{October 7, 2015}   Visit from the Parents, Part 1: Korea Kit for Visitors

My parents came to visit my husband and I in South Korea! They are our first, and probably only, houseguests. Needles

Because South Korea takes some getting used to, I think a hostess should plan in advance for her guests. 

In preparation of their visit I did a deep cleaning of the house. I thought that this would be a good time to exclaim my love of all things essential oils. Right now my staples are: lavender, tea tree oil, and peppermint. Peppermint is an old southern trick to rid farmhouse kitchens and pantries of rodents. For me, my kitchen just doesn’t feel thoroughly cleaned unless it has the smell of real peppermint. It’s also great for killing drain and sink oder. In my bathrooms and bedrooms I used lavender. For the toilets in particular I combine borax, lavender, and tea tree oil and let it sit after cleaning to fill the bathroom with a clean and calming fragrance.  I use tea tree oil for almost every cleaning combination whether peppermint or lavender or orange oil (for my wood and leather furniture). I don’t support any particular company as I have found I have different fragrances from different companies. Maybe one day I’ll do a review of all the brands I’ve tried. 

After the thorough cleaning I fixed up the master bedroom for my parents. The heat has definitely broken in the last week or so but its still pretty warm at night. The apartments don’t have central air so I decided my parents, who aren’t used to even this cooled down version of heat, should stay in the bedroom with an air conditioner. 

I also prepared a “Korea Kit,” some basic essentials for life in Korea, especially in the more rural area where the majority of military bases are located. The kit consisted of a t-money travel card for subway and bus travel, a reflector belt for after dark travel on roads without sidewalks and speeding cars, a water bottle and towel for walking the everyday heat and humidity, a subway map – map of the base, and contact information sheet complete with instructions to find their way home or to our Seoul hotel if they get lost, a phrase card with basic phases, and an itinerary for the next two weeks. 

South Korea is confusing, even for seasoned travelers like my parents. So I did my best to provide them with the tools they would need to enjoy all that Korea has to offer without feeling completely dependent on me for assistance. My parents loved the kits and found them to be quite useful. I think this is a good idea anytime a first time visitor stays I your area but particularly when you are living overseas. 

Here’s a generic checklist of things to have prepared for them:

  • Basic phrases in the local language.
  • Itinerary for their time in the area.
  • Easy to follow instructions to your (the host’s) home.
  • Basic map of the area.
  • Subway or bus map with important landmarks highlighted. 
  • Subway or bus card with a small amount on it. 
  • Reflecting belt (if they will have to walk from public transportation spots at night). 
  • Items to combat the elements of your particular region that your guests might not be prepared for. We included a towel, hand sanitizer, wipes (check out my bathroom post), a water bottle, and a small umbrella. In hindsight I would have also included sunscreen. I am happy to say that almost all of the items were needed at one point or another and I was proud that I had accurately anticipated the needs of my guests. 

Are there any other suggestions for future kits?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

et cetera