Traveling to Vietnam soon? Does travel planning take so much of your time and effort? Our Vietnam Travel Planner will guide you step-by-step on how to plan a trip to Vietnam. Whether it’s your first time visiting Vietnam or the 10th time, you will find this article useful.
In order to plan your trip to Vietnam easily, you should do a little brainstorming and ask yourself:
a) How much time do you plan to visit Vietnam?
You should consider how much time you’re planning to visit Vietnam. Do you have one week or two weeks? Is Vietnam just a quick stop for a 3-day-trip in your big Asian adventure?
Although the longer the better, you can still visit Vietnam in 3 days (just choose either Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh).
If you have a longer time, you can choose your favorite places to go in Vietnam. We’ve listed the most beautiful and worth-visiting places in Vietnam for your Vietnam itinerary.
b) How much is your budget?
Although Vietnam is a budget-friendly country, you can find luxury kinds of stuff as well. It can cost a lot of money if you overspending. Knowing your budget well will help you greatly in planning your Vietnam trip.
c) Who are you traveling with?
Do you travel with your partner, friends, or family? Or are you traveling solo to Vietnam? If you’re a solo traveler, it’s the best that you can rent a motorbike for a trip from the North to the South of Vietnam or vice versa, or joining tours. With friends or family, traveling in Vietnam by bus or train is a great option.
d) What type of experience do you prefer?
Are you more into sightseeing or adventures travel? Or are you just looking for a relaxing beach vacation? Do you prefer city or rural area? Would you like to travel off-the-beaten-path?
2. Choose your destination in Vietnam
Deciding on where to travel in Vietnam may be one of the most difficult decisions in your planning process. But after brainstorming, you may know where you want to go.
Depending on your travel style, you can pick different destinations in Vietnam that suit your need. Answer these questions in the brainstorming part will narrow down places on your bucket list.
Also, while choosing your places to visit in Vietnam, you should know the best time to visit Vietnam. Are you into a rainy season or dry season, or do you prefer to travel in the off-season, shoulder-season or a peak season? Each place has different best-time-to-visit, so planning well is important.
3. Check your Passport
When traveling abroad, you should have a valid passport according to the “6-month-rule”. It means that your passport does not expire 6 months within your arrival date. You may get declined boarding your flight if your passport is not valid.
So check your passport carefully and renew it if needed.
4. Apply for visa
Firstly, you should check if you need a visa to Vietnam, and how long you need it. Because Vietnamese visa regulations change a lot, you should check carefully and remember to check again before the departure period.
Find more information about Visa here
5. Book your flights
a) From abroad
If you fly from abroad, you may land in either Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh or Da Nang. There are several flight companies having routes from and to Vietnam. Check to find the best deal.
b) Domestic flights
There are 3 main flight companies in Vietnam – Vietnam airline, Vietjet, and Jet Star.
I prefer Vietnam Airline because it provides the best service. There are not much canceling, delaying, and you may have food on board as well. The seats are also more comfortable.
Vietjet Air and Jet Star usually have a promotion and the price are cheaper comparing to Vietnam Airlines. However, it’s quite common that your flights may get delayed around 30 mins or more with them.
6. Buy travel insurance
You should never travel without a travel insurance. As Vietnam is not too safe, you may get robbed or accident while traveling in Vietnam. With travel insurance, you’re covered if there’s any problem.
We recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance. Sightseeing city breaks, vacation getaway or adventure travel, World Nomads Travel Insurance has the best insurance proposal to cover your needs.
7. Book your stay
Depending on where you go, you can book your stay accordingly. There are different types of accommodation in Vietnam: resorts, hotels, hostels, guest houses, Airbnb. From budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts, you can choose the most suitable accommodation and enjoy the best of your time in Vietnam.
> Read related article: How to book the best accommodation
Although you can just come in and ask for rooms in hotels in Vietnam, it’s recommended to book your room in advance for your convenience. Check room rates and availability with Booking.com.
8. Book train, bus, ferry in Vietnam
How to get around in Vietnam? Lots of backpackers buy motorbikes or scooters and get on a road trip from the North to the South or vice versa. If you’re not a big fan of riding motorbike, you can consider booking train or bus, or renting a car for your Vietnam trip.
How to book train, bus an ferry in Vietnam?
Baolau is the travel search engine compares prices and time of train, bus and ferry’s routes in Vietnam, facilitating your Vietnam travel planning and simplifying the booking process. You can pay online with credit card and receive your electronic tickets by email.
9. Book travel tours
As Vietnam is relatively cheap, you can find budget-friendly tours which are from $15. There are luxurious tours such as Ha Long Bay Deluxe Cruise and it can cost from $50 or more.
If you’re interested in visiting islands in Vietnam, booking a tour may be the best idea because it’s difficult and expensive to rent a boat on your own. Also, taking a tour will be a great option if you travel alone and would like to have a companion.
Here are some recommended tours from Klook:
- Ha Long Bay Deluxe Cruise from Ha Noi
- Cu Chi Tunnels Half day tour from Saigon
- Ba Na Hills day trip from Da Nang
- Hoa Lu – Tam Coc from Ha Noi
10. Know places to go
After choosing your destinations, you should know where you would like to visit each place. We would recommend having a flexible schedule because you might love one destination than others, or there’re unexpected events during your trip to Vietnam, but still plan a bit ahead before your departure.
We have several tips and guides on Traveling in Vietnam, from things to know before visiting Vietnam, best places to go in Vietnam to basic Vietnamese phrases. The more you prepare, the better you can plan your trip.
11. Find places to eat and drinks
Trying Vietnamese food must be on your list of things to do in Vietnam. Wonder what you should eat in Vietnam? Read our Vietnamese food list to find your favorite.
12. Connect with the locals or travelers
Vietnam is a popular destination in South East Asia, so you can find several travelers who are going here. You can either join Facebook groups or Couchsurfing to find them. Couchsurfing is a great way to meet the locals and connecting with travelers around the world.
13. Take vaccines
If it’s your first time visiting Vietnam, or traveling to Asia, there’s a high chance that you will need vaccines. If you are going to explore the jungle or mountains in Vietnam, you should be careful of malaria or dengue fever.
Before visiting Vietnam, you should check with your doctor or a qualified medical professional for relevant travel-related medical advice. Some recommended vaccines are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, and Typhoid.
As being healthy is important for traveling, don’t forget to buy travel insurance to prepare for all the risks.
14. Prepare money
In Vietnam, Cash is a King. The Vietnamese currency is Vietnam Dong (VND) and can be exchanged in banks or in jewelry shops.
Depending on your budget and travel style, the amount of money needed for your Vietnam trip may vary. There are several ATMs and banks in big cities, so it will not be a big issue to withdraw some cash. Then you can exchange your currency into Vietnamese Dong.
As the withdrawal fee is high, we recommend you to bring some cash with you before entering Vietnam.
15. Buy sim card
Although you can find free wifi in public places such as coffee shops, shopping malls, etc. in big cities, it’s more convenient to buy a 4G sim card when traveling to Vietnam.
There are many stands at the airport that offer sim card, but we would recommend ordering one online in advance. You can check the sim card packages from Klook for 4G sim card in Ho Chi Minh city or 3G wifi device in Hanoi.
16. Pack your luggage
What to pack for Vietnam? If you travel in the summertime, you should bring light clothes or you can buy new clothes in Vietnam as they are really cheap. If you need any specific medicine, you should bring them along. You can buy sun cream, shampoo, etc., toothbrush, toothpaste in Vietnam easily at the convenience stores so you don’t need to pack them with you.
For women, it can be difficult to buy tampons or menstrual cup in Vietnam, you should pack them in your luggage or you can buy and use pads here.
17. Check your travel documents & flights
Before the departure time, you should recheck all your travel documents: passport, visa, insurance, and other required travel documents such as booking confirmation. We recommend storing those documents as PDF file on your USB or laptop, or Drive so you can access them remotely.
Also, you should recheck your flight schedule to make sure if it departs on time. Checking online will save you lots of time and avoiding long queue at the airport so you should do it when the online check-in service is opened.
18. Prepare for your flight
Airsickness is a real problem for some people. It can make you feel nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and dizziness. If you have airsickness, you should eat a light meal before boarding, using anti-nausea drugs or natural remedies and choosing a right seat. When on the plane, you should avoid reading or staring at the electronic screen for a long time because it may worsen the symptom.
Also, if it’s a long flight from your departure destination to Vietnam, buying a soft travel pillow for neck support is a good idea.
Now you’re ready for your trip to Vietnam! If you have any question, feel free to comment below and we will answer.
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