Korea has all that you need, and you might also find the ones that are not available right now to become available soon. For the benefit of those who don’t know what to bring, I will explain the needs and wants that you would have than otherwise not.
No matter where you go, it’s always wise to take your favorites as you will not find them readily in an unknown place.
You better get the below as they are expensive or not available in Korea.
- Bed and Bath: Sizes vary in Korea and so does it in most countries, so you might have to bring fitted sheets for your bed. The other reason for you to bring them us that fitted and flat sheet sets are more expensive here. It’s better to bring enough to last your stay or if you are particular about a high thread count. If you are particular, bring your favorites, as your shade varies from the ones found here and are hard to find. This also depends on your skin type. If you have any allergies or sensitive skin it isn’t wise to experiment so make sure to bring an adequate supply. Although you can find some western; toothpaste, deodorants, and hair products you can bring your favorites. If you do your hair yourself, stock up before leaving home. Some hair salons do have Western hair coloring products.
- Books: You can find both used and old books in Seoul, and they can be ordered online, but they can be a little expensive due to shipping costs, so it’s best to bring them with you. Children’s books and games should be brought along as they are hard to find.
- Apparel: This is again to do with size. It’s good if you bring enough clothes for your children and you to suit the four seasons – ranging from very hot and muggy to very dry and cold with snow. Men, who are very tall, might also have to bring their clothes, whereas it’s not that hard to find something that fits the normal height for men than it is for women. If you have an Asian physique, you will find tights, lingerie and hosiery but if not you better bring them along. If you sew, bring your sewing machine along, there is no need to get fabric as you can find a large variety here.
- Shoes / Tootsies et al: As Koreans generally have small, narrow feet, you are not likely to find your size here. Even if you get them made-to-measure, it’s better and cheaper to get them at the place you can find variety like sports shoes, ski boots, etc and sizes that are comfortable; which is your home country.
- Health and glow: A 6-month supply of prescriptions will do you good. You can find non-prescription drugs and first aid supplies as well. It’s also good to bring toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride if you use them as you will need a prescription for the same here.
- Vital supplements: Vitamins are vital and you must bring them including herbal supplements and any homeopathic products.
- Sports: It is always good to bring your own boots if you are a skier or snowboarder. Golf equipment is very expensive, as are racquetball and tennis equipment. Bring children bikes as well as replacement parts for your bicycles.
- Children: Bring your children’s favorite books and toys as their supply in Korea is expensive and limited.
- Electronics and transformers: The wiring in Korea is 220 volt and you might need transformers if you have anything below or above this. You can find them in any electronics store or supermarket at a reasonable price. Most small appliances and electronics can be purchased here, including imported ones. However you might have to get the instructions in English over the internet as they are usually in Korean.
- The weather according to Korea: Humidifiers in winter and de-humidifiers in summers are required. People use air purifiers here, but if you are not bring a domestic brand you will also need to bring an adequate supply of filters
- Foods: This depends on your dietary needs. If you have one, you can bring them along, as it might be a while before you can find a store with the supplies you need.
You might not find the following
- Rare spices and condiments
- Specialty rice
- Gravy and custard powder
- Artificial sweeteners
- Vegetarian food mixes and broth
- Instant baby cereals
- Diet/low carbohydrate products
If you are from the US, specialty products are available whereas if you come form other countries, you should bring them along. Certain European, American and Australian as well as a few, very few, South American products are available in some supermarkets during few times.
- You might also bring shower curtains as they are rare and not varied in choices.
- Vegetable peelers, potato mashers and other culturally specific kitchen utensils are can be difficult to find.
- You cannot find an archival photo albums or scrapbooks.
- If you are not interested in shelling out an extra $10.00 per box on disposable contact lenses, you must bring them along.