Budget travel: Vietnam

Vietnam is an extremely budget friendly country for backpackers. Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia along with Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. Most of those countries themselves are affordable on a budget. Accommodation, food, and transport are affordable in general.

I was in Vietnam for one whole month. I arrived at the international airport in Hanoi, Vietnam. My plan was to take the public train from Hanoi and go all the way down to Ho Chi Minh City, with a few stops in the other major cities. I made myself go on a budget in Vietnam to get an idea of how far I can stretch my dollar.

Vietnam is a popular travel destination for backpackers and nomads. There are tons of hostels all over the country with a price range as low as $5USD (for a dorm) to as high as $40USD (for a private room) per night. If you are on a shoestring budget, then couchsurfing will be your best bet as there are a good amount of hosts all over Vietnam. If you want to stay at a 3-star or a 4-star hotel the price range falls between $14USD – $120USD a night. Some hostels and hotels have generous amenities for travelers in general; free breakfast, free wifi, and 24/7 front desk. In total, I spent $103.39USD on accommodation; I did a mix of couchsurfing, hostels, and hotels.

The favorite thing about Vietnam for a lot of travelers is the cuisine. Most of the foods are cooked fresh right on the spot. Not only is the food fresh, but it is extremely affordable – especially street food. Most street food vendors sell dishes that are popular in Vietnam such as phó, bún bò huế, cơm tấmsinh tố, and etc. These street foods can be generally bought for $0.88USD – $2.20USD. That is perfect for any backpacker on a budget. Eating three meals a day of street food in Vietnam can run around $8USD. Street foods are much cheaper in the central and southern part of Vietnam than in the North. In Hanoi, the average price for banh mi is $1.20USD, while in Nha Trang I was able to find banh mi for $0.53USD a piece. My entire food expense while I was in Vietnam totaled to $106USD.

The best way to get around in Vietnam would be using the Grab app. Grab is basically like Uber and Lyft, but more popular in Vietnam. I generally used Grab when I was in the city, but when I was going to another city I took the train instead. If you want to be adventurous, renting a scooter (moped) for a day can be quite an experience. My total transportation expense came out to be $92.41USD.

Overall, I spent a total of $387.99USD which equates to $12.93USD/day. I will write out a short list of my expenses at the bottom of this blog. I believed that it is possible to spend $10USD a day whilst in Vietnam. Out of the three months of international travelling, Vietnam was the most cheapest out of the four countries that I traveled to (New Zealand, Australia, and Japan). I definitely will go back to Vietnam again as I had such an amazing experience with lots of memorable memories.

Expenses in Vietnam

  • Accommodation – $103.39USD
  • Food – $106.00USD
  • Transportation – $92.41USD
  • Miscellaneous – $86.19USD

Total – $387.99USD:$12.93USD/day



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