South Korea- Group Trip 2023

What it is: This is a 10 day group trip of the highlights of South Korea. This includes 1 night in Seoul, 2 nights in Busan, 1 night in Gyeongju, and ending back in Seoul for 4 nights. The target dates are August 3-12, 2023. The target group size is 8-10 people. Price: $1300 + airfare and food. Sign up by March 14, 2023. 

Goal: The primary goal of this trip is to explore the culture and history of the Southern half of the Korean Peninsula. The secondary goal is to have fun doing it. I cannot promise you that I won’t make any mistakes as a newbie tour guide, but I can promise that I will be responsible to solve it. You can just relax and enjoy the ride! Along the way you can anticipate nearly 2000 years of history, family style meals, humidity, mountains, and coffee shops!  There is no end to the cute cafe culture in South Korea.  


Day 1: A Trip’s Beginning

Leave your home and head to the airport. Pack a pillow, it’s going to be a long flight!

Day 2: Arrive in Seoul, South Korea

We will use the first day to gather ourselves and explore. Seoul is a massive city, larger than any in the US. We will take it slowly and just find the highlights, starting with a walk in our neighborhood for some food. 

Day 3: Off to Busan

Busan is South Korea’s second largest city and the only city that wasn’t overtaken by North Korea during the Korean war.  We will make our way to the coastal city by bullet train in time to catch dinner, a yacht ride, and views of Busan’s famous Saturday night drone show on the Gwangalli Beach. 

Day 4: Explore Busan

We will have a full day of seeing the sights.  Haeundae beach and SkyCapsule ride, the unique coastal temple of Yonggungsa, Gamcheon culture village, and Changseon-dong Food Alley are all options on the list. If you’d rather have a local guide do a similar tour, we could opt for this $37.40 option.

Day 5: Off to Gyeongju

We will jump headfirst into history, visiting the UNESCO heritage sights of Gyeongju, including the ancient Silla tombs (from 600 AD), roaming the Hanok lined streets, and enjoying the night views of Wolji pond.  We will then take our turn at staying in a Hanok (traditional) house, complete with sleeping on the floor. (It’s not as bad as it sounds, I promise!) If you are certain that you are in need of a bed, we will accommodate, but I want you to at least have the option.  Korean homes were historically warmed with floor heat by placing heated rocks, and then coals, under the floorboards of the house.  This has resulted in a culture of floor sleeping and sitting.  Koreans will often opt to sit on the floor, even using the couch as a back rest rather than a chair.  This is your opportunity to experience it for yourself!

Day 6: Bullet Back to Seoul

We will head back to the capital to finish out our time in South Korea.  This day will be mostly a breakfast, travel, dinner day, but if you’d like, we can make it back in time for the infamous night market food tour with jfromkorea for $77. 

Day 7: Historically Seoul

We will start our time in Seoul with a historical perspective, renting a Hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) for a free ticket to Gyeongbokgung Palace. From there we will visit the Korean Folk Museum, Bukchon Village, and Insadong, hilly neighborhoods with Hanok style buildings and countless small shops and eateries.

Day 8: Modernizing Seoul

Our morning will start with a guided tour into the DMZ, the Demilitarized Zone. I have been on this tour and really enjoyed it as I thought it was very informative and not too scary.  You will not be crossing any borders into North Korea, but you may be able to see little people walking around through telescopes, if the weather is good.  If you would prefer not to take this tour, you can stay back with me in Seoul (I will not be taking it again) and I will deduct it from the price of your trip. In the afternoon you will have free time.  For those that are interested, we will head to Myeong-dong for an afternoon of shopping.  If you don’t want to shop, I can help you find something else of interest to do. We will meet in the evening for a golden hour view from Namsan Tower, Seoul’s Iconic high point. 

Day 9: Seoul

For our last full day, we will fit in as much of the city as we can (or want to).  A guided hike along the historical city wall, through the Ihwa Village murals will start our morning.  From there we will cross the Cheonggyecheon Stream to visit the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. In the afternoon we will cross Seoul’s largest river, the Han River, to explore the other side, including the COEX Mall in the neighborhood of Gangnam (of the infamous ‘Gangnam Style’ song).  The mall houses many great stores, an aquarium, and a beautiful library. From there we will catch a fireworks show and self serve ramen at Mapo Bridge Park before ending our final night in Hongdae, the college town of Seoul, known for their small shops, eateries, karaoke rooms, selfies booths, and street performers. 

Day 10: Fly home, from Seoul

It’s our last day!  Breakfast and flights are what is in store for us. 

What to Expect of South Korea in August: It will be hot and muggy.  August is still part of South Korea’s rainy season, and while the monsoon rains will have passed by then, it will still rain and/or drizzle every few days. Or every day, who knows?  You will want to pack cool clothes. You can also pack a small umbrella and fan, or buy them as souvenirs.  Also, many meals in Korea are served family style, or in the least, shared side dishes.  This is a great way to try out everything and see what you like! 

South Korea is roughly 97% Korean, so you can expect to be a minority at all times.  We may find some English speakers along the way, but you will be going with the understanding that you will not know what’s going on, most of the time.  Don’t worry, Korea is an incredibly safe and interesting place.  Crime does happen, but it’s fairly rare.  So just enjoy the ride.  You will be endlessly entertained and curious, a wonderful feeling to have when traveling.  And I will help you the best I can, leaning very heavily on lessons I learned from my trip in 2022 and my 2.5 years of Korean language studying.  

Also, you can expect to walk, a lot. As you may have noticed, much of our itinerary involves roaming. It is the best way to see a place that’s dominated by stairs and hills.  Korea is 60% mountainous and the mountains don’t level themselves for the cities.  You will be hiking every day.  On the plus side, it gives you a lot of freedom to eat whatever you want!  Not to mention, we will be relying on public transportation. South Korea is very walking and public transit friendly, but that can make it tiring. You should be physically and emotionally prepared to walk more than 10,000 steps a day.

Note on the flight: You will be responsible to get yourself to and from Seoul Incheon Airport, arriving by August 4th and leaving August 12th.  If you want to extend your trip in any way, you are welcome to do so.  If you need help with figuring out flights, let me know. 

What to expect from me: If you don’t know me well, you can read about me here. If you want to learn more about my travel style, I blogged about my favorite experiences here. By the time of this trip I will have been to 24 countries, the majority of which I have had a significant role in planning. I do enjoy figuring out the details, but I also love the travel itself. Sometimes things don’t go as planned but my favorite part is when they go better than planned. So I keep planning and going because I love the surprises that travel brings. I’m excited for the opportunity to share these surprises with you and want to thank you profusely for even thinking this is an idea worth reading about.

What I expect from you: I expect that you are adults. I am agreeing to coordinate but I’m not agreeing to be a chaperone or a maid. I ask that everyone is considerate and responsible, that you ask for help if you need it, chip in where you can, keep track of your own travel documents, and you don’t wander off without telling someone.

I always say that travel is a gift. It’s an incredible privilege and my hope is that we can all keep this in mind as we go. Gratitude and grace go a long way about half way through a trip when the sun is beating down and you don’t know where the nearest bathroom is and maybe your travel coordinator is scrambling to pull the group together. So, I am asking that you bring your gratitude and your flexibility because we’ll be growing together.

Luggage Policy: If you haven’t traveled much in Asia you are going to be surprised by my next statement, but everyone will be allotted one carry on suitcase and one hand bag/backpack. First, because we are being budget friendly and probably basic economy airfare. Second, because travel= stairs and you do not want to be lugging a full sized suitcase over the notorious mountains of Seoul. Also, we will be traveling by train and public transportation. You will be very thankful for packing light, even if it means you have to decide what you will wear before you get there. In light of this, I will be booking accommodations with a washer and dryer at some point on our trip in case you need to do any laundry.


$1300 depending on final train costs, size of the group, and lodging needs.  Should this change, you will be given adequate warning.

What Is Included

Trip Planning Fee: itinerary formation and managing tour and within trip transportation bookings

Transportation between cities: Trains and buses between Seoul, Busan, Gyeongju, and Seoul. Also, airport train from Incheon to Seoul city will be included.

Accommodations: These are double occupancy accommodations, assuming that you will be willing to share a bed. If you would like to pay extra for your own bed, or your own room, this is available upon request and for a fee. Some locations may be hotels and some may be airbnbs. I prefer airbnbs as they get you into local neighborhoods, but I will be cross-referencing prices and booking hotels if they are better options.

A sim card for phone data and calling within South Korea. This will keep us from getting too lost in the city and from each other.

Tours: Tickets to the Busan yacht ride and Sky Capsule, Gyeongju tombs and bridge, Seoul hanbok rental, Namsan Tower, and City Wall tour. 

What Is Not Included:

Your international flights and public transportation. It is impossible for me to guess how much tickets will cost from each of your homes, or to calculate how many subway rides we will be taking, so I am not able to include that in the price.  However, I am happy to help you with booking, if you have any questions, and will be helping you purchase public transit tickets upon arrival.

Meals and food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee shop stops, bingsu (Korean shaved ice), etc are not included in the price. This is to allow you maximum control over your food budget and preferences. The internet recommends budgeting an additional $35-$45 a day to cover this cost, although I would keep in mind the rising price of food. I am not opposed to getting groceries for breakfast some days, or packing lunches, if the group wants to cut some corners.


Extra tours or excursions.  Currently the options include:

Busan Guided Tour: $37.40.  We can see the same things via public transit, so it’s more a matter of if you want a local guide and private transport, or if you want to follow me around. 

Seoul Night Market Food Tour: $77

You will have the opportunity to sign up for desired tours when you book the trip.  If you opt out of the tours, you are welcome to use your free time as you wish.

Travel insurance (including health insurance). Given the events of 2020, I do recommend travel insurance. I have found World Nomad’s Travel Insurance to be reasonable in the past, although I haven’t needed to file any claims yet.

Sign Up

You can sign up by following this link SIGN UP and completing the trip application. 

The Payment Plan

If you have read all the way to the bottom of this page, I’m assuming you are pretty interested in this trip. Hooray! If you are ‘in’ and ready to make it official here’s the plan:

  1. Follow the link to Sign up and confirm your spot.
  2. The sign up is open until March 14th.  At this point, I will contact everyone who has signed up with the verdict on if the trip is officially happening.  If it is, you will be notified on how to pay a $100 non refundable deposit that will go towards the total cost of your trip. If, for some reason, I need to cancel the trip, I will refund the money to you, no cost.
  3. On April 3, 2023 the final payment of $1200 + optional tours will be due. 
  4. Pack your bags because…
  5. August 3rd, we will head out on the adventure of a lifetime!

NOTE: Payments are accepted via zelle and venmo. I will share my accounts to receive payment when you sign up. This trip is non refundable and any travel insurances that you wish to purchase will be additional costs to you. Prices are subject to change, with adequate notification to participants.

There! That’s the whole thing! (I think)

If you have any questions, email me at: or contact on my socials. 


2 responses to “South Korea- Group Trip 2023”

  1. […] South Korea: Ten day group trip of the highlights of South Korea. This includes 1 night in Seoul, 2 nights in Busan, 1 night in Gyeongju, and ending back in Seoul for 4 nights. The target dates are August 3-12, 2023. The target group size is 8-10 people. Price: $1300 + airfare and food. You can read all about it here. You can sign up for it here. […]


  2. […] South Korea: Ten day group trip of the highlights of South Korea. This includes 1 night in Seoul, 2 nights in Busan, 1 night in Gyeongju, and ending back in Seoul for 4 nights. The target dates are August 3-12, 2023. The target group size is 8-10 people. Price: $1300 + airfare and food. You can read all about it here. You can sign up for it here. Application deadline is March 14, 2023. […]


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