Travelling on a Budget: Vietnam

If you’re taking a gap year or simply taking a little break from the world of work and education, you’ll probably want to go travelling at some point. It’s natural that we want to explore the planet we live on but not all of us can afford it, especially if you’re a student. Vietnam is one of the most beautiful and welcoming tourist destinations in the world. It’s cheap, full of history, and the food and people are amazing. Here are a few budgeting tips if you fancy headin’ over there…

  1. Food and Drink. Food in Vietnam is generally very cheap if you avoid tourist restaurants. Go to street food stalls as everything is incredibly fresh and beautifully prepared by locals. You can buy an array of amazing Vietnamese dishes along street vendors for 50000VND (Less than £2!). You’ll find that tea and coffee is cheaper than bottled water especially if your bottled water is from your hotel. Buy water from street stalls instead. When it comes to alcohol, stay away from wine! Vietnam is not known for producing wine hence why it is imported to the country for tourist consumption – making it very expensive! On the other hand, beer and vodka is very cheap; you can buy a big bottle of decent beer for 30p!
  2. Hotels. Of course there are 5 star luxury hotels in Vietnam, but they can be very expensive. To save money you can stay in guest houses, small hotels, and cabins for as little as £10 a night! That makes it sound like these places are going to be dodgy, but if you do your research, you can find perfectly looked after places to stay for a small price. It’s worth not booking hotels until you arrive in Vietnam. The locals are up for bargaining with you and the prices are much cheaper than online.
  3. Activities. You are better off paying for activities and tours once you arrive in Vietnam. Booking online back home will cost considerably more! Boat tours and caving tours can cost as little as a couple quid. Online, you might find yourself paying £30. You can also find cheap activities such as scuba diving for as little as £20. When buying souvenirs, stick to street vendors. Avoid big markets aimed at tourists.
  4. Transport. Buses are by far the cheapest mode of transport in Vietnam. A seven hour journey between major cities will only cost you around £5. Trains are also popular and, again, are very cheap. You can save money by getting overnight trains to save yourself money from a night’s accommodation! Motorcycles are available for hire all over Vietnam, if you’re confident enough to do that, you will save a lot of money!