Before you even start packing your bags for your Vietnam trip, you’ll probably ask yourself: “How much money do I need for my Vietnam trip?”
It’s no secret that Vietnam has one of the lowest costs of living in Asia and the world. This means the cost of traveling in Vietnam is also low. But just how low will it go?
We’ve prepared this article to help you plan your Vietnam travel budget, whether you’re going for a few days, weeks, or months.
If you’re staying for longer, though, you may also want to read our recommended budget for moving to Vietnam.
Travel Budgets for Different Kinds of Visitor
How much money you’ll need for Vietnam depends on what kind of traveler you are. Below we’ll describe the costs you can expect depending on whether you are a budget, mid-range, or high-end traveler.
Also don’t forget to include your flight (find budget ones here!), visa (one of the requirements for entering Vietnam most but not all nationalities), and travel insurance (technically required but seldom checked) in your travel budget.
RELATED POST: Fun things to do in Vietnam; from north to south
Costs for Budget Travelers
- Accommodations: It can range from 4$-10$ per day. This is already a decent hostel or guest house with western standard bathroom, air conditioner, and even breakfast included
- Transportation: They have massive local transport that includes train, bus/sleeper bus, taxi, motorbike, aeroplane, and ferry. 8$ is enough to get you to travel from one city to another on a 6-hour bus ride
- Tours: You can hop to different cities worry-free and guided accordingly. It will cost you around 30$ for a Halong bay tour, 15$ for a tour around Ho Chi Minh City, and 26$ Hoi A day tour.
- Food: You can have Vietnamese soup and bread rolls to complement it further for $2 from stalls on the street. A cup of iced cold coffee is $0.20. If you are a little bit hungrier, you can have a Vietnamese spring roll that cost you $0.22 each or a bowl of Pho for $1-$2 per order. It is suggestive to buy snacks in a convenience store. They have Vietnamese crackers, biscuits, drinks, and toiletries. 5$ is suited for all your quick food cravings and necessities of travelling; this will keep you going throughout the day. Learn more about cheap Vietnamese snacks here.
Estimated weekly budget-friendly cost: $177
RELATED POST: Backpacking in Vietnam: Everything you need to know
Budget for Mid-Range Travelers
Let’s say you have an open budget in your pocket and want to spend it with a semi-luxurious taste that will match your preferences in accommodation style, food, transportation, and tours.
- Accommodations: 2-3 stars hotels room are convenient enough to make you stay for a whole year because the quality will exceed your expectations. It includes a very hospitable staff, friendly neighbourhood, well-designed lobbies, swimming pools, and excellent views at night and day for 24$ – 60$.
- Food: You can quickly get good food in any restaurants for around 12$ good enough for three meals in a day. This includes Vietnamese delicacies such as Cha Ca, Pho, Banh Xeo, and Rau Muong.
- Transportation: If you want a fast, private, and comfortable means of transportation in exploring the cities of Vietnam. You can get a Grab taxi with a minimum tariff of 1.08$ and .37$ per 3km + 0.017 per minute travelled. Renting a regular cab will probably cost you 3$ per day, getting around cities. Buses and trains for 1$ – 15$ it depends on how far you wish to go. And domestic flight tickets for 60$. We recommend using 12goasia or Bookaway.
- Tours: You can get a 1-2 guided night tour in Ha Long Bay for 129$ including accommodation, food, transportation, and outdoor activities for example
- Estimated mid-range budget per week: 353$
Budget for Luxury Travelers
If you can afford a luxurious budget, you don’t need to spend too much in Vietnam. You can have a grand vacation by spending only a decent amount of travel cash. You will leave Vietnam with some remarkable authentic experiences. Some of the luxury travellers often go to private river cruises, island escapes, and resorts.
- Accommodation: Luxurious accommodations vary from your choice. A 5-star hotel ranges its prices from $113-$200. If you want a retreat on resorts near the beaches and the bay, it will cost $100-$340.
- Food: Vietnamese luxury dining place will cost you around $20 – $25 per meal.
- Transportation: One thing great about Vietnam is you can hire a car and driver for 50$/day. Some services offer tourists the chance to be picked up at the airport by a local driver, and choice of several tourist spots throughout the day.
- Tours: There are always options for luxury tours that includes a bed in a boat, five-start dining, transportation from and back to your hotel, for example. You can also book a private tour if you prefer not to share a van or a tour guide.
- Estimated cost per week: $1054
HOW EXPENSIVE IS VIETNAM
Vietnam is a budget-friendly exotic place with a compelling idyllic tourist spot. A tour in Vietnam will not cost you all your savings if you worry about staying within your budget. You can spend it wisely and still enjoy every drop of what Vietnam has to offer. If you wonder how much food, accommodations, tours, and cost of travelling in Vietnam, keep on reading.
Before landing in Vietnam, the first thing you need is to book your accommodations. Prices vary from the three types of lodging such as;
- Hostel Dorms: $4 – $8/night per dorm bed – out list of best Vietnam hostels
- Mid-range hotel (double occupancy): $20 – $40/night
- Luxury hotel (double occupancy): 90$ – 200$
Food and drinks
In every corner of the streets in Vietnam, you’ll see different kinds of street foods, Vietnamese restaurants, local chips, and drinks.
- Street Foods: $0.20 – $1.5
- Convenience store ready to eat food: $0.5 – $1.5
- Casual Restaurants: A single meal and drink will cost you around $4 – $5
- A beer in a convenience store: $0.5 for half a litre
- A beer in a bar: $0.75 for half a litre
- Cocktails: $3 – $8
- Shots: $2 – $4
Vietnam has a wide range of transportation systems, and it’s up to you to choose what modes of transportation you want to experience while travelling in Vietnam. This includes trains, buses, motorbikes, and taxi cabs. Here’s a detailed list of the cost of travelling in Vietnam.
- 6-8-hour trip standard bus: 10$ – $12
- 6-8-hour trip limo bus: It can start from 34$ – $60
- Domestic flight: One-way tickets cost 20$ – 50$
- Train (economy rate, first-class rate): Town to town cost around $14 – $62, economy rate. For first-class prices, it ranges on how far is the distance, $21- $90
- Taxi / Cab: $0.5 tariff cost.
- Motorbike Taxi: $0.50 per kilometre
- Motorbike rental per day: $10 – $15
- Push Bike: $5
- We recommend using 12goasia or Bookway for local transportation
Booking tours is an excellent way to start your venture and also a great opportunity to meet new friends. Qualified trips have packages that you can customize depending on what places you wish to visit. You can also book a night and day tour with locals residing near your area; it is a lot cheaper as well.
- 1-2-night tour including transportation, accommodations, and some meals: $50-$200
- 2-3-night tour including transportation, accommodations, and some meals:$ 100-$300
- Bottle of water: $0.5
- Pack of Cigarettes: $1.5
- Gasoline / litre: $0.9
- Local SIM card – read how to get a Vietnam SIM card
ESTIMATED VIETNAM TRAVEL BUDGET
Personally, I would say about $700 – $1200 per person for four weeks (1 month) travel is a decent and safe budget. Having to set this amount, you won’t have miss experiences just because you are cheaping out. While it also won’t use up all your travel money and hopefully you won’t have to touch your emergency money as well.
VIETNAM TRAVEL BUDGET TIPS
You can get yourself familiarised with some Vietnam travel budget tips before actually getting on your expedition. Here are some budget tips to can try while exploring Vietnam.
Haggling / Bargaining
It is quite necessary to try and haggle sellers of goodies in Vietnam. Like any other place, tourists get the jacked-up price. If you have thick skin, haggling is the best technique you can use to get the price that you are willing to pay for a product or service. Always cut their price offer in half and take it from there.
Booking in advance
Booking in advance has its significant advantage in flight tickets. You can get a considerable amount of discount if you book early and find your aeroplane sit 1-2 months before your actual travel. Travel agencies also offer more discounts if you book in advance. It can also save you from the rush of tourists wanting to visit Vietnam, especially when peak seasons is already around the corner.
Eat like a local
Eating local in places new to you is a must. Eating street foods in different locations also encourage you to be more open-minded and more adventurous when it comes to eating meals. It also improves your tongue palates to a great extent. Trying local restaurants is one way to cut your expenses. Pay $2 on a large bowl of Pho instead of $7 for example.
Get travel insurance
Having travel insurance can eliminate you from your fears of losing baggage, flight delays, and sickness on the trip. Travel insurance can cover the medical expenses if you happen to be injured because of dangerous activities, i.e. (riding a motorbike, diving, other extreme activities).
It is best to secure yourself from sudden spending your travel budget on medication, hospital fees, or rebooking a flight. We recommend this insurance provider. Also see our guide comparing different travel insurance providers for Vietnam.
Coming from a foreign country, you might find yourself running low on Vietnam travel costs and decided to withdraw cash or exchange Vietnam currencies. Banks are everywhere; however, it’s best to exchange through travel agencies or gold shops, find ATM where you can get more cash per transaction. Look out for Scotiabank, Maybank, HSBC.
Currency exchange in Vietnam is a business with a lot of competitors, and some may add additional transaction fees per currency exchange. It is best to find the bank with the actual transaction fees without hidden charges to avoid fraud and possible scams.
Avoid peak season
Avoiding the peak season is one of the best budget tips out there, especially when travelling in Vietnam. Peak season, I mean is when the locals are also on holiday from work, and the students are taking an extended break from school.
The peak season that you would want to avoid is between Tet Holiday, also known as the Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year. This long holiday can fall between the end of January until the beginner of March, and it lasts for one to one week and a half (1-1.5 weeks).
Everything will be fully booked, at the highest prices, and almost 90% of the shops and services will not be operating. Check this article about the best time to go to Vietnam to know more about this.
Now that you know the budgeted, mid-range, luxury ventures in Vietnam. It is now up to you how you want your trip would be. There is no need to look out for something more extravagant than Vietnam. You just sit back and chill in the rivers of Hoi An overlooking the sunset at the end of each day.