As we got to Vietnam, our original budget of $50 dollars a day for both of us was a very understatement. Luckily for us, we found an essential application for every world traveler to keep track of the daily expenses. This app is called “Trail Wallet” (link here)and cannot recommended highly enough. According to the app, our daily average is about $74.66 for the 2 of us. That’s including lodging, transportation, food and miscellaneous expenses like tours, clothing, medicines, etc.
Our Tops expenses
Food actually tops our daily budget so far by a whooping 35% of it.. Accommodation is next by 25%.
In terms of food, we try as much as we can to go eat in local restaurants. A typical meal in Vietnam could cost from 40,000 to 80,000 dongs, about $2 to $4 dollars each depending on what you want. From time to time when we have an urge to eat western food, we go to eat a pizza or grab a croissant at Costa Coffee, which of course, is higher the expense. We love to eat rice and noodles, we have tried it for breakfast but having been raised in the western part of the world, a good coffee with a piece of bread is for us a must have. We found places where the pizza was only 130,000 dongs to others where it was 170,000 dongs or about $8 dollars.
In addition to the catering, the drinks cost us some money too, especially on a weekend when we have a Mojito here and there, which has without doubt, an impact on our budget. However, the beer is cheap. The beer from Vietnam is known to be the cheapest in the word and can cost only .25 cents.
Regarding the accommodation, we could do it cheaper as well, but we are keeping it comfortable for us. We sleep in standard double rooms in guest houses or backpackers which are obviously more expensive than dorms. In big cities it costs on average $15 to $20 a night. In smaller cities, less touristy, we find easily rooms from $10 to $15 a night, especially during the low season. It is important for us to have a nice and comfortable room. Without this small comfort, we wouldn’t be enjoying our travel the way we do now. Surprising for some maybe? Yes, but we are not 21 anymore 🙂 We are getting too old ! 🙂
The transportation takes 15% of our budget and then comes the miscellaneous for 25%.
Our transportation consist of taking local transportation such as buses, trains, mini-bus, motorbikes, boats or tuk-tuk. If we find a very good deal by plane to reach a city to another which are far away from each other, we will go for it. Now, getting from north to south Vietnam, it takes time as it is a long country. Flying is the best option but sometimes not the cheapest. For example, to go from Hanoi to Hue, flights range from $250 to $330 dollars per person. A bus only costs $32 per person but the bus takes supposedly 16 hours. We ended up taking 23 hours to reach Hue. We also wanted to go to Nah Trang from Hoi An. However, the flights were also very expensive and we didn’t want to take the bus again which supposedly only took 12 hours, but who knows. We skipped Nah Trang and took a direct flight to Ho Ching Ming city for $55 dollars each through Jetstart pacific.
After Saigon, we wanted to visit Phu Quoc island in Vietnam. We could either take the bus to Ha Tien then take a ferry or flight directly. The flight only costs $31 dollars each, while it could have costed about $25 dollars each through bus and ferry.
Otherwise, Miscellaneous includes the must-do tours, massages, clothes, medicines or other expenses. Tours can actually be quite expensive in Vietnam or Asia in general. Most of them range from $20 to $30 per person, but includes lunch. Overnight tours are $70 to $100 per person per night, including all meals, but no drinks. Things do get expensive, so it takes a bit of research to find the best tours at the best prices.
To sum up, we have been able to keep our budget for most of the travel. We obviously need to keep a track on the expenses as it can become quite hard to have a good overview of the expenses of a month. Our goal is not to be restricted to do something and if sometimes is really worth to do, we will do it. The rest of the time, we keep traveling the way it is mentioned above and we can say it is working very well for us. A big amount of money is not needed to enjoy fully Asia or Vietnam. $80 a day for 2 people has been perfect for us in Vietnam combining visits, fun and comfort.
Let us know your impression and comments !