I spent lots of time planning the itinerary for our Korea trip last December, trying to fit in places that MF could get down to play wherever possible, and making sure the day was not too packed. In the end, we barely followed our itinerary and played by ear. Lesson learnt: When vacationing with a baby, don’t bother to plan too much.
Our Original Itinerary
Namdemun, Myeong-Dong, Seoul Animation Centre
Dinner at Gwangjang Market
Changdeokugung Palace (Huwon Garden Tour)
Changyeonggung Palace (English tour)
Samcheong-dong Bukchon (Bukchon hanok village)
Hello Kitty Town Restaurant and Amusement
Pororo Park Seoul
Namsan Park, N Seoul Tower
Heyri Art Valley (Dalki Theme Park)
Flight to Jeju
Visit Jungmun beach near hotel
Day 8 (Self-drive, West from Jungmun)
Cheonjiyeon waterfall, Saeseom bridge, Jeongbang waterfall
Jeju Folk Village Musuem
Seopjikoji, All-in House
Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak)
Day 9 (Self-drive, East – North from Jungmun)
Visit Teddy Bear Museum in the morning.
Take evening flight home
What Happened in Reality
This was going to be our first overseas trip with MF. A fellow-SAHM friend who went USA with her baby for 3 weeks told me, it’s actually not difficult for us to bring babies on vacation, because we are so used to going out with our babies, it will be just like what we do everyday in Singapore.
She would have been right, if not for the fact that she went in SUMMER while I went in WINTER.
On hindsight, being a first-time parent from Singapore (where it’s summer all year round), bringing a baby to a winter country was a bad idea.. MF HATED putting on layers and layers of clothing! Can you blame him? All his life, he had been wearing only one romper at any one time. When we were there, it was a torture trying to dress him.
Another reason going to a winter country was a bad idea was because we were totally unequipped. Being from Singapore, we did not have a stroller that was totally enclosed like all the Koreans did. Actually, we didn’t even bring a stroller and I used my Manduca baby carrier to carry MF the whole time. Lots of Korean mummies were also using the Manduca, but they all had super thick winter blanket to wrap their babies up. I ended up using my nursing shawl to wrap MF up, but it wasn’t quite thick enough.. So I also used my own winter jacket to wrap him up. The result? Both MF and I fell sick.. At least our travel insurance covered our medical bills, but that’s barely a consolation.
As I was saying, our trip didn’t exactly go as planned.. With the weather being colder than we expected and MF falling sick, we barely kept to our itinerary and improvised on the spot.
Continue reading: Korea Travel with 11-month old Baby (Part 2): Seoul