Is it expensive to travel Vietnam & how much the cost?

Is Vietnam expensive to travel to? This is an interesting and common question when anyone is planning for first-time visit to Vietnam.
Though not the common destination for luxury travel, such as Dubai, Caribbean top beaches, Paris, Monaco, Hawaii, and so on, Vietnam now can offer tourists some luxury services that you can find elsewhere, with the price is adequate to the requirements.
However, in fact, Vietnam is a developing country, the living cost here is quite cheap in comparison to developed countries. By purchasing power parity, one US dollar spent here can bring you the value and quantity of goods 3 times bigger than attained in the US, Australia, or even more than that in Europe, Japan, or other developed countries. So, in general, Vietnam is pretty cheap to travel and visit.

This article is not to give you information and advice of how to get the cheapest price but to calculate the cost and plan the budget for your Vietnam tour in a proper way. It is helpful for our clients, who are looking for private travel services from mid-range up to high-end level at the best value and quality.

How much does it cost to travel to Vietnam?

There is no exact answer to this question. It simply depends on your planned budget, how much you would like to spend, how long you plan to travel, the sort of service you expect on your trip, and so on.
For those of luxury services demanding, there are selected hotels, resorts that cost from around one to a few thousand US dollars per night. You can also take a private luxury yacht for an overnight cruise in Halong Bay or Saigon River that costs around 4 – 5 thousand  USD, luxury transport with private limousines such as Mercedes Maybach, Lincoln Continental, and so on that costs over a thousand dollars per day.
For high-end services, five-star hotels cost from 120 to around 350 USD per room per night including breakfast.
It is quite reasonable when you go down a bit. Elegant three and four-star hotels, which are available in most places in the country, cost you from 50 to 100 US dollars per night. Boutique, cozy small hotels cost from 30 to 40 USD per night. At the same time, on the other hand, budget travelers can spend less than 20 USD a day with dormitory rooms, sandwiches, rented bicycles, and public buses.

Halong Bay cruise

When calculating a tour price, the difference in cost of your tour is largely decided by hotel accommodation. For example, if you choose to stay in good, modern 3-star hotels on your private tour, the average cost for a day is about 100 USD, in which, the cost for hotel accommodation is 30 USD (in twin/double sharing room) and 70 USD is for all other services. But if you choose to stay in 5-star hotels, of the 170 USD cost per day, an amount of 100 USD is spent for the hotel while the cost for other services is still the same.

The cost per person on a tour is also decided by the number of participants. On a tour with a larger number of participants, the cost will be less than it is for only a couple as the basic cost for transportations, tour guide fee, and so on are shared by more people.

Are things expensive in Vietnam?

The general answer is: No. In most cases, things in Vietnam are very inexpensive. Since Vietnam is a manufacturing country, with an abundance of materials and low labor costs, so the price for common goods and services here are pretty cheap. You can get a cheap price for most of the things from foods, drinks, locally made clothes and shoes, souvenirs, electronic devices to medicines and health care services, and of course, your tour also.

How cheap are things in Vietnam? Is everything dirt-cheap here? No, this can be a false perception. As mentioned, by purchasing power parity, one US dollar spent here can bring you quantity of goods three time larger than in the US or Europe so, normally, the price for items here is about two or three times cheaper than you can find in the developed countries, sometimes less, depending on some factors such as how many percent of element that constitute the product are imported, the value and content of technology it contains, how abundant they are and so on. For sure, you will find it is very reasonable when spending your every single valuable dollar here and, you can find good deal for most of stuff purchased. And, as it says, you get what you pay for, dirt-cheap price can only bring you low quality products or services.

Vietnam tour facility

One thing to mention, however, Vietnam is not the place to hunt for big brand products or luxury items since they can be more expensive than where they come from. Luxury goods and imported stuffs that are not encouraged for popular consumption normally have high prices due to the import taxes. They are including imported alcoholic drinks, trending fashion items, dapper accessories and so on.

In general, if you just enjoy your travel and common necessities, Vietnam is pretty cheap and that is perhaps enough for a wonderful travel experience. For sure, you can almost find lock, stock and barrel here but it depends on how much you want to spend and what you want to spend for.

How much does it cost for an average meal in Vietnam?

Food and dining in Vietnam is kind of great experience when you travelling this country. In general, food in Vietnam is pretty cheap. Being an agricultural country that is endowed by favorable climate and geographic conditions, Vietnam has a great abundance of foods, fresh herbs and cooking ingredients thus offering a great menu of culinary. Vietnamese food is normally fresh, healthy, less pricey and oily than in other neighboring countries, and easy to satisfy any eater.

For the cost of a meal, it depends on what type of food and services you would like to have.
Vietnamese street foods, generally are cheap and good. A Vietnamese sandwich (Banh My) cost about 1 USD. A big bowl of Pho, a very famous and popular type of noodle in Vietnam, is about 1.5 to 2 USD that can be a good lunch or dinner. You can also try some kinds of interesting local dishes at the same price, such as Bun Cha (noodle served with grilled meat ball, roasted pork belly), Bun Ngan (noodle with duck meat), Hu Tieu (noodle with pork and seafood) and so on.
In average restaurants, it costs from 4 to 6 USD for one main course meal. Drinks are ordered and paid separately in which soft drink about half a dollar while a beer cost you about 70 cents to 1 dollars.
On tours, each included meal adds about 10 to 12 USD to the tour price, with drink is not included. These meals are normally big, each consists of several dishes including a starter, a side dish, 1 or two meat dishes, a seafood dish, a vegetable dish, fried or steamed rice, and desert that can be sweet or seasonal fruits.

Pho Vietnam

There are, of course, more expensive meals in high-end and luxury restaurants that may cost you from 30, 50 to a hundred dollars depending on where and what you eat. These meals are more expensive because of imported ingredients, decoration, extra services such as live music and special way of serving, restaurant brand and so on.
There is a huge variety of food choices and culinary types, especially in popular tourist destinations. Apart from Vietnamese foods, you can also find Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, French, Italian, Mexican restaurants and so on.
In general, for average demand, 6 to 10 USD can be enough to have a good meal. You can pay more or less depending on your expectation and budget. It is good to have some of the meals included on the tour price and some for free eating. By that way you can get better introduction of local foods as well as it is convenient when you are traveling around. Consult your travel expert for kind of food you wish to have and to get the list of good restaurant wherever you travel to. When come to our introduction of foods and restaurants, the priority criteria is good standard of hygiene, service quality, and unique tastes.

So, how much a Vietnam tour cost?

To get the right answer, we need to sort out all the elements what form the cost of a Vietnam tour.
First is the expense for the accommodation. Depending on how long you plan to travel, the cost will be equivalent with number of night multiply by the rate of room then divided to the number of person sharing room. For example, if you plan to have a 10-day tour with 9 nights of hotel accommodation, supposed that you choose to stay in 3-star hotels that have room rate 50USD/night then the total cost for this is 450 USD. In case you have a private tour of 2 people, then each people will pay 225 USD for accommodation. If you take a triple room for 3 people, the extra charge for the 3rd people will be normally 30% of the room rate. In case a single person occupy the whole room then the cost is about 90% of the normal room rate.

Following is the cost for transportation. Averagely, the cost for a private car is about 70USD per day. This amount will be divided equally to the number of person who use the car. For a short transfer such as airport pick up or see off, the cost is roughly 25 – 30USD each time and for a half day tour, it is about 70% of the cost for full day. The bigger the vehicle, the higher hire rate is. Each level bigger, from 4 and 7 seat to 16 seat, 24 seat 35 seat and 45 seat, an amount of 30% of total cost of preceding level will be added, but at the same time, the bigger vehicle can carry more people so the cost for each people will be much lower.

Cyclo ride in Hanoi vietnam tour

Next is the tour activities included on your travel package. These play very important part in forming the total cost of a tour. The more activity you have on the package, the more fees are added on the total cost. Also, there are short and long activities, and type of activities, some cost less some cost more depending on service contents that form the activity. Averagely, each full day activity will cost you about 50USD/person, including sightseeing tickets and tour guide fee.

Included meals is another part of the total package price. The more included meals you have, the more cost will be added.

Another cost to be counted is train and flight ticket if there are. Normally, on our tours, for long transfer distances between visiting destinations, when it is available and for your convenience, flight or overnight train will be used. Each train ride cost about 40-50 USD and each internal flight ticket cost about 80 to 100 USD. Of course, this also depends on service level, the grade of ticket you take.

From your side, medical and travel insurance should not be missed before departing for the tour. The cost for travel insurance depends very much on level of coverage you would like to take. World Nomads and Cover More are some quite popular among international travelers. And, another little cost is the fee for visa, entry stamping fee, and so on. For visa, Travel Authentic Asia is happy to offer free visa on arrival for any client who take the Vietnam tour with us. (You only pay for entry stamping fee on arrival).

How much does it cost to travel Vietnam for 2 weeks or a month?

To estimate the approximate cost for your Vietnam tour, first you need to determine how many people participate on the tour, what type of accommodation you would like to have, and how dense activities are on the tour.

Supposed that you are planning a 15-day private tour for 2 people, staying in good 3-star hotels. Let’s assume that you have some of the days on this tour with half day activity and half day free to explore on your own so you will get approximately 10 full days with include transportation, tour guide and tour activities.
Then, 14 nights hotel accommodation (room rate 60 USD, 30USD/person) = 420 USD
10 full days private vehicle transportation: 70 USD x 10 / 2 = 350USD
Tour activity including sightseeing tickets: 10 x 50 = 500 USD
Included meal on day tours: 10 x 10 = 100 USD
So the estimated total tour cost is: 420 + 350 + 500 + 100 = 1370 USD/person.

Having more people on your private tour will help to reduce the tour cost since there are more people to share some fixed cost such as transportation, tour guide, and so on.

Flight tickets are normally calculate separately as you may choose different mean of transport for long distances (this may happen once or twice during the trip), other time you will use land transport that is already included on tour cost.

From this calculation, you can see how much it cost for your Vietnam tour approximately. So, for a month, just double this number.

How much money should you bring and need per day in Vietnam?

Apart from the tour package price that you pay before leaving home, there are some personal expenses that occur during your travel. They are including meals and drinks during your free time, laundry, and so on. This all cost around 15 to 20 USD per day. So, an amount of about 250 to 500 USD are sufficient for these daily needs.

Cash is most convenient for this purpose, however, credit cards can be used almost anywhere in Vietnam (except in remote areas). Do not bring to much cash with you on your travel since it is safer and you are free from bringing it with you all the time. It is advisable to have with you at least two credit cards so you can pay by or draw cash any time you want. (Read more about money matters in Vietnam)

How much does it cost to fly to Vietnam?

This is depending on distances, airlines and service level you would like to take. Return tickets from US approximately cost from 1300 to 1600USD, European countries from 1100 to 1400 USD, Israel and countries in the Midle East from 700 to 110 USD, Asian countries from 400 to 700USD.

It is best to search and have your tickets booked a month or few months in advance. This will help to find out the best convenient routes and greatest deal you can get from airlines as well as to give you an ample time to set up a proper plan and to make any necessary adjustment for your travel schedule.  It is also advisable to check cancelation policy and to get the insurance coverage for any unexpected cancelation.

Travel Authentic Asia offers a great list of Vietnam tours ranging from comfort travel style to off the beaten track and adventure tours, honeymoon and romantic getaways, family travel packages, and so on. Let choose the most suitable trip for you among this list of prearranged tour itineraries or feel free to tailor-made your own itinerary at the best convenience with excellent functions and information provided on the webpage. Just let us know your expectations, we will help you to quickly get your ever dreamed travel itinerary perfectly build around your needs and interests

Vietnam bestselling tours