Packing for a year: South Korea

Last year we packed for about six months of travel (Part I and Part II here) and I thought that was an exercise in in minimalism. Now we’re packing for 12-13 months!

This time, we’ll be living where we land and can bring a large checked suitcase and a regular carry-on bag. So while now we have to pack for all four seasons, we have a little extra space. Jordan considers this the next level in a Tetris game, so he’s been very creative in coming up with ways to save space.

Before I came up with my own list of what to pack, I asked several friends that had lived there and read a few blog posts that outlined the do’s and don’ts:

And here’s some of what I’ve decided to pack:

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 4.32.26 AM

  • set of queen-sized sheets
  • two bath towels
  • journal
  • two picture frames
  • electronics
  • two aguayos from Bolivia (these sturdy blankets can be used as tablecloths, wall hangings, or tied into carry bags)
  • two extra sticks of deodorant
  • four pairs of assorted shoes
  • one pair of slippers
  • casual clothing
  • business clothing
  • three pajamas (summer/winter)
  • six dresses (summer/winter)
  • one light jacket, one rain coat, one wool coat
  • four camisoles
  • five scarves
  • two wintry hats

Jordan’s list is very similar, though he’s bringing more business clothing and ties rather than scarves and camisoles. All in all, we have about 8-10 days worth of casual clothing and 7-9 days worth of work clothing.

Again, I’m taking a mixture of clothes that I really like and won’t mind wearing over and over, and clothes that I will be happy to discard by the end of our year there. I don’t expect to buy any shoes or many clothes while in Asia because of the size difference, so I’m bringing more than I normally would.


  • Chi straightener
  • power converter for my straightener
  • makeup, oral/skin hygiene kit, and such
  • toothpaste (hopefully a year’s supply)
  • extra feminine hygiene (I keep getting conflicting messages about the availability/expense of these, so I’m being safe a bringing more)
  • medicine

Luxury items:

  • small vial of perfume
  • pillow
  • two brownie mixes and chocolate chips
  • two pumpkin pie filling cans
  • assorted tea (Earl Grey for Jordan and English Breakfast for me)

Total weight:

  • Checked bag: 50 pounds, 50 pounds, 28 pounds
  • Carryon bags: 58 pounds, 16 pounds


Categories: CEV, Practical Matters, South Korea | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Packing for a year: South Korea

  1. Thanks for sharing your packing checklist for Korea. I am going there too, but for less than a year. Hopefully will manage to take everything I may need and I can’t without. Greetings

    • You’re welcome! I hope you have a wonderful time in Korea. Now that I’ve been there for over two months, I can say that I haven’t had a problem finding feminine hygiene products, though the towels there are really the size of hand towels.

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