TRAVELING TO SEOUL DURING AUTUMN SEASON – Month of October
Who would have thought I would be able to visit the land of K-pop, BB cream and K-drama?
Thanks to God and to my work. It has been always good to me by allowing me to experience these things of a lifetime.
I am fully aware that millenials are into Korean media from music, television series and cosmetic productd. Sometimes when we get carried away with the Korean drama we start to wonder what it feels like living in Seoul and meet the Oppas.
YOU REALLY WANT TO GO TO SOUTH KOREA BECAUSE IT IS ONE OF YOUR DREAM DESTINATIONS WHEN YOU’RE JUST A REGULAR 8-5 EMPLOYEE JUST LIKE ME.
To give you an idea about the process, I will share the things I did based on my experience when I traveled to South Korea.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
As years went by working in an office, I realized the importance of “tenureship” of being an employee. Credit card companies and Visa Application usually consider this on the approval stage.
1.) So first, secure a stable job at least 2-years as a regular local employee in our country Philippines.
If your family is not well-off and just living simply like mine, I suggest that you do your job well and impress your employer so that you get promoted.
By the way, I was 27 years old when I got the chance to visit Seoul.
2.) Then have a Savings Account with savings, of course
Save up and create a “travel fund” for yourself. You don’t want to be borrowing money for your travel goals and create a debt instead.
If you really want to establish a good credibility with Visa Applications, you must start building up your savings at the bank. In time you will the Statement of Account from bank all Visas require this
3.) Get at least two (2) credit card – Filipinos frowned upon Credit card because it’s either they don’t get approved or they just can’t help themselves swiping for mall sale.
Credit card billing statement is another good proof of financial capability. BDO Gold credit card holders can have multiple entry to South Korea.
4.) Get a Passport – I got mine when I was 25 years old. It serves as a valid ID and your key to traveling. Renew it before expiration. Book an appointment with Department of Foreign Affairs. Getting a passport these days should be easy because of DFA satellite offices inside shopping malls.
5.) Don’t go to South Korea yet. Have a travel history outside the country.
To prove that you are not going to become an illegal migrant worker, start visiting our neighbor countries first like Hong Kong, Macau which won’t require you a VISA. Start appreciating other country too.
For me, this will give you high chances to be considered for a Visa Application because it only means that you can support your travel and you’re just visiting for a holiday. Nothing else. This is just stereotyping at the Immigration.
6.) RESEARCH WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IN SOUTH KOREA – Create a draft itinerary
Have a purpose before applying for a visa. What is really your intention why you want to visit the country. Same goes when you visit other countries aside from South Korea.
7.) READY THE DOCUMENTS
I suggest you plan for a 5-7 days visit if you are a tourist.
- Philippine Passport
- Passport Photo – For Korea Visa
- Fill-out Korea Visa Application Form
The part of scrutiny: proof of income and the funding of your trip.
If you are employed, please comply the following
- Original bank certificate – addressed to Korean Embassy
- Original bank statements or passbook from the last 3 months – make sure you have active bank account and you have enough money that can sustain your trip. Again research for the budget during your whole stay.
TIP: I submitted my Payroll account (because it will show to the Korean that I have a job here and that it will oblige me to go back)
- Original Certificate of Employment
- Photocopy of ITR – Form 2316
- Photocopy of your credit card and statement
- Additional proof – itinerary and hotel booking
8.) THEN CONTACT AN ACCREDITED TRAVEL AGENCY TO PROCESS YOUR VISA APPLICATION – You cannot DIY on this one. This is the advice of Korean Embassy that all application for Visa must go through an agency.
Wait for the results in 1-2 weeks time.
Note: Gold credit card holders of BPI and BDO will get multiple visa entry for South Korea. But for people like us who do not have a gold credit, just wish for a single entry! haha!
9.) GET TRAVEL INSURANCE
10.) ONCE VISA IS APPROVED, BOOK FLIGHT AND ACCOMMODATION
If you get approved 3 months from your intended visit, look for cheap flights to Incheon airport, South Korea through the internet. To give you idea, check out below airfare prices. My favorite app is Skyscanner.
I went to Seoul on October 2018 and it was already cold. Wear a jacket or coat. Don’t have to buy boots, comfy rubber shoes are okay. October is Autumn Season.
There are accommodation options out there in Seoul especially if you are in a budget. Please check out the internet – google it will take you to sites where you can book online. The advantage of having a credit card and internet is you can reserve a room online. To give you idea how much is the accommodation, let’s say for 2 persons.
Now you are almost going to Seoul. But please DO A RESEARCH first about the country, the laws, the train stations, review your itinerary and budget, and please download the Google map – offline if you don’t intend to rent a wifi or buy a sim card in Seoul. DO THE STUDY!
Have your money exchanged in the Philippines or at airport – It’s up to you. PHILIPPINES PESO – KOREAN WON // 1 PHP = 22 KRW
Get a good camera for photo ops, a selfie stick or tripod. Make good memories because you worked so hard to apply for the visa and to spend the money. 🙂 Country is safe and efficient.
Embrace spicy foods and beauty products. Don’t forget to try chicken and beer. Enjoy travelling!