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It’s very rare that you find anyone going to Korea by driving there or taking a boat there. Safe to say that if you are planning to go to Korea, you will probably going to fly there. But if you are flying to Korea, is there anything that you will need to keep in mind? Is there anything you can do to prepare for your flight to Korea? Here are some tips that can help you to make your experience a little better and easier.

Your Passport

Unless you are coming to Korea with a visa, you will need to make sure that your passport has plenty of time left on it. For some airlines, you can book your flight and they will ask you for your passport number later. For other airlines, you will need your passport number and expiration date before they will let you book your plane ticket. The reason for this is that if you are visiting Korea for most countries, you can stay a maximum of 90 days when entering with your passport. If your passport will expire before that 90 day time period, you probably won’t be allowed to enter the Republic of Korea. If you are planning long term and aren’t sure if your passport will be at that point when you are there, you may want to take steps to renew your passport before you buy.

Mileage Program

Most airlines have a mileage program that will give you miles you can use on many things in the future, including a return trip. You’ll want to check what the mileage program is before you book and make sure that you are signed up for it before you finish the booking process. The amount of miles you can get will depend on the airline and where you are traveling from. For instance, my first trip to Korea earned me 15,000 miles on the airline that I used. One thing to keep in mind is that the miles that many airlines offer you will expire if you don’t use them or fly with them after your trip. So while you may want to fly with an airline that is known for good food or service, you may want to consider using an airline that you will use again in the future so that your miles don’t go to waste.

Credit Card Offers

If you are planing long term and want to get extra miles, you may want to consider applying for a credit card offer from an airline that you are going to fly with. Some airlines in the U.S. offer customers enough bonus miles for a free round trip ticket to many places in the world if spend a certain amount within the first 3 months. Some airlines also offer double miles if you purchase a ticket for their airline with their credit card. They may also give you access to upgraded seats, lounge area and other exclusive benefits as well.

Baggage Fees

If you know that you will take a lot of bags that you want to take with you, you will want to know what the fees will be for you. For some in the U.S., it may be cheaper to take a flight with a cheaper airline to one city, then switch to another airline to fly into Korea. However, some budget airlines can charge a lot for baggage fees, and even more if you don’t pay the fees at the time you book your flight. You will want to check with the airline to see what you are allowed to carry on and how many, if any, bags you can check in for free before you book. If you do pay with a credit card instead of a debit card, check to see if paying with that credit card will allow you to check in an extra bag for free.

Time Difference

If you are coming to Korea from East Asia, you the time difference may not be that bad. But if you are coming from anywhere else in the world, you will want to take note of what time and on what day you will arrive in Korea. For instance, if you are in the U.S. and leave on a Monday morning, you likely will arrive on to Korea on a Tuesday, or possibly on a Wednesday. This is very important to know if you need to be in Korea by a certain day or time.

Know Your Airport

If you are flying into Seoul, you may be wondering which airport you will arrive into. Keep in mind that most internationals flights will arrive at Incheon International Airport (Airport code ICN). ICN is located on an island, and you will need to pay to get off of that island. If you do not want to use this airport, your other option will be Gimpo International Airport (Airport code GMP). GMP is an older airport that is used more frequently for international flights from within Asia. If you are from Europe or North America, you can fly into this airport. However, you may have more layovers or a longer layover in another Asian country in order to fly into this airport.

Hopefully this will give you enough to think about before you book your flight to make sure that you make the best decision that you can. By planning things before hand, you can make your trip both comfortable and memorable at the same time.

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