Are you one of the dreamers who would love to travel, but just feel like you can’t afford it? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. When the routine kicks in and the days are starting to feel the same, you look at other people’s instagram accounts and you see how they are living the life, relaxing on the beach and drinking daiquiris all day long. But this could be you as well. Traveling has never been easier, or cheaper, and even if you have the tightest budget, it’s possible to escape your routines for a while.
Vietnam is a great country to travel to if you have a tight budget since it is one of the cheapest countries in Asia. The flight tickets from Europe are also starting to get cheaper since the demand is getting higher, and there’s quite simply not any reason why you should not fulfill your dreams of traveling.
Before you come to Vietnam, make sure that you apply for an E-visa or Visa on Arrival, if you plan to stay in the country for more than 15 days. Citizens from more than 45 countries are eligible to apply for an E-visa. If you are not certain if you are eligible, contact your embassy to make sure.
So what can you do in order to keep your budget small, but still make sure that you can enjoy your vacation? Here are my tips on what to do when you are traveling in Vietnam on a tight budget:
1. Choose accommodation wisely
I know it’s very tempting to wanna stay in that fancy hotel, since it costs way less than it does back home. But accommodation is usually what will cost you the most while traveling, so this is something that you need to think about wisely. I’ve stayed in many nice hostels throughout Vietnam and some I only paid 3 euros per night for. One thing that I have done in other countries is to couchsurf – you stay in someone’s house for free basically. But what’s bad about this is that it’s not certain you will find someone who is willing to host you AND the person who is willing to host you might be someone who has no reviews, which isn’t necessarily something bad, but to be on the safe side, try to find someone who has hosted before. Always trust your gut feeling. But Vietnam usually has so many cheap places to stay at, so I never bothered to couchsurf.
2. Eat a lot of local food
Yes, everyone loves instagram friendly photos, but Western cafés usually costs a lot more than your local street food. If you want to experience the authentic Vietnamese culture, you can’t miss out on the Vietnamese kitchen. What’s so good about the Vietnamese food is that you will always find something that tastes absolutely amazing, for a very low price. You never have to go hungry in Vietnam! Grab a “banh mi” (Vietnamese baguette) in one of the stalls, have some “pho” (noodle soup) on the street and end with a “che” (dessert) for less than 1 euro. Don’t be afraid to try all of the street food – this will not only save you a lot of money, but it will make you wish you could eat Vietnamese street food everyday.
3. Transportation costs money
Moving around a lot costs. Why not stay in one place for a longer time? If you decide to go across the country, you’ll have to remember that it will cost you money to pay for buses, trains, taxis, you name it. Instead, try to stay in one place for a longer time and don’t feel like you have to see everything in one trip. It will save you a lot of money.
4. Shop responsibly
If you are on vacation, you probably want to do some shopping in one of the high end boutiques. But if you want to save money, skip this. That shirt that you bought today, you will forget about next month. But you will never forget about the traveling memories you gained, the people you met and the food you tried. However, there’s always room for some souvenirs in your bag, to remember the good times.
Follow these tips and you will be able to travel for way longer than you expected, on a strict budget. This doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy your trip just because you can’t spend as much money – quite the contrary. It just means that you are more aware of how much things costs and that sometimes, experiences are so much more worth your money than materialistic things.
What are you waiting for? Book your ticket and come to see us in beautiful and sunny Vietnam!