Budget Tips Korea

5 Easy and Budget Friendly Trips to Take from Korea

5 Easy and Budget Friendly Trips to Take from Korea

Summer holidays are just around the corner and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be looking to reward yourself with a bit of time abroad. However, travelling can be expensive. Especially in the high season when most Koreans are also on holiday. Luckily, we live in the same country as one of the best airports in the world, so cheap flights are in abundance! Pair this with the budget friendly countries within easy reach, and you’ll find that there are plenty of amazing trips to take from Korea this summer.

Here are some of my favourites.



How to Get There

Fukuoka is, without a doubt, one of the easiest and most hassle free trips to take from Korea. Especially for those of us living in the south provinces.

The ferry from Busan to Fukuoka only takes around 3 hours and return tickets can be found for as little as 100,000 KRW– but you need to look hard for them.

It’s also worth checking flight prices on Kiwi. Return tickets are usually around 200,000KRW from either Busan or Seoul. Both journeys are short- Busan to Fukuoka takes 50 minutes while Seoul to Fukuoka takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

Search flights from Korea to Fukuoka here!

What you Should See

Fukuoka is full to the brim with parks, shrines and castles so it’s the perfect place to relax, feel some zen and brush up on your Japanese history.

If that’s not your thing, there’s also endless shopping at Canal City and Robosquare, Fukuoka’s very own robot museum!

Top 5 Things to Do in Fukuoka

What you Should Eat

Kyushu ramen, with its thick pork bone broth, is one of the most delicious styles of ramen in Japan and is native to Fukuoka. Ramen shops can be found all around the city and a huge bowl will only set you back around 600 JPY.

Kyushu Food Guide

How Much to Budget

45,000 KRW per Day

Currency: 100 JPY =  1136 KRW

It probably seems a bit weird to see Japan on a list about budget friendly places but take my word for it. This summer is the absolute perfect time to visit since the Yen is weak against the Won. Plus, travel in Fukuoka tends to be cheaper than in other parts of Japan. And, if you manage to score a good deal on your flight or ferry, then you’re off to a really good start.

Dorm beds will set you back around 2,700JPY and double rooms in business hotels can be found for about 6,000JPY. Accommodation in Fukuoka will be the most expensive part of your trip.

Getting around Fukuoka is cheap and easy- actually, you can get to a lot of places on foot since the city is so compact! And food shouldn’t cost a fortune either, so long as you stick to ramen, tonkatsu, conveyor belt sushi and convenience store food. Oh, and by the way, convenience store food in Japan is AMAZING so don’t turn your nose up at that last bit!

Fukuoka for Less than $25 a Day

Where to Stay in Fukuoka

Fukuoka Hana Hostel comes recommended for its convenient location and friendly atmosphere!


Citizens of the UK, Ireland, U.S.A, Canada, New Zealand and Australia are entitled to 90 days visa free, and should get their passport stamped on arrival.

South African citizens must apply for a visa prior to their arrival.

The Philippines


The perfect trip from Korea for sun worshippers, beach bums and adventure junkies. Pardon the cliche but it really is more fun in The Philippines.

How to Get There

Cebu Air offers direct flights to Manila from both Busan and Seoul. You can pick up a return ticket for less than 200,000 KRW. From there you can take a flight to anywhere in the Philippines. You can pick up domestic flight tickets for as little as 25,000 KRW!

Search for cheap flights from Korea to Manila here!

What you Should See

With 7,500 islands in The Philippines, it’s hard to even scratch the surface in just 1 trip.

Love beaches? Head to Boracay.

Love adventures? Head to El Nido.

Love wildlife and amazing landscapes? Head to Bohol.

These are just a few of the amazing places that you can visit in The Philippines, and probably the most accessible in your short 2-week vacation. If you have longer, the possibilities are endless.

10 Best Things to Do in The Philippines

What you Should Eat

The seafood in The Philippines is amazing, and you should have at least one seafood dinner. However, if you’re eating on a budget, it will soon add up.

Head to the local places and fill your plate with super cheapo noodle and rice dishes for about a quarter of the price of the tourist restaurants.

10 Famous Foods you Must Try in The Philippines

How Much to Budget

25,000 KRW per Day (Basic- not inc activities/flights)

Currency: 100 PHP =  2466 KRW

Things are cheap in The Philippines but can soon add up- those of you who follow my blog regularly might remember how I went way over budget on my trip.

You’ll want to do a few activities like island hopping, scuba diving or paragliding while you’re there so do remember to factor those costs into your budget. You’ll also want to travel between the different islands– this will also add up, so should be factored into your budget.

Keep Costs Down By:

  • Staying in hostels/Non- AC rooms
  • Prioritising what activities you want to do- don’t try and do everything
  • Eating in local restaurants
  • Buying domestic flights in promo sales
  • Focussing on one area to avoid taking too many domestic flights

Budget Backpacking Guide to The Philippines

Where to Stay in The Philippines

Boracay: Frendz Resort & Hostel is an awesome budget option on the pristine White Beach

El Nido: Spin Designer Hostel is the highest rated hostel in the area and a great place to book tours

Bohol: Sea Breeze Hostel is the perfect place for travellers looking to enjoy both the beaches and jungle of Bohol!


Passport holders of The UK, The U.S.A, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are entitled to 30 days visa free in The Philippines.


Photo Credit: Life Outside of Texas. Check out her blog and follow her on FB :)

Photo Credit: Life Outside of Texas. Check out her blog and follow her on FB 🙂

How to Get There

Return flights can be found from both Busan and Seoul for less than 250,000 KRW. Flights take around 2 hrs 4o mins. 

Search for cheap flights from Korea to Taipei here

I recently found out that Taipei is extremely cheap and easy to reach from Japan- worth considering for a multi city trip!

Flying Eva Air with Hello Kitty!

What you Should See

Taipei is one of the largest cities in the world and, as you can imagine, there is a lot to explore. Climb to the top of one of the tallest buildings in the world, Taipei 101. Spend a night bartering at the night markets. Wander through the winding Japanese colonial style streets or take a day trip out of the city to visit the famous hot springs.

Check out my Taiwan Itinerary!

What you Should Eat

EVERYTHING! No seriously, you should.

Taiwan is home to some of the best street food in the world and is the birthplace of bubble tea! 

50 Foods in Taipei you Need to Eat… or at Least Try

How Much to Budget

35,000 KRW per Day

Currency: 10 TWD =  358 KRW

Dorm rooms can easily be found for under 400 TWD per night and private rooms can be found for under 1000 KRW.

One of the most ubiquitous things to do in Taipei is to visit the night markets– kill 2 birds with 1 stone and fill up on cheap and tasty food here rather than blowing your budget in restaurants.

A lot of the most popular activities in Taipei are free or have very little cover charge, so there is no need for you to spend too much on activities.

Getting around by subway is also really cheap- one-way tickets start at 20 TWD.

How Much it Cost to Travel in Taiwan for 1 Month

Where to Stay in Taipei

Eight Elephants and Dreaming Dragons is set in a trendy residential area and is perfect for independent travellers looking for a more local experience in Taipei

Meander is in the heart of the city and more suited to party travellers looking to meet people


Citizens of The UK, Ireland and New Zealand can stay for 90 days visa free.

Citizens of Australia and The U.S.A can stay for 30 days visa free.

South African citizens must apply for a visa prior to their arrival.


Halong Bay-14

Photo Credit: Bobo and Chi Chi! Check out their blog and follow them on FB 🙂

How to Get There

VietAir has a direct flight between Incheon and both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Return tickets can be found for under 200,000 KRW and the flight takes between 4 and 5 hours.

Search for cheap flights from Korea to Vietnam here!

What you Should See

It all depends on whether you want to go North or South, and what interests you.

Hit the North and explore the capital city of Hanoi, go trekking in Sapa, cycle around the colonial city of Hoi An and get some amazing clothes made for next to nothing while you’re there. And of course, Halong Bay (pictured above) should be on your itinerary!

Or you could hit the beaches in the South, learn more about the Vietnam War in Ho Chi Minh City and even go sandboarding in Mui Ne.

These are just some of the most popular things to do in Vietnam, and if you have even more time you could go right off the beaten path!

The Best Things to Do in Vietnam

What you Should Eat

Mmmmm Vietnamese Food.

Eat with locals and sample everything. Street food is super cheap and packed full of healthy greens and so much flavour. Spring rolls, pho (beef noodle soup) and bahn mi (Vietnamese baguettes) are a few traveller favourites!

Budget Food in Vietnam

How Much to Budget

25,000 KRW per Day

Currency: 20,000 VTD =  1032 KRW

With dorm beds available for as little as 100,000 VTD, and delicious, filling street food available for less than 20,000 VTD, Vietnam is without a doubt one of the cheapest trips to take from Korea.

Much like The Philippines, the cost of activities (for example, cruising through Halong Bay) will add up so you should factor those costs into your budget.

How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Vietnam?

Where to Stay in Vietnam

Hanoi: Luxury Backpackers Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh City: Long Hostel

Mui Ne: Mui Ne Backpackers Village

Nha Trang: Mojzo Dorm

Hoi An: Tribee Kinh


UK citizens can travel to Vietnam visa-free for up to 15 days.

Citizens of The U.S.A, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand all require a visa to visit Vietnam. The visa cost is around $45 and can be applied for online.

Osaka and Kyoto


How to Get There

Jeju Air and Peach Airlines fly to Osaka from both Seoul and Busan. Return flights can be found for as little as 150,000 KRW and the flight takes less than 2 hours. It’s definitely one of the cheapest flights that you will find from Korea!

Search for cheap flights from Korea to Osaka here!

What you Should See

The best thing about combining a trip to Osaka and Kyoto is that you get to really experience both the old and new sides of Japan.

Kyoto has over 1,600 temples as well as shrines, castles, parks and even a bamboo forest. It’s the perfect place for history buffs. And also one of the best places in Japan for geisha spotting!

Osaka is a complete contrast to Kyoto. Take a stroll down Dotonbori Arcade and marvel at the neon lights and crazy 3D signs that line the streets. Osaka is also home to its own Universal Studios– if Everland isn’t tickling your pickle then you might want to take a trip here!

Discover Kyoto: A 3 Day Itinerary

Don’t Leave Osaka Without….

What you Should Eat

The Kansai region of Japan is home to some of the country’s best food.  You’ll also find that street food is much more prominent here than in other Japanese cities.

One of the most famous things to try in Osaka is okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki, also known as Japanese pizza, is a grilled savoury pancake filled with cabbage, green onions, meat, and seafood. There are plenty of places in both Osaka and Kyoto to try it.

How Much to Budget

40,000 KRW per Day

Currency: 100 JPY =  1136 KRW

Accommodation in Osaka and Kyoto tends to be slightly cheaper than in Fukuoka since it’s a more prominent backpacking destination. Dorm beds can be easily found for less then 200 yen.

With the abundance of FREE temples and shrines to see, there is no need to spend a lot of money on activities. Food shouldn’t set you back too much either as long as you stick to the convenience stores and street food.

And, yes I do realise that Japan is much more expensive than South East Asia- but with flights that cheap and easy and the yen falling, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Plus you’re probably not always going to be living right on Japan’s doorstep, so you should make the most of it while you’re here!

My Ultimate Budget Guide to Japan!

Where to Stay in Osaka & Kyoto

Osaka: Oshiteruya Ryokan Guesthouse

Kyoto: Mosaic Capsule Hostel


Citizens of the UK, Ireland, U.S.A, Canada, New Zealand and Australia are entitled to 90 days visa free, and should get their passport stamped on arrival.

South African citizens must apply for a visa prior to their arrival.

5 Easy and Budget Friendly Trips to Take from Korea

Sharing is caring! If you love this post, click on the pic to save to pinterest!

Disclaimer: All currency conversions, visa information and flight prices are subject to change but were correct at the time of writing. This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are my own.

Start planning: How to Save for a Big Trip

I hope these tips can help you decide on an amazing trip to take from Korea this summer! Let me know if you found them handy in the comments below, and let me know what your plans are for the holidays! I’d love it if you could share this post with some of your friends and make sure that they really make the most of their holidays this year!


Related Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    4th July 2016 at 1:35 pm

    This is a great guide! I’m headed to Vietnam and would like to go to the Philippines soon! I would love to go to El Nido for an adventure! I especially liked the budget breakdown.
    Gina recently posted…Cupcake Factory in HongdaeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      4th July 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks Gina! That’s so exciting that you’re going to Vietnam! I’m cycling from Seoul to Busan for my summer vacation since I’m going travelling in September- kind of wishing for a summer holiday abroad with my BF though! 🙁

      • Reply
        4th July 2016 at 9:34 pm

        Whut??! All in one shot, or are you doing it by weekends?
        I’d like to do that too, well in fact I’d like to do everything you’ve written here- THANKS!

        • Reply
          Nicole Louise
          5th July 2016 at 3:31 pm

          Haha no they are just options! I wish I was going to that many places lol!

  • Reply
    Megan Indoe
    4th July 2016 at 3:26 pm

    These are all great suggestions, although other than a visa run to Fukuoka, we haven’t taken any weekend trips outside of Korea while living here. Having a hagwon schedule it never seemed worth only going for one night on the weekends! We plan on visiting the rest of these places soon though after we finish our contracts! Good to know about budgeting in Osaka and Kyoto! I had no idea it was cheaper than Fukuoka! Thanks for putting this great list together!
    Megan Indoe recently posted…27 Photos to Inspire You To Visit OahuMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      5th July 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Megan! I also did a visa run to Fukuoka- it now takes 5 days to process a visa for UK citizens so it was a pretty long trip lol! Last year I managed to fit in quite a few trips in the public holidays while I was working in a hagwon but it does end up costing quite a bit since those flights are always in such high demand- this year I have muchmore holidays but have been much more restrained haha!

  • Reply
    4th July 2016 at 4:01 pm

    These are all great suggestions, Nicole! Personally, I love Japan and Vietnam. Love the info you put about budgets needed. I think these are all very useful.
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      5th July 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks Hanani!

      I have still to visit Vietnam, but Japan is one of my fave countries ever 🙂

  • Reply
    5th July 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks for this guide, I’m in search of a budget trip to take during Chuseok but it seems like flights are ridiculously expensive. I’m planning to go to the Philippines soon so this is really helpful.

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      5th July 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Chuseok flights are always ridiculously priced, really annoying since it’d be the perfect time to go abroad! Have an amazing time in The Philippines 🙂

  • Reply
    Matt Collamer
    5th July 2016 at 4:01 pm

    This is an awesome guide for summer plans! I’m heading to Bali with a few other English teacher friends in August…pretty amped about that. I might have to plan one of the trips you suggested for another vacation. Great post, Nicole!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      6th July 2016 at 9:24 am

      Thanks so much Matt!! I would love to visit Bali one day, have an amazing time!

  • Reply
    5th July 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Korea also has direct flights to Da Nang Vietnam now as well. We’re there right now! Unfortunately a trip to Japan isnt as easy for those of us on the southwest coast as it is for those on the southeast coast of Korea. Otherwise we’d be there every weekend!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      6th July 2016 at 9:24 am

      Yeah, it must be pretty difficult being down on the South West as you’re a bit of a trek from both Gimhae and Incheon airports- we’re so lucky that Gimhae is only an hour away by bus!
      Enjoy your time in Vietnam! 🙂

  • Reply
    Shirgie Scf
    5th July 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I love to visit all the places you mentioned except for PHLIPPINES.. not that I hate Philippines, but because it’s my home country and I would probably choose to travel to other country to experience their culture especially to Japan. I didn;t know you can go there through a ferry. The problem with us Filipino is, we need a VIsa for that… hopefully soon, I can go to Japan
    Shirgie Scf recently posted…The Art of Establishing FriendSHEEP at Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm (대관령 양떼목장)My Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      6th July 2016 at 9:23 am

      That’s a shame that you guys need a visa for Japan- my BF does too (he’s from South Africa) and it makes it so much less convenient!

      Love The Philippines btw! 🙂

  • Reply
    5th July 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Thanks for featuring the Philippines. We have amazing beaches and beautiful sceneries. It ain’t expensive, too and of course, there’s the ease of traveling with no language barrier. Which part of the Philippines did you go to?

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      6th July 2016 at 9:22 am

      Hey Wendy! I loved The Philippines so much when I visited- amazing scenery, beautiful beaches and the most kind people I’ve ever met on my travels. Would love to visit again soon! I visited Boracay, Bohol and El Nido 🙂

  • Reply
    7th July 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Great tips. Haven’t been to any of these places, but keeping them in mind for future trips. Japan is the first on my list.
    Emre recently posted…Dongdaemun Design PlazaMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      8th July 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks Emre! Japan is amazing, I hope you get the chance to visit one day 🙂

  • Reply
    Sean Keogh
    7th July 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I’m a US citizen teaching English in South Korea right now. I’ll be visiting Taipei in August and Fukuoka in September. Thanks for providing such helpful info!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      8th July 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Nice one! I’ve still not been to Taipei but Fukuoka is a fab city 🙂 Glad you found this post useful!

  • Reply
    Brian & Noelle
    7th July 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Great list Nicole! We’ve been on all these trips during our time in Korea and definitely agree. Japan can definitely be done on a budget, especially with all the free temples and if you eat from 7-11 or street food and walk rather than take taxis it helps keep the costs down! 🙂
    Brian & Noelle recently posted…10 Amazing Korean Dishes For Fish-Eating VegetariansMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      8th July 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks Brian and Noelle! I agree, it could definitely be the most expensive trip of your life if you make it.. but it certainly doesn’t need to be 🙂

  • Reply
    Alla Ponomareva
    10th July 2016 at 3:18 am

    Fukuoka Ramen is so amazing, I would just visit for that meal alone! Haven’t been to Taiwan yet, so will keep it on my list next.

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      11th July 2016 at 9:19 am

      I know, I love it… I ate it everyday on my trip! 🙂 I haven’t been to Taiwan either but I would love to go! 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura Nalin
    11th July 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Love this post! I found as a hagwon worker I didn’t get too much time off, but while I visited Hong Kong, Vietnam and Osaka/Kyoto over long weekends and holidays. Great budget breakdown and very informative! Thanks girl!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      12th July 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks Laura! I actually did more travelling last year when I worked in a hagwon- always took advantage of those long weekends! This year at public school I went to The Philippines on Winter vacay but my summer vacay is the 2 weeks before I finish my contract. Absolutely pointless lol….

  • Reply
    How Much Money Can you Save Teaching English in South Korea? - Wee Gypsy Girl
    30th July 2017 at 1:59 am

    […] Read: 5 Easy and Budget Friendly Trips to Take from Korea […]

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge

    Show Buttons
    Hide Buttons