South Korea

What to pack for your trip to South Korea

South Korea has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Winters are usually long, cold and dry. Summers are very short, hot, and humid. Spring and autumn are pleasant but also short in duration.

All-weather gear. Throughout the year, be prepared for rainy and windy conditions. Ideal are lightweight hoodies like the highly weatherproof Arc'teryx Squamish jacket, which is breathable, too – handy for when the weather clears up again. Tuck a good (but compact) umbrella, like Repel's Windproof Travel Umbrella with Teflon Coating, into your bag, in case of a real downpour.

Functional clothing. If you are planning to visit the the mountin areas during winter, probably for skiing, functional clothing is key for enjoying and being safe in the outdoors. It can get quite cold on the mountains. In addition, you should pack thermal underwear (preferably wool), breathable layer clothing, plenty of socks (again, preferably wool, rather than cotton or synthetic), and a warm hat. Swedish functional clothing specialist Odlo has a great line of clothing products for the icy outdoors.

Super-comfy walking shoes. If you are planning to do a lot of walking, especially in Seoul, the key is to be comfortable. Try to avoid bringing shoes you have not broken in. Tennis shoes (trainers, sneakers), hiking shoes or other types of durable sports shoes are probably your best bet. If you don't want to look like a tourist, dress fashionable! It might be a good idea to pack a not-too-bulky pair of trail runners, such as Saucony’s Peregrine 7 for men or women, that hold up well on wet and dry ground.

Power adapter and charger. In South Korea the power sockets are of type C and F. The 2-pin plugs fit into North American sockets, but the voltage is different. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. Type C and f adapters are included in this world adapter set from Bestek, and a multiport charger, like Anker’s compact Powerport 4.

Packing cubes. They not only keep your suitcase organized, but also compact your clothes to save space. One of frequent travellers'favorites are Eagle Creek‘s Pack-It cubes, which come in different sizes so you can tailor your setup to your needs.

Travel guides. Lonely Planet has a great South Korea travel guide. Walk along Cheong-gye-cheon's long-buried stream, hike around Jeju-do's volcanic landscape, or jump into a vat of mud during the Boryeong Mud Festival. They also have a Seoul travel guide with helpful information on what to do and see. Walk along the long-buried Cheong-gye-cheon stream, wander the labyrinthine streets of Bukchon Hanok Village, or try some Korean cuisine at Gwangjang Market.

Another great source of information is the official South Korea Tourism Organization website that provides great insider tips to the region.