One of the most stressful parts of
planning any trip can be picking a place to stay. There is a lot to factor in, such as price, location and overall comfort. Traveling in Asia can sometimes present options that people from North America are not used to. In fact, some from North America may think of traveling to Korea and worry about having to deal with things such as squatting toilets or bathrooms where you are not supposed to flush toilet paper down the drain. Yet rest assured that there are a number of options that are clean and comfortable for anyone from any country. In this post, we will look at 3 options you may consider staying at for your trip to Korea. We will examine the pros and cons of each option to better help you with your decision.
Hotels In Korea
Website: Depends on the hotel of your choice.
Korea are full of hotels that are very clean and modern. They can be located in the heart of a city, close to public transportation or near a beach along the coast. Many are also known for having excellent restaurants for a romantic dinner, and some do offer a free breakfast to their guest. While Korea does have many hotels that are unique to Korea, they also have many internationally known hotels such as Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Hyatt and Westin.
PROS: The pros to being in a hotel is that the experience will usually be similar to what a person is used to from their own country. With luxury dining and good access to stores and public transportation, hotels are a good choice for a short term stay. Also, in Korea there is no tipping. So you won’t be expected to tip your house keeper everyday for cleaning up your room.
CONS: Hotels can be expensive to stay in. And usually there isn’t much, if any, room to negotiate a lower rate if you are by yourself. Even if you pay for the room in cash, or if you pay for the room before you arrive in Korea, you will still need to give a credit or debit card when you check in for a incidental hold. If you have not notified your card company or bank about your trip, the charge could be viewed as fraudulent and access to using your card can be restricted until you confirm with them that you are indeed in Korea.
Recommendation: Use a hotel if you are staying in Korea for a short period of time. If you have points for a free night or two, feel free to use them. Also, if it is an international hotel chain such as a Marriott, see if they have any promotions that will earn you extra rewards for your stay and make sure you sign up for them before you leave. If the hotel has an early check in option from their app, be sure to use that as well.
Over the last few years, many travelers have wanted to stay somewhere other than a hotel. Airbnb fills this desire for many travelers. Airbnb allows a user to book a place to stay similar to how a hotel would. Type in your dates and the location you are looking for, and Airbnb will look for the rest.
PROS: Airbnb can show you options for all of South Korea, not just Seoul. This is a great option for someone wanting to stay long term, but preferring to be in a city like Busan, Daegu or Suwon. It is also easy to set filters to make your search easier, including searching by the price per month you can afford to pay. Users that make a new account can be eligible for a small discount on their reservation. If you are going to make a new account and want to get this discount added to your account you can do so at the following link: https://www.airbnb.com/c/chrisn23571?currency=USD
CONS: Airbnb is not always the cheapest option. In fact, some place will be more expensive than getting a hotel room, even in Seoul. Also, some places have multiple listings, but do not have the same price for the same room type. Also, if one is coming from North America and are used to having an entire house for an Airbnb, they should be aware that many in Korea live in an apartment. In fact, some places will offer you a private bedroom, but in their personal apartment. So you should be sure to check carefully to make sure that what you are paying for is what you really want.
Recommendation: It doesn’t hurt to sign up for an Airbnb account and to check what options are available. Depending on who you talk with, the host can give you the option to book and possibly a discount for booking early. Even if you decide not to book an Airbnb for this trip, it’s a good option to have for the future. Keep in mind that if you do sign up and get a credit on your account, you can use it to make the price a little cheaper for you.
Staying at a Goshiwon, Oneroomtel, Livingtel or Guesthouse
Website: Many sites available, but you can try https://goshipages.com/ or search on Google.
There are many names for this option, but they are usually similar in function. This option is one that people who are working in Korea or students would pick for a longer stay in Korea that was cheaper. Basically, you rent a small room or share a room similar to a reformatory style of room. Due to this, you sometimes see this option, regardless of the name, in areas near universities. While some of these places can appear on a search of Airbnb’s in Korea, it can sometimes be best to search for this option on a separate site.
PROS: This usually will be the cheapest option per month. The design is very simple and can allow for a person to work from the privacy of their room if necessary. Most places will offer free rice and kimchi, with others offering free ramen, eggs, coffee and tea. There is a place to do your laundry, most have a 24 hour staff and at least one person who can speak English and knows their way around the neighborhood.
CONS: Sometimes, you get what you pay for. For most of the cheaper options or older facilities, your room can be smaller and you will have to share a toilet and shower with other people. Some do come with a private shower or a bathroom that has a showerlet, shower head above or nearly above the toilet, but these are usually more expensive options.
Recommendation: Be sure to know your budget and what you are willing have or not have if you use this option. Also, be clear on what options the room has as far as a private refrigerator, spacing for clothes and also the house rules. Also be sure to know what options you’ll have as far as public transportation and shops nearby that may make one location better for your situation.
What’s The Best Overall Option?
The best option overall would be to stay with someone you know who can show you around and help you out. However, that is not always practical. Everyone’s budget and comfort level are different. In the end, you will have to decide what is best for you and for those you are traveling with. But at least you do have options for your stay in Korea, no matter how long it may be.