1. Deodorant– Lots of it! Deodorant can be found in stores, but there are limited options, pricey, and poor quality.
2. Pain killers– I personally found over the counter pain killers not as strong as in the U.S.
3. Hair products– if you have naturally curly hair, you definitely want to bring some hair products! Products are available online, and are usually more expensive. so you want to bring enough with you to last until you get settled.
4. Tampons– Again, you can find them in some stores, but I personally did not like the quality.
5. Make-up– Especially foundation! It’s not impossible to find make up for various skin tones in Korea, it can just be difficult and expensive, especially if you’re outside of Seoul.
6. Underwear/bras– Sizes run small in Korea. It’s hard to find bras above a B or C, and many are heavily padded.
7. Shoes– Shoe sizes also run small. Any size over a Women’s 8, or Men’s 10, are hard to find.
8.Toothpaste– obviously Koreans use toothpaste, however, many of them do not have fluoride, and don’t give a clean feeling to your teeth. So if you think this is something that will bother you, bring a few tubes. I was able to find an American brand or two in larger grocery stores, (E-mart/ Homeplus), but there won’t be the variety that you can find in the States.
9. Adapters- Electronic plugs are different than in the U.S.
10. Towels- Bath towels in South Korea are typically the size of a kitchen towel, and less plush.
11. Your favorite snacks/condiments- You can find some American snacks and condiments, however many of them do not taste the same. American products are also more expensive in Korea, because they are imported, (an 18 oz jar of Jiffy peanut butter costs around $7!)This is where family/friends from back home come in, and can send you care packages so you’re not stuffing your bag with Little Debbie snacks.
*I originally wrote this a few years back, things are constantly changing in Korea, and availability of these products in stores and online may have also changed. It’s still not a bad idea to be prepared before going. If you’re limited on space, chose things that you’d want on hand when you first arrive.