Before your trip
TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS & THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR TRIP
(Updated July 2023)
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
As you prepare to embark on your upcoming Affordable World journey, please log on to your My Affordable account and click on your trip confirmation ID to review the most up to date trip details including hotel information, flight schedules, and ticket number(s). Please make sure you have all travel documents*, passports, and necessary visas ready before you depart for your trip.
CHECKING IN AT THE AIRPORT
Be sure to bring your passport and all required travel documents* as you will need to present them when checking in at the airport. Please be advised that not all airlines assign seats in advance. Some airlines assign seats at the airport during check-in. We recommend all travelers arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to the flight departure time. You will receive boarding passes at the airline counter when you check in for your flight.
UPON ARRIVAL IN SOUTH KOREA
Please go through Customs and immigration on your own. After you pick up your luggage, exit the baggage claim area and meet the representative outside the airport. Please look for the Affordable World representative* holding an Affordable World flag or sign. Please wear your Affordable badge (enclosed) for easy identification. *Depending on your arrival date, you will be met by a hotel representative or the local tour guide.
Airport Transfers Upon Arrival
Affordable World tour guides/airport assistants will wait for arriving tour members outside the airport baggage claim area for up to 90 minutes* after the landing time of the tour member's flight before departing from the airport with transportation to the hotel. If for any reason a tour member does not meet the Affordable World representative within 90 minutes after the landing time of the tour member's flight, the tour member will be responsible for his or her own transportation from the airport to the hotel, along with all associated expenses.
- Passports must be valid for 6 months beyond the date of entry and have at least 1 blank page for entry and exit stamps. You will be denied entry into South Korea if there is not enough space for entry and exit stamps in your passport.
- US Passport holders –U.S. citizens are no longer required however recommended to have an Entry Travel Authorization (ETA) to travel to South Korea. Travelers who acquire an ETA are not required to submit an arrival card at the port of entry. Travelers can submit the eTA application online. Once the application is approved, travelers receive their eTA confirmation electronically. An eTA is electronically linked to a passport and valid for up to 2 years. If travelers receive a new passport, they must apply for a new eTA.
- We have partnered with Visa Central to offer a fast and easy way to obtain a visa, passport and other documents for your Affordable World vacation. Please click here and select your tour to obtain a visa for your upcoming trip.
- Non-US Passport holders – please check with your local South Korean consulate for Visa requirements.
- All travelers must ensure they are eligible to enter South Korea and produce all required entry documentation for this vacation. Requirements and restrictions may depend on different factors including but not limited to: your country of residence, passport nationality, transit points, as well as previous travel history.
- For detailed passport and visa requirements, all travelers are advised to check with the related embassy or consulate.
Full proof of Covid-19 vaccination is no longer required for South Korea. This new protocol will take effect for Seoul packages departing on or after July 05, 2023 and is subject to change at any time. For more details and a full list of exemptions, please click here and here for more information.
- Recommended pre-entry Q-code registration: Travelers are recommended to register for the pre-entry system (Q-code) for a prompt quarantine inspection before traveling to South Korea. Travelers without a Q-code may take longer for document inspection on arrival. These travelers must fill out a separate health status questionnaire distributed by the airline on board. Please click here to fill out the registration and view more info.
- Please note that the information provided in this document is based on the time of print/publication and a country’s requirements can change at any time. It is the responsibility of the traveler to check all updates and obtain all necessary documents and tests prior to departure, as well as entry back into the US. Affordable World is not responsible if you are denied entrance for any reason in any country, even if you hold a valid passport and entry visa.
- Baggage allowance for international flights varies by airline and is subject to change at any time. For up-to-date baggage allowance restrictions, please check with the appropriate airline for their latest regulations. Additional baggage charges may apply.
- Please keep in mind within Asia the baggage limitation on all flights varies by airline. Generally, the baggage allowance on domestic or within Asia flights is limited to 1 checked-in of 44 lbs. and 1 carry-on of 13 lbs. Please check directly with the corresponding airline to confirm baggage allowance policies.
- Baggage is the sole responsibility of the traveler. We recommend using a TSA approved luggage lock and Affordable World luggage tags (enclosed) showing the name and contact information of the owner. Baggage without a lock may be refused for transport
- DO NOT pack medicine, valuables, and other personal necessities in checked luggage. Keep these items in your carry-on bag
- Consider packing a change of clothing, a set of undergarments and toiletries in your carry-on bag to avoid inconvenience caused by delays or lost luggage
- Lithium-ion batteries up to 100 Wh can be carried in the cabin and checked baggage, provided they are inside the device. 2 spare batteries with a capacity of 100 Wh-160 Wh. max can only be carried in hand luggage and packaged. They cannot be carried in checked baggage. Please visit the Air Premia website to view all baggage restrictions.
- Please visit www.tsa.gov for USA carry-on restrictions
- No porter service will be provided throughout the tour. During the tour please always keep an eye on your personal belongings and valuables. Be aware of your surroundings when going out on your own.
- Never leave your valuables on the coach bus. Neither Affordable World nor the coach bus company bears responsibility for any loss, theft or damage to your valuables.
- Important note: Affordable World Tours’ representatives cannot enter the luggage claim area. After you collect your luggage and exit customs, our local Affordable World representative will be waiting for you outside with an Affordable World flag or sign.
South Korea’s currency is called Korean Republic Won (KRW) As of July 2023, the exchange rate is $1 U.S dollar to 1304.67 KRW. We suggest you bring a combination of cash and credit cards for your trip. Most department stores, hotels and restaurants will accept major credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. However, it is more convenient to use cash especially if you are planning to shop and eat in smaller shops. Please always keep your currency exchange receipts as you may need to present these when changing KRW back to your own currency at the end of your trip.
An important note on tipping - please note gratuities are not included in your tour cost. They are customary and their purpose is to encourage and reward quality service.
Our guides greatly appreciate any tips you would like to give them. Our recommended tip amount is:
- $45 per person total for tour guide and bus drivers
HEALTH & MEDICAL MATTERS
Medical and vaccination requirements vary between countries and it is important you check with your family doctor or a qualified medical professional for the most up to date travel health information for the region you are visiting. Due to the length of the trip, it is advised you consult your doctor for existing medical/dental conditions before departure. It is advised to pack any prescription medicine in your carry-on hand luggage. Please make sure prescription medicine is fully labeled. It may also be useful to bring aspirin, over-the-counter medicine for the flu, indigestion, motion sickness, etc. In case of illness during the trip, please immediately notify your tour guide for assistance. If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of South Korea to ensure the medication is legal in South Korea. Always carry your prescription medication in its original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Some medications may be unavailable in South Korea.
Our Itineraries include city tours and these involve a decent amount of walking. Be prepared for many steps, uneven pavement, walking up steep inclines, and tight spaces – comfortable walking shoes with grip are strongly recommended.
South Korea’s electrical system operates at 220 volts. The electrical outlet is associated plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. It is recommended travelers bring their own voltage converter and adapter.
The time difference between major cities in North America and Japan is as below:
Los Angeles & San Francisco + 17 hours
New York + 14 hours
Certain meals are included in Seoul as per the itinerary. We regret to inform you that Affordable World is unable to confirm any special meal request as it is based on the availability of restaurants, hotels, and airlines. Please contact the airlines directly to place special meal requests for your flights.
Although Affordable World’s national guides will be happy to assist you with any shopping requirements, Affordable World does not assume responsibility for any items purchased at shops while on tour. You are never required to purchase any items while on tour and thus must be responsible for your own purchases. Any after sales correspondence must be between the passenger and the shop in question.
Optional tours may be added up to 7 days prior to the departure date. Optional tours may also be purchased while on the tour. All on-site optional tour purchases are an additional $10 per person and must be payable in USD cash (credit cards are not accepted for on-site optional tour purchases). Optional tours that have a “pre-book” icon are only available for purchase up to 7 days prior to the departure date and are not available for on-site purchase. Unused services, including optional tours are non-refundable.
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES
Hotel Elevators: Elevators in most Asian hotels are generally smaller than in the US. Please be patient when waiting for elevators or for luggage in hotels.
CLIMATE & CLOTHING
The climate of Seoul features a humid continental climate with dry winters. Seoul is classed as having a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but temperature differences between the hottest part of summer and the depths of winter are extreme. April and May have mild temperatures and humidity levels that most people will be comfortable with. These months strike a balance between clear skies, minimal precipitation, and favorable temperatures. The same can be said of late September to early November. Early September is still rainy and humid, and temperatures quickly drop by mid November. We suggest bringing comfortable, casual clothing and good walking shoes for the trip. It is advised to wear modest clothing when visiting temples or monasteries.
SEOUL EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER
Seoul Office +82-2-3482-5252
We’d like to remind all guests to check their local state travel guidelines regarding travel restrictions when arriving from international destinations or other US States, as this may vary state by state.
US State Department
CDC Travel Resources
Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in New York
U.S. Embassy Seoul
188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu,
Seoul 03141, Korea
Telephone: +(82) (2) 397-4114 (from within Korea, dial 02-397-4114)
Fax: +(82) (2) 397-4101
U.S. Consulate in Busan
Lotte Gold Rose Building #612, Jungang-daero 993, Jin-gu,
Busan 47209, Korea
Telephone: (+82) 51-863-0731
The Embassy and Consulate are closed on weekends and on American and Korean holidays. Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +82 (2) 397-4114.
Our experienced staff of South Korean specialists takes pride in providing you with the very best in service and planning. Thank you for choosing Affordable World as your partner in travel. We are confident your trip will be happy and rewarding!