Get to Know Plus Planner: Groups and Private Trips

Looking for a cheaper, easier way to travel in Korea while living here? You are not alone and finding ways to make your life easier when living in Korea is smart. So let’s talk about Plus Planner. You might have seen their trips on Facebook and wondered, “Are they for real?” Well, I had the same question so let’s get into it. (TLD;R Plus Planner is legit)

Traveling Beyond Seoul

Traveling across South Korea may feel challenging if you don’t speak Korean or can’t use Korean booking apps. It’s hard to know which places to stay at and what activities to try. That’s why thousands of international residents in Korea choose tours. Such companies offer:

  • access to more locations
  • price discounts
  • in-depth knowledge about the tourist spots.

Because of their connections, such travel companies can make getting to know the country more affordable and relatively stress-free. Each travel company has a different vibe, access, and benefits so it’s smart to do your research to make sure you find the right planner for you. Let’s talk about my choice.

My Preferred Travel Planner

Originally, my experience on the group trips in Korea was not good. Other attendees were having the time of their lives, but they were ruining mine. Such trips involved folks drinking the whole time, acting dangerously during dangerous activities, food was limited and sad, the rooms were 20-30 people each, and the activities were often very low budget. I am too old to travel like this and the discounts were not worth it.

Support Local Businesses and Local Ads

Plus, all the trips left from Seoul. This meant I had to travel 1-2 hours to Seoul just to start my trip and when we returned I had to get home in the middle of the night. This made any group trips seem like a bad idea so I stopped taking them for 8 years… until Plus Planner came along.

Plus Planner Trips

A few years ago, Plus Planner messaged me out of nowhere and asked to share their trips in the Pyeongtaek Travelers group. To be honest, I thought they were sus at first because I know how much things cost and the price of an entire 2-day trip was less than one night at the hotel they booked. The math was not mathing.

However, The owner of Plus Planner offered to come to Pyeongtaek and answer all my questions since I told her I didn’t go to Seoul. During our meeting, I shared my concerns about trip planners, asked how they could offer their discounts, and let them know about different issues the Pyeongtaek community has that might be different from the Seoul community. For example:

We had a mini-bus from Pyeongtaek for this trip and met up with a larger group from Seoul.

Pick-up and Drop-off

The first issue I addressed was the pick-up location. I let Plus Planner know that if they wanted to offer trips to the Pyeongtaek Travelers community the trips needed to begin and end in Pyeongtaek. I had told this to all the other tour operators and none of them had agreed to make Pyeongtaek a priority until Plus Planner. Sure enough, they started planning trips from Pyeongtaek.

Plus Planner still has plenty of trips leaving from Seoul, but they also offer trips leaving from other parts of the country which makes them a far more equitable tour company.

Families Welcome

Next, we talked about the need for family-friendly trips. Buses needed to be a safe place for everyone and not just a party zone. Plus Planner agreed and created a safe atmosphere for families and trips filled with things families can do together. In fact, I’ve been on a few of the trips with families and it was great for everyone. Plus Planner loves running these family-friendly trips because their staff can also bring their kids.

Affordability for Groups

Additionally, I explained that the Pyeongtaek international community has many large families or community groups who could benefit from discounts for traveling together. Plus Planner responded by offering group discounts for folks traveling together. This makes it much more affordable for families.

Since 4 of us went together we had a discount.

Semi-Independent Travel Options

We talked about the fact some people need to control our transportation. For example, sometimes I need to come back early or leave to go have meetings in the area. Plus Planner totally understands so sometimes I book the trip and we drive separately. Keep in mind, the trip doesn’t get discounted because it’s already deeply comped by local organizations. Like I mentioned, their pre-planned trips cost less than the hotel.

Private Group Trips

Finally, I let her know that people in our area may want to do trips with only their community. For example, sometimes FB groups create trips for their members. Plus Planner was more than happy to create amazingly affordable private trips as well.

For example, Osan Craft Beer Club and the Pyeongtaek Craft Beer Society did an amazing group trip to Gangwondo. I wish I could take this trip every year.

Reason for Discounts

Plus Planner can offer deeply discounted trips because of their relationships with resorts, local governments, and more. Much of the cost is comped to help improve tourism to the area. This is why you get so much for almost nothing!

My Experience with Plus Planner Trips

After the meeting, I decided to try Plus Planner to see if they were legit. Turns out, everything went as planned and we had a lovely time. We stayed in very nice resorts, the food was fantastic, and the guides were great. Since then we have done:

  • Yachting
  • Snowboarding (a few resorts)
  • Brewery trip
One of our ski trips ended up having a surprise taekwondo class.

Each time we had a lovely time and it was so nice not to plan anything. We always know we will be taken care of and do fun things. Understand, I say this as a person who does not like traveling with others. However, don’t trust my words, photos, or stories. Take a look at the pros and cons so you can do what’s right for you. Just do me a favor and think about trying a Plus Planner trip because they can make travel in Korea a lot easier and more affordable.

Example of a two-person hotel room in Muju.

The Benefits of Pre-planned Group Trips

Going with a travel group has many benefits, especially if you are new to Korea. Here are some of the benefits:

  • The tour staff manage transportation so you don’t need a car and you don’t deal with public transit.
  • The bus can take special lanes to make travel faster and if the traffic is bad you can nap.
  • You don’t have to worry about navigation, so the fact Google Maps doesn’t work isn’t a problem.
  • The trip has a guide that takes care of any language issues.
  • They make sure you have great places to eat.
  • You have a chance to make new friends which many of us need more of.
  • You receive discounts on activities you don’t get with smaller groups.
  • You get to visit a lot of places and activities in a short time. They PACK the itinerary.

The Drawbacks of Group Trip

Even with all the benefits, there are also some drawbacks to group tours that we should mention:

  • The schedule is dictated by the trip plan and so you have to just be along for the ride
  • You may only want to do some of the things on the plan, but you will need to show up for all of them.
  • You have limited time alone and for rest which is hard for those who get overstimulated easily (so take headphones to help with this)
  • You have less control over food choices and restaurants
  • You sometimes end up waiting around for things to happen so bring a book or keep your phone charged for Netflix. You are along for the ride and it’s a chance to relax.
  • You take a lot of group photos. Many of the companies want to have marketing material so they ask for group photos. Keep in mind, this is part of why you get such an affordable trip.

Keep in mind, that these issues aren’t specific to Plus Planner trips. Such issues exist on all trips with any tour organizer. If you don’t want to deal with such drawbacks you should consider having Plus Planner coordinate a private trip. You can schedule a private trip by contacting Plus Planner directly.

Contacting Plus Planner

You can visit the Plus Planner website (www.plusplanner.kr) to learn more about their pre-planned trips. You can also call them at 02-2238-2895 (+82-2-2238-2895 from outside Korea) for help with custom trips across Korea. You can also follow them on their Facebook Page to see their trips each week.

Join The Pyeongtaek Travelers Group

You are also welcome to join our Pyeongtaek Travelers. The South of Seoul moderated community of active and friendly travelers (most of who live in Pyeongtaek, South Korea) sharing their adventures across the country.

Volunteer With South Of Seoul

Interested in working with a fun team of talented volunteers? The South of Seoul volunteer team is always looking for other like-minded folks to research information, compile blogs, and edit content.