Making a Summer Reservation Can Save Time, Money, TearsVacation time is here again in Korea. If you are thinking of getting away to a resort this summer, it is wise to plan ahead and arrange accommodations before you leave. Otherwise you may have problems finding a place to stay or being overcharged if you do find one. One of the best ways to get information about summer resort accommodation is through the Internet. There are more than 600 Korean travel-related Web sites that offer a variety of possibilities for your vacation.
Condominiums are one of the most popular types of accommodation in Korea. During the summer, it is not easy to book a condo since they are in great demand among families. For a family, staying at a condo is usually more economical than staying at a hotel, and more convenient than staying at a guesthouse.
In Korea, it is possible to get a membership at a condo resort for a fee, if you wish to return to the same place each summer. Most condos give priority to members over nonmembers at reservation time, which means less availability of rooms for nonmembers. For those who are having trouble booking a condominium, agencies that offer reservation services can be a solution. Reserving a room through agencies will probably cost less than reserving one yourself since agencies offer accommodations at prices between what they charge for members and nonmembers.
Hodo Tours is the biggest of such agencies in Korea. It offers a reservation service for more than 100 condominiums and 30 hotels in the country, as well as for 50,000 hotels worldwide. For more information, visit their Web site at www.82ok.com (Korean version only) or call 02-753-8243 (English service available).
In Korea, a summer resort guest house used to be considered a place where you could get a room at the last minute without a reservation, and not many would bother planning ahead. These days, however, people tend to be more cautious and book in advance for guest houses. Therefore if you hesitate, you may end up paying more for a room than the accommodations are worth.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (Nonghyup) provides information on farm houses that offer home stay service. They feature 331 houses located in 48 different rural parts of the country on their homepage. They also publish a guidebook with farmhouse listings available for home stay. Information on getting a copy of the guide is available through the homepage.
For more information, contact the web site at www.nonghyup.com (Korean version only) or call 02-397-5622 (English service available).
ACCOMMODATIONS VIA INTERNET
Korea National Tourism Organization www.knto.or.kr
Korea Forest Service www.foa.go.kr
Korea Travels www.koreatravels.com
Live Tour Cast www.livetourcast.com
Tour Guide www.tourguide.co.kr
Feel Tour feeltour.com.ne.kr
Tour Bank Korea www.tour123.co.kr
Jejudo House www.jejudohouse.com
by Kim Sae-joon