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What to Pack for a Trip to Korea

Packing for a trip to Korea requires some strategic planning. With its dramatic seasonal weather shifts, a fascinating mix of modern and traditional culture, and cityscapes flanked by mountains and beaches, Korea demands a versatile travel wardrobe.


Located on the Korean peninsula in East Asia, Korea boasts a rich history going back thousands of years. It has influences from ancient Korean kingdoms, Chinese dynasties, and Japanese occupation. Today, Korea blends these traditional roots with cutting-edge technology and pop culture.

Korea’s climate brings sweltering summers followed by dry, chilly winters. The summer months of June through August see average highs of 85°F (29°C) and higher, with humidity levels up to 80%. Winters average 30-45°F (-1 to 7°C).


With this extreme seasonal range, packing the proper clothing and gear for Korea is essential. Your suitcase space is best optimized with versatile layers and lightweight, breathable fabrics. Your personal style, planned activities, and weather during your travel dates should all guide your selections. Read on for a detailed packing list to make your Korea trip comfortable and memorable.


The key to packing for Korea’s variable conditions is having clothing options you can mix, match, and layer.


For getting through Korea’s hot summers and cooled indoor spaces, packing lightweight layers is key. Tank tops, short-sleeved shirts, and breathable long sleeves in moisture-wicking performance fabrics allow you to adjust to the temperatures. Having a lightweight jacket or cardigan layers over your tops will help during chillier mornings and evenings.

In winter, thermal long underwear and mid-layers like sweaters or fleece jackets provide insulation under your outerwear. A waterproof winter coat, gloves, scarf, and hat will keep you comfortable outside.


Look for clothes made of lightweight, breathable fabrics like linen, cotton, rayon, or blends. These will be cooler than materials like polyester, wool, and denim. Save those heavier fabrics for winter layering pieces.

Casual and Business Wear

Most everyday activities call for casual clothing, but having a few business casual pieces allows you to dress up for going out. For women, blouses, trousers, dresses, and skirts are options. For men, polo shirts, button-downs, slacks, and blazers work well. Darker colors and minimal patterns make these pieces more versatile.

Traditional Hanbok

For a truly Korean experience, wearing “hanbok” is a memorable souvenir. This traditional outfit includes a loose top, billowing pants or skirt, and often a waist-tie. Rent hanbok around major sites like Changdeokgung Palace or Namdaemun Market in Seoul. Buying a modern take on hanbok as street fashion is also popular.


Pack both closed-toe and open footwear options. Athletic walking shoes with good support are essential for all the walking and hiking opportunities. Sandals can be worn in warmer months. Other options include flats, loafers, or boots depending on your style.


Hats, scarves, and sunglasses protect you from the strong Korean sun. In cooler months, beanies, gloves, and earmuffs add warmth. Fashionable people may also wear face masks year-round to filter pollution and prevent spreading germs.


Bringing travel-size toiletries and key Korean beauty products will have you feeling fresh during your travels.

Travel Sizes

Packing toiletries in travel sizes under 3 ounces (100ml) allows them to stay in your carry-on when flying. Purchase sets or make your own by decanting your favorite products into smaller bottles. Don’t forget toothbrush, toothpaste, facial cleanser, and other daily essentials.

Makeup and Skincare

Many Korean women use BB creams, which combine moisturizer, SPF, and coverage in one. Try popular Korean brands like Missha and Skin79.

Pack facial sunscreen, moisturizer, and lip balm to combat dry airplane air. Korea’s generally humid climate may also lead to oilier skin. Consider oil-blotting sheets and lighter moisturizers.

Hair Care

Humidity can also wreak havoc on hair. Bring dry shampoo to refresh between washes, along with your favorite styling products. Mini hair spray, hair ties, bobby pins, and hair clips are helpful too.


Stay powered up and connected with the right electronics. Research your devices’ needs before departing.


Korea’s outlets provide 220V power, so USA travelers need an adapter to plug in dual-voltage devices like laptops, phone chargers, and hair tools. Plugging in 110V electronics like hair dryers can fry their motors without a converter.

Portable Chargers

Pack a portable USB battery pack so you can charge devices anywhere. Airports and cafes often have outlets available too.


Get a global SIM card or unlock your phone to avoid expensive roaming fees overseas. Double-check that your phone has the radio bands to connect with Korean carriers.

Other Electronics

Camera, Kindle, headphones, and other beloved electronics can make travel time more enjoyable. Check them for any needed chargers or batteries beforehand.

Korea bus

Other Packing Essentials

A few additional items round out the packing list.


Bring enough prescription medications to last your whole trip, along with copies of the prescriptions. Over-the-counter pain relievers, antihistamines, or motion sickness pills may also come in handy.

First Aid

A small first aid kit with bandages, antibiotic cream, pain relief spray, and other medical essentials can treat minor scrapes and headaches.


Have your passport, flight itinerary, hotel and rental car confirmations, and other travel documents accessible. Printing copies as a backup is wise. Also pack a small notebook and pen.


Packing familiar snacks can ease travel woes. Granola bars, trail mix, peanut butter packets, and crackers won’t spoil easily. Korea does have plenty of convenience stores (like 7-Eleven) with snacks too.


With proper preparation, you can enjoy your Korean travels with minimal hassle. Pack versatile layers, lightweight clothes, adapters, and other travel essentials. Read up on Korea’s culture and download useful apps like Kakao Metro. And be sure to leave room in your suitcase to bring back amazing Korean souvenirs! Enjoy this enchanting country and make lifelong memories.


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