What to Pack and What to Buy There When Moving to Korea
When moving abroad or going on a long vacation, it can be tempting to pack every single item in your bathroom, but you don’t need to. Especially when moving to Korea, there are many items you may not realise will be readily available. Many older articles recommend travellers bring their own deodorant and more, but that’s not the case anymore. Here’s a breakdown of what bathroom essentials visitors and residents recommend you pack when going to Korea and what they recommend you purchase there!
What You Don’t Need When Moving to Korea
Feminine sanitary products: A few years ago, you would have needed to bring your own products if you preferred tampons, but now both pads and tampons of various sizes are available at stores like Olive Young, Watson’s, or LOHB. They’re not expensive or difficult to find, so save this space for packing something more useful.
Face washes, toners, etc: You might be tempted to bring along your favourite face wash, but these are very heavy, space-consuming items that you are better off leaving at home. Korean beauty products are some of the best in the world. Once you have the chance to visit stores like The Face Shop, Aritaum or Etude House, you’ll see that there are hundreds of wonderful options available to you in Korea that you’ll want to try out anyways, so leave your bottles at home.
Shampoos, conditioners, and body washes: Like the face washes mentioned above, you will find a plethora of shampoos, conditioners and body washes in Korea. If you want to get brands you recognise, you can visit a big store like E-Mart or a great drug store like Olive Young which both carry many options. The price tag will likely be higher than you would pay in your home country if you go with a non-Korean brand, but the saving you’ll do on both weight and space is worth the extra cost.
Disposable razors: Very cheap and very easy-to-find in Korea, there’s no reason to bring these with you, even if they are light and don’t take up much space.
Basic medicine: Medicine for headaches, colds, and other common ailments can be purchased over-the-counter in Korea at pharmacies without a prescription, so leave these at home unless there is a specific reason you need your medicine.
Contacts and contact solution: If you wear contacts, it is possible to get your prescription refilled in any glasses store. However, you might want to bring your own if you prefer to stick with your same brand. Don’t pack too much extra contact solution as you can find common name brands at many drug stores.
What You Need When Moving to Korea
Deodorant: While you can definitely find deodorant at some stores like Watson’s or in foreigner-heavy areas such as Itaewon, they are overpriced. Since you can pack just two or three sticks of deodorant without losing much space, bring it with you. There’s no reason to pay more for a mini stick of deodorant in Korea than you would for a meal.
Toothpaste: This can go either way, but Korean toothpaste has a very different texture, feel and taste when compared to toothpaste from some other countries. You might love it; you might hate it. Bring at least one tube of your own toothpaste until you figure that out. Foreign branded toothpaste is available in some speciality shops, but it comes at a speciality price.
A towel: While you can buy a full-sized towel in Korea, you are more likely to find towels that are around 30cm x 70 cm in size. If you have the space, throw your preferred towel in your suitcase. You’ll be more comfortable when you arrive and won’t need to look for a bigger one.
Specialty medicine: If only one brand of medicine works for you or you have a prescription medication, bring these alonWhat to Pack and What to Buy There When Moving to KoreaWhat to Pack and What to Buy There When Moving to Koreag. You should also bring your preferred digestive aids as the food on your first few days in a new country might upset your stomach more than you expect.
About the Author
Kayla Miller is a freelance writer, social media manager, and content manager who works on a variety of topics. She currently lives in Seoul, South Korea.