Vietnam is a popular destination with its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture. However, many travelers hesitate to explore Vietnam due to concerns about the cost.
Fortunately, Vietnam can be an affordable country to visit with some planning and budgeting. In this guide, we will provide some top tips for visiting Vietnam on a budget, including how to save money on flights and accommodations, transportation, food, and attractions.
Whether you are a backpacker on a tight budget or a traveler looking to stretch your dollars further, these tips will help you make the most of your trip to Vietnam without breaking the bank.
Choose the right time to visit
The high season in Vietnam is from November to April, during which the weather is the best, but the prices for accommodation and transport are higher. If you are on a budget, you should consider visiting Vietnam during the low season, from May to October.
During this time, the weather is generally hot and humid, with occasional rain. The north of Vietnam can experience heavy rains and storms during this period, while the central region experiences high temperatures and occasional typhoons. In the south, the weather is typically hot and humid, with occasional rain showers.
Despite the occasional rain, the weather is generally pleasant during this time, with fewer crowds and lower prices on accommodations and activities. If you are planning to visit Vietnam during these months, it’s a good idea to bring a light raincoat and to check the weather forecast regularly.
Take advantage of the e-Visa policy
Vietnam is opening its doors to tourists worldwide, which is why they’re making the process of entering Vietnam easier through the e-Visa policy. If you come from a country covered by this policy, you can apply for an electronic visa to enter with minimum hassle. 82 countries are eligible, including the USA, the EU, Canada and China. With e-visa, you are eligible to stay for up to 30 days.
What’s more, the e-visa application process can be more practical than applying for a visa on arrival, as, after your plane flight, you can rest or start your adventure right away.
You only need your passport, a valid visa application photo, and a credit or debit card for the fee payment. The fee is only $25.
Book flights and accommodations in advance
The earlier you book your flights and accommodations, the cheaper they will likely be. You can also look for budget airlines and hostels or guesthouses that offer affordable rates.
There are several ways to book affordable flights and accommodations for a trip to Vietnam. To start, you can use flight search engines. Websites like Skyscanner, Kayak, and Google Flights can help you find the cheapest flights to Vietnam. You can also set up price alerts to get notifications when prices drop.
You may want to pay special attention to budget airlines like AirAsia, Jetstar Pacific, and Vietjet Air, as they offer affordable flights to Vietnam. However, read the fine print and check for hidden fees before booking.
As for accommodation, you can start with booking websites like Agoda, Booking.com, and Hostelworld, which can help you find affordable accommodations in Vietnam. You can filter your search by price, location, and amenities to find the best deal.
If you are on a tight budget, consider staying in hostels, guesthouses, or homestays instead of hotels. These accommodations are often cheaper and offer a more authentic local experience.
Be alert for deals! Many airlines and hotels offer promotions and discounts for early bookings, last-minute bookings, and package deals.
Use public transportation
Public transportation in Vietnam is generally cheap and convenient, making it an excellent option for foreign tourists.
The most common forms of public transportation in Vietnam include buses, trains, taxis, and motorbike taxis. Each mode of transportation has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.
While public transportation is generally safe, it’s essential to exercise caution when using motorbike taxis or to hail taxis on the street. Consider using reputable taxi companies or ride-hailing services like Grab and GoViet to ensure your safety and budget.
Bargain when shopping
Bargaining is a common practice in Vietnam, and foreign tourists should consider bargaining when shopping or negotiating prices with vendors. By bargaining, tourists can often get a better price on goods or services than the initial asking price. This is particularly true in markets or street vendors where prices are not fixed.
However, it’s important to remember to bargain respectfully and not to take advantage of the vendor. Bargaining should be a friendly negotiation and a way to negotiate a fair price for both parties. Additionally, bargaining can be a fun and engaging way to interact with locals and learn more about the culture and customs of Vietnam.
How to see the sights (and more) on a budget
There are many free attractions in Vietnam, such as parks, temples, and museums. Plan your itinerary around these free attractions to save money on entrance fees. In Hanoi, for example, taking a stroll around the Old Quarter can already be a fascinating experience, especially if you take the time to take in the history of the place. Almost everywhere, you can dive into the cultural scene of the town for free or on a budget.
Then there are group tours, which can be an affordable way to see the sights in Vietnam. They often include transportation, accommodation, and meals, saving you money in the long run.
In conclusion, Vietnam is a beautiful country that can be explored on a budget with careful planning and smart decisions. By following these top tips for traveling on a budget, you can make the most of your trip to Vietnam without breaking the bank.
So don’t let concerns about the cost keep you from exploring this fascinating country and start planning your budget-friendly trip to Vietnam today!