You’ve found out the exact dates of your time off for Chuseok or Seollal and now you need to decide what to do. You could fly somewhere new, explore some part of Korea, enjoy Seoul, or stay home. This all depends on how much you’re willing to spend and what you want to do.
Staying home can be relaxing. It’s not going to cost you a lot. You can also explore your area, see what’s open during the holidays and what’s not. Local small shops will probably be closed, but anything toursity will be open. Expect restaurants to have shorter hours, and make sure you have some food at home, just in case everything nearby is closed.
You could go to Seoul. Seoul tends to be a ghost town during Chuseok and Seollal. Hotels are cheaper than normal, so you can splurge for a nice staycation. If you want to make friends, you can stay at a hostel. For some history and culture you can visit the castles, museums, and hanok villages. Or you can go to Lotte World or catch a bus to Everland and enjoy the foreigner discount and special holiday events. And, if you’re at an amusement park, you don’t have to worry about the restaurants being closed or having shorter hours.
Traveling in Korea can be a lot of fun. Stay at a hostel and meet new people and then explore what makes that area unique. You could go to Busan and enjoy the beach (though it’ll be cold), enjoy Daegu’s Suseong Lake, visit Jeju or Gyeongju and all their rich history. You can also go hiking almost anywhere in Korea. Just make sure you book everything in advance, from your train ride down to where you’ll be staying and your return ticket. Train tickets can be purchased about a month in advance. Especially do this for Jeju, as it is a popular destination for any holiday. (Flying to Jeju is the easiest, though a bit more expensive way to get there.) Your food options will range from traditional touristy food to whatever happens to be open, but this can be an adventure in and of itself. Also expect buses to not be as easy to navigate in places like Gyeongju or Jeju as they would be in bigger cities.
Or you can travel out of the country. This can be great. You skip all the holiday crowds in Korea and get to enjoy something else which will probably make your coworkers jealous. You can go anywhere. Just make sure you book your flights as soon as you know your dates. Flights in and out of Korea around the holidays get expensive the longer you wait. Plan ahead. And give yourself several more hours to get to the airport and through security than you would normally. Taking a car to the airport won’t be easy. Trains are your best bet for arriving on time. You don’t want to have to run to your gate or miss your flight. Also make sure you book your return ticket ahead of time. But once you’re where you’re going you can enjoy your holiday without worry of what’s open and what’s closed for the holiday.
Contributed by: Lauren Smith
Edited by: Kaily Long