Links to the entire series HERE.
While browsing through my photo albums, I did a quick count into how many trips I’ve taken to Korea and the most recent trip was #9. During these 9 trips, we’ve explored tourist and non-tourist areas, ventured into unknowns and tried out many different restaurants, street food, and small market stalls.
All these can’t be explained in a single post, thus I’ve decided to kick start a series. The focus will be on our most recent trip which lasted 2 weeks in Seoul, with all 3 kids versus the 2 of us, then I’ll slowly add on places to recommend from our past trips which we may not have visited this trip (Sep 2016).
So… What is pre-trip planning? There are many questions to ask yourself and your spouse when planning a trip. This list is not complete as every family will have different needs to consider but a good generic idea to kick-start your discussion.
Who – Who is going on this trip? Life was a lot easier for us in our earlier trip in June 2016 when my parents, auntie, uncle, siblings all went with us. Many extra pairs of hands and we got to sneak out for late night suppers while my parents helped with the kids. For this trip in Sep 2016, it was just us 2 versus 3 of them. Most nights we were back in our apartment by 8 pm to settle them for the day. Do take this into consideration while planning to have an enjoyable time. When expectations are well managed, every trip can be fulfilling and not frustrating.
What – What are you intending to do? What is the focus of your trip? For us, it was work + bringing the kids to enjoy kid-friendly places in Korea.
When – As there are 4 seasons in Korea, you will need to consider which season you would like to experience. We’ve tried all the different seasons and each has their own merit points.
Want outdoor fun? Go end summer, early autumn when the weather is good (bright & sunny), but not too warm or too cold.
Want to play with snow? Check their snow forecasts. Going too early during winter and you may not get to see snowfall at all. And be prepared this means many outdoor activities will be off the list (like Everland). Bear in mind that you will incur extra expenses like purchasing winter wear for the family.
Our highly recommended will be Spring, during the cherry blossom season. They will also start selling new season of summer clothes during that time, so you can shop for suitable clothing for Singapore. The weather isn’t too cold that you need to spend on winter wear, thus it is a great plus point.
Where – Korea is HUGE. There are many cities and while Seoul is a popular travel destination, there are many other undiscovered spots. We have been comfortably enjoying Seoul and will be venturing out to other areas soon! Keep a lookout for our upcoming trips!
Why – Why travel as a family? As parents, we have this discussion many times what we want our children to build memories with us during their growing years. I especially loved my memories of holiday trips with my parents, grandparents and other relatives. My mum has planned mega family trips where we take up 2 large tour buses. Travelling with family has never been better, memories playing with my cousins when I was younger grew when we brought our kids along for a mega family holiday. Climbing rocks, finding small fishes, catching crabs together was so fun that Big Boy still remembers those trips fondly. Our purpose of bringing our children along is really simple – To build memories together so that when we are gone, they have beautiful stories and memories to remember us by. And hopefully, these trips will add to their life experiences – Learning outside the textbook.
How – How do you intend to travel & how much do you intend to spend? This can be a big factor in planning. Are you intending to follow a tight budget? Or are you willing to save up more to splurge on the trip? We’ve trip both ways before, just that we can’t get ourselves to put the kids on a budget airline.
How much does one need to travel to Korea? It really depends on you.
Airfares range from $300+ for budget airlines per person to $1200+ per person for other airlines during the peak period. For most of our trips on Korean Air and Singapore Airlines, the tickets have been in the $600 – $850 per person range.
Accommodation wise, if you are looking at 4 to 5-star hotels, you can budget S$200 – $500 per room per night, prices vary by season and location. If you are travelling with kids, I will actually highly recommend staying in apartments. They are generally cheaper too. I will share the cost breakdown in the upcoming posts. The cheapest we’ve ever tried was S$50/room/night. The room could fit Ahjussi, myself and Meimei (she was 4 months old then). It was more like a tiny 1 bedroom with pantry & own toilet, but sufficient for us.
So think carefully and remember, travelling with kids is never easy. We may make it look easy because we did proper planning and we had the expectation that plans will change if the kids become cranky. And we were totally chill about it.
Another aspect to consider is duties. Which parent will be in charge of what?
For us, we have split our duties:
I am in charge of packing luggage.
Ahjussi is in charge of washing & drying the clothes.
I will fold the clothes.
Ahjussi will make milk for the kids. Bottle washing & hot water rinsing is also his share of work.
I will watch the kids and play with him while he preps milk & does the wash-up.
Ahjussi will help the boys brush their teeth and shower.
I will shower Meimei.
Ahjussi will get them changed every morning to get ready to head out & I will prep the clothes for them to change into.
During meals, I will scoop and get food for the boys and make them eat while I eat. Ahjussi will handle Meimei first. If she behaves, he will get to eat with us (I will scoop food for him). If she doesn’t behave, he will bring her out to walk and come back once I’m done eating so that I can bring her out to walk while he eats with the boys. Each of us has a baby carrier strapped to ourselves for Meimei.
It really requires a lot of teamwork. Once we understood each other’s roles and duties, everything went smoothly and there was no disagreement or upset feelings during the trip.
Links to the entire series HERE.
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei
Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore.
Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product.