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Budget If Free & Easy

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Kuala Lumpur...
posts: 13
reviews: 19
Budget If Free & Easy

Hi guys,

Im planning to visit Seoul from 05/12-13/12/13 with husband & 2 young children age 8 and 5. Many of my friends advice me not to opt for free & easy during winter time as it is troublesome and inconvenient to bring the kids around.

I have done some research, and found 1 local travel agency charged me around RM7800 for ground arrangement 7D6N trip (inclusive Jeju Island, Ski resort etc) for my family. Just want some advice from all. If I travel by by own (Free & easy), do you think I can save much? If there is only a thousand plus saving. I rather save the hassle & join the tour.

Let say - Hotel : RM2000 for 8 nights (hostel) + RM1000 Jeju (flight + hotel) + RM800 (food) + RM800 Ski resort + equipment + RM300 city sightseeing + RM200 Mt Sorak, Total is almost RM5100. I can actually save RM2000+ if I opt for free & easy. Did I calculate correctly and did I miss out any cost?

Pls advice. Appreciate a lot. Thank You.

Destination Expert
for Seoul, Rothenburg
posts: 7,789
reviews: 162
1. Re: Budget If Free & Easy

You might get more help if you worked in a more widely understood currency (eg Korean won)

Kuala Lumpur...
posts: 13
reviews: 19
2. Re: Budget If Free & Easy


RM7800 is about 2,578,087 Won

(ground arrangement for 2 adults & 2 kids for 7D 6N inclusive Jeju island, Ski trip, Mt Sorak, Nami Island etc)

If free & easy by ourselves without travel agency. This is our estimated cost:

Hostel is about 530,000 Won (for 8 nights).

Food about 300,000 Won.

Trip to Jeju about 400,000 Won (2 days)

Ski Trip about 300,000 Won

Other local Trip 400,000 Won

Total around : 1,900,000 Won

We could save about 600,000 Won.

Can any one help to suggest is the estimated cost enough for us? Is Winter really difficult for us to bring kids around? Should we travel by Tour or ourselves? PLs advice. Many thanks

Hong Kong, China
posts: 1,266
reviews: 61
3. Re: Budget If Free & Easy

I never travel by customised tour. It just too rush especially waking up your kids before dawn and return back to the hotel past midnight. This is just so stressful and your kids may feel depressed and will not enjoy the trip. Travelling on your own is more leisure and relaxing as you decide the itinerary and visit what you want to and eat where you feel like eating. No obligations, no commitment. With TA, we can help you mark out all the interesting sights

posts: 127
4. Re: Budget If Free & Easy

I agree to this 100%!. I also do not believe in tour group as it is very tiring and sometimes the food is not good. Even if the tour is cheaper, I will still opt for a DIY.

In Jeju, you can hire a car to take you around. :)

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 44
reviews: 8
5. Re: Budget If Free & Easy

Hi, if you have an international driving license, you may want to consider a self-drive trip in Jeju. There is no subway in Jeju. The only mode of transport is bus or taxi. If you hire a taxi for 1 whole day, it costs about USD200+. =)

Kuala Lumpur...
posts: 13
reviews: 19
6. Re: Budget If Free & Easy

Thanks Guys.

Im just worry about the weather. some told me it will be extremely cold and u won't want to carry yr children around. Therefore, a tour bus is convenient and comfortable for us.

But some told me, it is OK. As traveling around in Winter is not a big deal. Trains & Buses are easy to get.

Sigh, if we travel not during winter, then I will surely opt for Free & Easy. But Im just worry about the weather, especially with luggage and few bulky winter clothes. I am afraid I can't monitor my kids well.

I understand travel by tour is rush. But that's the most convenient method and faster way to visit Korea in a shorter time. Do you guys think RM7800 is worth for a 7D6N tour? Anyone traveled free & easy during winter (2 adult & 2 kids)? How much u have spent for yr trip? Mind to share?? Thanks

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 202
reviews: 68
7. Re: Budget If Free & Easy

Hi, I will be in Seoul at about the same time as you. It's just the 2 of us old folks on a free and easy program, plus a couple of concerts earlier booked online.

Through TA's recommendations, I have booked a 10 day's stay at a guesthouse for about USD1000. We worked out a budget of USD100 for the two of us for food and transport, shopping excluded. That is USD2000 for both of us for 10 days, without considering flight from Singapore to Seoul.

Your expenses will be determined by your preferences. Most times, it is cheaper to get land tours at your destination instead of from your home country. You bypass the middle man and can commit to the paid services once you know your needs there. The Koreans are helpful folks and I am sure your hotel will be able to arrange something at a reasonable price.

Hong Kong, China
posts: 1,266
reviews: 61
8. Re: Budget If Free & Easy

Yes, the time of your visit in december is freezing cold. Bring lots of heavy coats and dress your kids warmly. However, the subways and trains are always heated to the extent one can sweat profusely i recommend dress in layers.

I still think tour is not a good way to see a country because of the punishing pace. However, with kids along, then it is fine as no worries of missing interesting sights. Go ahead and tell us your experience after the trip.

posts: 24
reviews: 7
9. Re: Budget If Free & Easy


This is a typical question comparing tour and F&E. I totally agree with Rkk27 and generene comment about going on a tour. It CAN be tiring.

I think it really depends on which tour agency you go with, to determine if that is a good plan for you. My previous experience with a tour in Seoul has been relatively good. It doesn't get as tiring as I expect it to be (tour ends 8pm most of the days) and wakes you up at 7-8 for breakfast daily. As many of your friends mentioned, the tour bus just waits for you to take you from 1 tourist site to another. The itinerary will be packed, just so that you can see whatever you need to see (been there, done that). Food was relatively okay (in fact, some were good.. at least by my standard). (that kind of sums up the benefit of a tour: stress free, plan free, hassle free, picks you up and drops you off, eat when given food, sleep when given bed)

Or a F&E when you can dictate where you would like to go, spend time at a site that you really enjoy. Give some sites a miss when you don't give a D*** about it. Seek out "secret" restaurant, or let fate takes you to a random restaurant and try the local delights (you may be surprise; in a good or bad way) You can decide to spend time in the hotel more and gets cozy with your children. Perhaps with a good view in the room.

The previous time I had a mix of both. A tour smack in between my 5 days F&E. Travelling is easy, however it depends on whether your kids will stray off by themselves. It I not very much different from moving around in Singapore or KL. Subway are quite interconnected, and easy to get from 1 line to another. (although, I remember elevators are hard to find....) Koreans are usually friendly and helpful.. although the command of English may not necessary be the best.

I will be doing a mix of both again this Dec.. :D Hope my reply helped you in some ways. You still have to decide that on your own. A hassle free trip, or one that is unique only to you and your family. :D

Kuala Lumpur...
posts: 13
reviews: 19
10. Re: Budget If Free & Easy

Thank you guys for the helpful comments.

We have decided to have a mix of both :) 7D6N by tour and another 3D2N F&E. I think It will be so tiring for me if 9D8N all by F&E. Busy searching for info, checking location map, carrying few luggages around to catch a train etc although it is a nice experience. With 2 young kids, I guess it is not so convenient, moreover it is in winter time. Guess I have to spend that extra RM2K :P

Looking forward to visit Korea! (^^)