18 Tips & Tricks to go to Seoul, Korea as a Family with Toddler

We have visited Seoul, Korea last month with our daughter (4 years old) for 3 night and 4 days. Temperature about 15 celsius, mostly sunny and a little breeze. Here the 18 tips and tricks I can share according to our recent experience.

1. Kids under 6 years old are free to ride the public transportation such as Bus, Airport Bus and Subway train. You can buy the T-Money card and top up at most convenience stores.

2. The subway station not really stroller friendly. We carried our daughter’s umbrella stroller up and down the stairs. Bring umbrella stroller instead of huge heavy bulky stroller.

3. Taxi fare is pretty reasonable compare to another big city such as Toronto or NYC. So, instead of walking to the subway station for short distance, the fare maybe almost the same if you take taxi. Majority taxi drivers speak fluent English.

4. If you plan to bring your kids to Wonderland, plan to spend the whole day over there. Even though our daughter cannot ride or enter some games due to her height, we still ran out of time to try everything inside. Pororo Land, inside Wonderland suits children 6 years under. But we had to pay about 10.000 won for 1 1/2 hours, it’s worth it because my daughter had a blast and got a change to take picture with Pororo & Eddie. In the same area there is a Lotte Aquarium (require different admission fee), compare to Toronto Ripley’s Aquarium, we found this aquarium a bit underwhelming.

5. Avoid Insadong if you are not really keen to see that place. It’s not child and stroller friendly at all.

6. Beside adult Hanbok rental, they also have children Hanbok. Try to rent at least 3 hours or the whole day so you don’t have to rust to return the Hanbok. You just don’t want to ruin your mood and have to walk back when the time is up and you are still pretty far inside the palace. And don’t book in advance because we never know what happen during the day. Travelling with kids it’s mean unpredictable. You can enter All palaces free when you wear Hanbok. You wear Hanbok on top of your clothes, so wear something tight like legging. If you have a long hair, they also provide hairstyle and make up for additional price. Locker is included.

7. At Myeondong there are some clothing street sellers during night market. For adult or children clothing you can or have to bargain. So, I will assume most of clothing merchant especially the one on the street or subway stations underground are not base on fix price. Time to use your bargaining skill.

8. From Airport to certain places in Seoul by Airport Bus (click link to learn more about Airport Bus – Fare, route, etc) it’s pretty convenience with kids. The seats are huge and comfortable. They also provide drinking water dispenser. The driver helps you in and out your luggage, so you can focus on your child(ren). I recommend book a hotel that has this bus route. You will take the same bus to get back to the airport. 3 of us had 4 huge luggage, 2 backpacks and 1 small luggage. It won’t fit the regular taxi. So transporting with Airport Bus to downtown Seoul is the best option. Price and time wise.

9. Use KLOOK apps to find some good deals for some tourist places, restaurants and activities. For Seoul itself they have pretty good deals such as wifi device rental that you can pick up and return it at the airport. We also bought our Wonderland passes through this apps. Why have to pay full price?  Use my KLOOK referral code 8JD97 to earn some rewards. The app is easy to use, you just have to read carefully their term & condition for each offer.

10. Book your hotel in advance. Check the rate on TripAdvisor or directly to hotel website. We got a good deal when we booked directly to Ibis Ambassador Myeongdong. We recommended this hotel due to its location that just few steps from Myeongdong Night Market and cosmetic store heaven. They also can keep your unused luggage so we only take the one that we need during our stay at the hotel room.(Seoul was our stay over trip after a month trip to Indonesia and on our way back to Toronto).

11. Buy your souvenir at local market such as Namdaemun Market. Even most of the souvenir have fix price, the seller will give you some bonus items when you buy couple of souvenirs with them. Just ask then they will give it to you happily. Don’t buy souvenir at the airport unless you left with no choice. Because the souvenir price at the Incheon Airport is expensive.

12. If you are a foodie but also want to save couple of bucks. Don’t spend all your food adventure on night market. Through out the day on the street, local market or subway station they also sell some snacks that usually we see on night market, the only difference is their price. On subway station the price much much cheaper. 2000-3000 won snacks price on night market, only 1000 won max at Subway stations.

13. Money changers in Myeongdong have a better rate compare to the airport. But just remember that they don’t accept all foreigners money. Eg. Indonesian Rupiah.

14. If you plan to eat your food that you buy at night market in your hotel, let them know you want to take out. They will give a plastic bag or different packaging that easy to carry. Otherwise they will assume you will eat it directly and you only have 2 hands, haha.

15. Korean seniors love kids. Don’t get surprise if they try to talk or over a candy to your kids. Their gestures are cute as our kids.

16. Don’t try google map. It’s just not working. Use Korea Tour Offline Map Apps instead. It works pretty accurate and easy to read. Especially if you want to take public transportation.

17. Spend at least 4 days and ideally 1 week to get to know and explore Seoul more. We gladly that we spent 4 days over there even though we still had some places we want to explore. Surely with kid tag along, we cannot move faster and have to follow their pace.

18. If you want to get your tax return, spend minimum of 30.000 won. For that amount and above, you will get a special receipt that you can bring to airport to get a tax return. It’s not apply on street stalls. Most cosmetic stores will give you free sample if you buy their product. Don’t fall to their marketing if you don’t really need them, they are very good at persuading you to buy more items.

That’s 18 tips and tricks that I can think of. Enjoy your trip! Share in the comment if you have some tips to share. I’m more than happy to know your tips and tricks.

Ps. This post is not sponsored.

Earn Cash Back Never This Easy

This post will benefit for Canadian only (sorry for my other readers in the other part of the world). I would like to share how to be a smart shopper at grocery store specifically nowaday when we’re surounding by techonoly of smart phone!

I still love paper/printed coupon even not so crazy about it but what I want to share today is about electronic coupon and all the tips that I found a long the way when I was enjoying saving and happy shopping. How we will saving a lot when we do grocery with the help of out beloved smart phone in hand. So without futher ado, let’s start it!

You should install this amazing flyer collector app.

They post almost all grocery and retail stores across the country every single week/day depend on the expired of the flyer for each store. They even post some flyer one day before for us to preview. Awesome.

They post almost all flyer of grocery and retail stores across the country every single week/day depend on the expired of the flyer for each store. They even post some flyer one day before for us to preview. Awesome.

This juts example of the flyer when we click to look at it. It exactly the same with the paper flyer that Walmart produces.

This just example of the flyer when we click to look at it. It exactly the same with the paper flyer that Walmart printed it.

The coolest of this app is we could clpping the product that we intereted in. And then compare it to another store's flyer to just compare the price.

The coolest of this app is we could clpping the product that we interested in. And then compare it to another store’s flyer to just compare the price.

This clipping section make us easy to look back or it will become our kinda shopping list.

This clipping section make us easy to look back or it will become our kinda shopping list.

We need to have this app in first hand, so we could always uptodate about what’s going on in stores this week.

2. CHECKOUT51

This is one of the app that give us a cash back/electornic coupon when we did buy one or more products that they posted on that week. The amount of cash back is vary from $0.25 up to $5 depend on the product.

How it works is so simple:

1) Check what the promotion of this week, it something that we need or could stock up? I am not suggesting us to buy the promotion product just for the cash back sake. Buy the one that you need, with coupon/cash back or without you still need to buy this product, in this way, we truly saving some money of our grocery budget of that week.

2) After you find the product that you need, go to any grocery store to buy it and don’t forget to KEEP you receipt.

3) Open the App, capture your entire receipt and claim the cash back! After that they will review your claim for some time and after that if everything is okay and legit, you’ll see the amount you claim already credit it to your account. Collect it until it reach $20 or more so you can start to cash it out. It took around 10 days for you to receive the cheque that send to your door!

Example of this week [From Thu-Wed]

Example of this week [From Thu July 10 – Wed July 16]

I cash out $27.50 before, so my balance now is $16.75 I need to wait until I reach another $20s to cash out another cheque!

I cash out $27.50 before, so my balance now is $16.75 I need to wait until I reach another $20s to cash out another cheque!

3. SNAPSAVES

It works basically same with Checkout51. But this one you must be very careful, because they don’t really have expire time for each promotion. They said we can claim any promotion within 2 days of our receipt/shopping. They also up and down the promotion product in random time. Because this reason, I am never planning anything with this app. I just do grocery and after that I check if some of my shopping is match with one their promotion. Or I just check their promotion when I already in store just to make sure if the promotion is still available. However, they have one plus thing compare to Checkout51. Snapsaves does have some promotion that doesn’t have limitation, you can claim it again and again as long it still on the app and you follow their rule. You don’t have to wait another week just to check if the promotion that you like is up again or not.

Example of the app that show I'd claimed some prmotion

Example of the app that show I’d claimed some promotion.

I Hit $26 cash back yesterday and cash it out too. Let's see how long it will take for the cheque to arrive!

I Hit $26 cash back yesterday and cash it out too. Let’s see how long it will take for the cheque to arrive!

4. ZWEET

This is the last cash back app I’d like to share with you. As long as I know, Checkout51 not available for Quebec residents, too bad, huh? but Zweet is available and maybe SnapSaves too. This one has the less promotion each week compare to its compatitors. However, it does have more unbranded product to claim, make us more freedom to shop!

See, unbranded product, so you could buy any or your favourite kechup brand and claim it!

See, unbranded product, so you could buy any or your favourite kechup brand and claim it!

This is the lowest and slowest cash back I work or pursue, haha!

This is the lowest and slowest cash back I work or pursue, haha!

 Miscellaneous

  • I guess CheckOut51 is the pioneer of this App and others are followers.
  • I like Checkout51 more because it has spesific time to claim and almost never run out the cash back in the middle of the week, compare to SnapSaves that so often soldout in the time you want to claim your cash back
  • All cashback app work on the same way
  • At store we normally cannot combine any coupon, but for this one they don’t care if at store you already use another printed coupon for the product that we want to claim
  • Be a smart shopper. With this one we can end up double saving or even tripple saving. How? Wait until the perfect time when you have a printed coupon in hand, the product on sale at store, and last but not least there is cash back for same product in one of these app. Example : Yesterday I bought Olivia’s formula milk (Similac 964gr package), There was on sale at Walmart from $38 something to $34.94, also I had $10 cheque from Similac that I got from my friend  and guess what? at Checkout51 there is $5 cash back for Similac. So I saved neary $20 for that milk, Felt so good! Mission Completed!
  • Don’t be panick, enjoy it not over do it. If you passed the promotion because you forget to claim it or because you just bought the product 2 days ago and why the promotion just come up today, don’t be sad and just move on and continue happy shopping and happy saving.
  • Remember, Use it when you need the product first, not vice versa. In this way, we truly saving and not become consumptive shopper, buying something that actually we don’t need it and end up spend more, this is a big no no in the game of couponing/cashback, haha
  • Did you know that some store have “Match Price” program? I knew Walmart does this. So whenever you see the product that sell in better price than Walmart but you couldn’t shop at that store for some reasons (too far), you could show the flyer on your phone using Flipp apps to asking for price match
  • Most of the retail stores have “Wrong Price Tag” policy. Example: If you see the price tag of a product is let’s say $1 but when you pay, it says $1.25. You can complain at their customer service and prove it to them that they have wrong price tag. They will cover their mistake up to $10. In this example, you get your $1.25 back and you still get the product for free. If the product is $11.50, you just need to pay them $1.50. Most customers don’t know about this and they also pretend they don’t know about this policy, end up they just correct the price and you pay the lowest price, so be smart and speak up!
  • Anyone who know how this work as a company like Checkout51 should create the same company in their country, I guarantee it will work. For people who used or work in agency company, as a marcomm or public relation would know easly how this work. It as simple as asked any company to throw their marketing fund to you and you alocated some into cach back. The hardest part is how to convince the company to trust you? and how to promote your app and make people want to use  it is another challenge!

So guys…. start saving now. You’re welcome 🙂

YuTan