How Much Can You Save on a Vietnam Vacation?

If you’re looking for an amazing, exotic vacation destination with tons to see and do, it’s hard to find a better value for your money than a voyage to Vietnam. From the lush capital of Hanoi, on the bank of the Red River, to the rich history and culture of Ho CHi Minh City, Vietnam is a prime destination for backpackers and anyone looking to explore a foreign land without spending a fortune. The Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism estimates that in 2012, Vietnam welcomed 6.8 million tourists, a number that has continued to rise for the last decade. The country has become increasingly popular among young Americans, especially, who are looking for adventure but don’t have an infinite amount of money to spend traveling.

Vietnam i  Camboya 2007

1. Airfare

Hands down, the most money you will spend on a voyage to Vietnam is on the airfare. The Vietnam Travel and Living Guide suggests that the best time to fly to Vietnam on a budget is during March and April or September and October, the start and end of the tourist season. Flights during these months can be reduced up to 30 percent. As with most places, summertime and Christmas flights are the highest. The Vietnamese New Year, known as Tet Holiday, is also a peak travel time. It falls on a week in late January or early February, and you want to plan ahead to avoid travel if you’re trying to save money.

Vietnam i  Camboya 2007

2. Accommodations

In Vietnam, splurging on an extravagant hotel means paying $100 a night. Compared to many other exotic travel destinations, this is a steal. Many 5-star accommodations cost around $50 a night, and though it varies by city, it’s not uncommon to find a good 3-star hotel for $15 to $18. Below 3 stars and you usually wind up in a mini hotel, which is a thin 5-story building with two rooms per floor and no elevator. Of course, it’s important to research the hotel you want to stay at to make sure it’s in a good neighborhood and not too isolated. You also want to be able to pay upfront, otherwise the hotel owners in Vietnam are known to ask you to leave without notice if a higher-paying traveler needs the room.

3. Food and Drink

Dining is another area that is incredibly cheap in Vietnam. For a decent meal at a restaurant, $5 is a splurge. In fact, you could eat fairly well on just $5 a day. Be aware that dining in your hotel restaurant will cost you double what it costs to find local cuisine. Many of the local restaurants have English menus and cost only a couple dollars per meal. Drinking is also more than affordable. Vietnamese beer, called bia hoi, goes for 15 cents a glass, and a bottled beer rarely costs more than $1.00. Wine and cocktails are only slightly more, ranging around $3 and made from cheap Vietnamese vodka.


4. Goods and Services

In Vietnam, you can take a luxury cruise, such as a 2-day cruise from Hanoi, for $100 a person or less. There are all kinds of discount attractions throughout the country so that even a traveler on a tight budget can afford to take in the sights. Every major city is chocked full of shopping opportunities, as well. Street vendors, shopping malls, and outdoor markets offer beautiful tailored clothing and souvenirs, and prices are always negotiable. It’s a great time to shop in Vietnam because the Prime Minister signed a deal that allows foreigners to be reimbursed for VAT tax through June of 2014.

Traveling to a foreign country can change your life, and it’s not as far out of reach as you imagine. Vietnam remains one of the most affordable international destinations around, and if you want to experience a once-in a-lifetime adventure for less, there is no better choice for a holiday.

About the author
Dollie Younkin is an avid travel blogger. If you’re looking for a budget holiday, check out