There is a big reason close to 8 million tourists visit Vietnam each year – This beautiful country offers unparalleled sites, food, and culture all for a reasonable price as compared to Europe and other parts of Asia.
From the beaches of Nha Trang to the thousands of islands in Ha Long Bay and the excitement that is Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam can be an amazing adventure. From my experiences traveling and writing on travel budgets, below are my top 4 Tips for Planning a Trip to Vietnam on a Budget.
1. Buy your airline tickets in advance
When travelling to Vietnam – especially from the Americas or Europe – an airline ticket there can literally be the largest expense of the trip. According to the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), booking your ticket at least six week in advance can save you six percent or more on your ticket.
So, to save money, avoid any last minute travel to Vietnam.
Also, look for ways to save much on intra-Vietnam transportation. Bus travel, for instance, is very reasonable and costs under $1.00 USD within cities and $10.00 to $30.00 USD between cities (as opposed to flying).
2. Save money on accommodations.
One of the great things about Vietnam is the reasonable price for accommodations. Hostels can be as cheap $6.00 USD a night and hotels – in Ho Chi Minh for example – range from $8.00 USD per night for a two-star hotel to $130.00 USD per night for a five-star hotel.
This gives you an opportunity to either enjoy luxury for relatively cheap or take advantage of low prices at hostels and two and three-star hotels to save BIG. And always remember to book hotels far in advance – you never know when they will fill up.
3. Eat street food!
The food in Vietnam is not only delicious, but also very inexpensive. You can comfortably budget $20.00 to $30.00 USD per day for food while feeling free to try and eat anything you want.
However, the biggest savings – and most delicious food –is Vietnam’s robust offering of street food. Not only is the street food delicious, but you can watch it being cooked in front of you (for those who may be squeamish of street food).
Street food typically costs $1.00 USD and some of the best local food includes Banh Mi (a Vietnamese Sandwich), sticky rice (Xoi), and beef noodles (Pho bo).
Another great way to save money on food is to buy bottled water from bodegas – hotels typically inflate the price.
4. Plan your itinerary in advance! (Leave no surprises)
An important way to budget your travel is to simply leave nothing to surprise. So, plan your trip activities in advance. Not only will that increase your excitement and leave no time wasted, but you’ll also have a very clear picture of museum and site costs.
Some interesting and low cost activities not to miss include the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City ($0.71 USD) and cycling the Mekong Delta (Bike rentals from $0.25 USD per day).
Vietnam is such a wonderful country to visit and can be enjoyed on a reasonable budget as well. Safe travels!
About the Author
David Chait loves to travel and is the Founder of Travefy – a free online group travel app. Through Travefy users can build a rich trip itinerary, book travel deals, and collect shared expenses.