6 Must-Haves for a Day Trip to Seoul
Updated: Jun 14
As per military rules, we still aren’t allowed to travel to Seoul from Osan Air Base/ Pyeongtaek. Sucks, I know. However, that hasn’t stopped me from fervently daydreaming about our next day trip up there! I thought it might be handy to put together a list of everything you need (in my opinion) for a quick trip to Seoul, both as a reminder for myself and a guide for anyone else!
PS. There are a few affiliate links sprinkled in this post! I may get a small commission if you use these links- it won't cost you anything, it'll just help support my blog. I only suggest products that I personally love or that I genuinely think my readers will enjoy.
Comfy walking shoes. This is arguably the most important item on my list. A day trip to Seoul typically involves a lot of time on your feet, whether it’s standing in the train or walking from street vendor to street vendor. If you know me, you know that 99% of the time, I’m wearing open-toed shoes. I’ve been a huge fan of rubber slides lately— they’re the most comfy and easy to clean, which is important because some streets in Seoul are kinda icky. If you aren’t a slide fan, I’d suggest comfortable sneakers for sure.
Here are a few cute options options I found!
Leggings. I hate wearing pants. There, I said it. I would quite honestly rather do away with them altogether. However, a trip to Seoul does require pants, so I suggest a simple pair of black, high-waisted leggings all the way. If you consider yourself to be more on the plus-size spectrum of fashion like I do, I suggest staying away from shorts if you’re going to Seoul for the day. Not because you can’t rock them, but because the weather in Seoul (and most of central Korea) is extremely humid during the summer, and chafing is bound to happen. Long story short: You’re going to want soft, stretchy leggings to wear for long train rides and general exploring— comfort is key, here.
Here are a few comfy options!
Portable phone charger. Unless you’re lucky enough to have your own car in Korea, you’ll probably be taking the train to Seoul. It’s about an hour-and-a-half ride from where I live, so I always make sure to bring a portable phone charger with me (or I use my husband’s). There’s nothing worse than having your phone die on the train, especially if it dies before you even get to where you’re going.
Here are a few great options for portable chargers.
Backpack. I’ve found that the easiest way to tote your stuff to Seoul and back is with a backpack. I tend to go for larger ones (think classic L.L. Bean) so there’s plenty of room for my things and anything I pick up while shopping— there’s a LOT of shopping to be done in Seoul, especially in Myeongdong or Hongdae. Plus, wearing a backpack means your hands are free for taking pics or whatever else you’re doing.
Check out these picks!
Reusable totes. These are a little less necessary if you bring a backpack, but if you’re carrying a regular purse to Seoul, you need to bring reusable shopping totes. It helps cut down on plastic waste, and a lot of Korean retailers actually will charge you for plastic bags when you make a purchase. Save the turtles AND your wallet!
Here are my favorite options!
Card holder/ Small wallet. If you’re taking the train to Seoul, you’ll need to keep your T-money card handy so that you can get through each station as quickly as possible. I suggest bringing either a card holder or a small wristlet/wallet to keep your cards together and easily accessible. It’s really embarrassing to hold up the line digging through your back for your train card. Trust me.
These are all great options!
Face mask. A mask is important to wear on the train and in the crowded streets of Seoul, especially with the Coronavirus still going around. A lot of South Koreans wear these masks all the time, though, even when there isn't a global pandemic! Face masks protect you from getting infected or infecting others, and they can actually be a pretty cute addition to your outfit.
Here are a few cute AND functional picks!
Obviously this list isn’t all-encompassing, and everyone needs different things. I think it covers the basics, though! Having most or all of these things for a day trip to Seoul will make your life easier and will make your adventure more enjoyable. I guarantee it.
What are your must-haves for a day trip? If you’ve been to Seoul, what’s on your packing list? I’d love to hear about it!