They are pretty set.
I tried to budget around $300-$500 dollars for this trip since it is so short. I have spent 360, 207 won. It sounds like a lot, but when I remember that I could have spent that much on the hotel alone, I feel much better! Plus with the tours, I am getting a lot done for a relatively low price.
Ladies, don't be afraid to travel alone. Take the time to really get in tuned with yourself. How do you plan for solo travel trips?