A discount travel agency tying up loose ends for studentsThough today’s ailing economy may affect what you buy and your mode of transportation, it likely does little to stifle your passion for travel.
For hard-core backpackers and frequent fliers on a budget, the Shoestring Travel Agency in Hongdae is a logical destination.
The agency sells everything on the cheap ― from air tickets and working holidays to travel guides. It stocks the full Lonely Planet guide series, including the LP’s “Western Europe,” the only book in the series in Korean.
Founded in 1990 by two college students who ― true to their agency’s name ―are fond of budget travel, Shoestring Travel specializes in overseas study, work and volunteer programs for young adults.
“Think of us as STA Travel in Korea,” says Jang Young-bok, the agency’s director, referring to the international travel agency ―STA ― which claims to be the world’s largest company catering to young travelers. STA doesn’t have a branch in Korea.
Studying abroad is often an attractive option for students wishing to earn class credits while immersing themselves in different cultures and languages. Work programs allow young people to travel and cover expenses at the same time.
Shoestring Travel was the first agency in Korea to offer au pair programs, which allow students to earn their room and board in foreign countries while doing domestic work for host families.
The agency also offers services that are available at most travel agencies, including the sale of discounted air tickets, rail and bus passes and international youth hostel cards.
Each summer, Shoestring Travel organizes about 1,000 trips for students and young people, according to Mr. Jang.
Theme: Travel for students
Telephone: (02) 333-4151
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-
Friday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
Location: Hongdae, near Hongik University
by Josephine Hojean Lee