Vietnam is a fascinating and beautiful country, and even with its increased popularity as a travel destination, it is still relatively easy to explore this country on a limited budget.
Let’s look a few of the most effective tips for saving money while on the Vietnam tours:
One of the best ways to experience the local Vietnamese cuisine is to eat the delicious street food. Plus, this is an incredibly cheap way to eat several of the most popular dishes. The street side bananas, donuts, bahn mi (meat sandwiches), bread and pho (a tasty rice noodle broth) are cheap and usually excellent quality and you even get to watch the food get cooked in front of you. A bowl of pho costs in the region of $2, there are also plenty of rice dishes at similar prices. Prices charged at the local restaurants are only slightly higher, with many of the dishes costing in the region of $5.
With Vietnam becoming a major tourist destination, more and more hotels and restaurants are serving the dedicated Western food – and at western prices. But, with the low-cost of the local dishes it is much more practical to stick with the local street food and you will save money. Plus, this gives a much more authentic feel to the Vietnam travel.
For the long distance journeys, it benefits to organize the late-night travel and book a sleeper train or bus to help save on the cost of a night’s stay in a hotel or guesthouse. This is a great way to save money on the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City tour, which is certain to include several long journeys which can take 8+ hours to complete. Even though this isn’t likely to give the best night’s sleep it is certain to help those on a tight budget who want to keep their money for food and accommodation. Homestay is a unique way to experience local life as well as to save money.
For those travelling in Vietnam looking for the most cost-effective bus service it usually benefits to book a seat on the tourist buses that pass through the country instead of local transportation since it is possible to get special tourist rates. A single ticket for a bus journey from the north to the south of the country can cost in the region of $52.50.
Fly for cheap
Air flight is the most efficient method to complete the long journeys, such as Hanoi to Hoi Chi Minh City, Hanoi to Da Lat, or Hanoi to Can Tho. Any of these journeys using the low-cost airlines (FlyVietnam or VietJet) in Vietnam are relatively inexpensive and cost about $60. Flying is the most appealing option for the travellers on the holiday to Vietnam that are time limited, but still wish to explore the different regions of the country.
A great quality of Vietnam is its landscape, historic sites and natural beauty – this has the potential to make a half or full-day of sightseeing quite cheap, if not entirely free. In certain situations it can be more practical to self organize a trip for the low-cost rather than paying for the organised tour. Bicycles are ludicrously cheap to hire and makes exploring the local cities and countryside that much more feasible. For instance, hiring a bicycle in Hoi An can cost as little as $1 per day. Also, travelling on the local bus between towns and cities on the tours of Vietnam is extremely cheap – although the journeys aren’t going to be the most comfortable. For the travellers in the walkable cities like Hanoi there are even more opportunities to save on travel costs, and there are plenty of free museums and temples to visit.
It is a common theme for the tourists to be charged at a higher rate for local goods and services compared to the locals; which includes everything from street food to clothes and hiring a cyclo (three-wheel bicycle taxi). But, there is no reason to feel intimated or take it personally, just try to refine the art of haggling. In plenty of situations it can help to know a little Vietnamese, or for those times when the price appears too high, it is best to simply walk away and look elsewhere.
Also, it can help to ask your hotel or guesthouse staff about the local costs of services and goods to get a good idea of what you should expect to be paying. By asking about things like the cost of tailor-made clothing or a ride to the museum, it is possible to have the readily prepared bargaining figures in mind.
Tactically booking the guesthouse or hotel rooms can help to add up to a significant saving. Most guesthouses charge a set price per room and not each person which can be quite cost-effective for the families or those travelling as a group of friends.
Also, booking the hotel or guesthouse stay in advance can help to save money with not only the cheaper initial rates, but also the accommodation can include a free train station or bus stop pick up, which helps to cut out the cost and time of hiring a taxi.
Being flexible and planning the right time to travel on the Vietnam tour packages can go a long way to saving money. Even making the minor changes in the timing can result in significant cost savings. It is possible to travel in the shoulder season to experience a great saving on the travels. For instance, if you are willing to travel during the months of May-September there is the potential to save 20% to 40% on a Halong Bay cruise. Even though the weather may not be perfect for exploring this fascinating seascape, there is not only the opportunity to save on the travel costs, but also enjoy the more peaceful experience without a lot of crowds.