Vietnam: Backpacking Secrets
For the most part, backpacking around the wondrous enclaves of Vietnam’s costal regions is a fairly cost-effective endeavour compared to other parts of the world. If you’re staying in hostels along the way, it’s a very affordable way to have your budget stretch that little bit further.
Make the most out of your limited budget with these tips:
1) Travel through the night
Although this could potentially wreck your body clock, traveling long journeys through the night will in fact save you from paying for a night’s accommodation at a hostel, as told by Nomadic Matter.
2) Barter with the locals like your life depends on it
You’ll find in most places in Asia that visitors of the country will tend to be charged more for services and products than what the locals would be. Therefore, don’t feel uncomfortable bartering with vendors to get what you want for a reasonable price.
3) Eat street food
The vast array of delights on offer at Vietnamese street food stalls is worth sampling regularly and will save you money on buying food from convenience stores or restaurants. To add to the experience, the locals will cook the food in front of you.
4) Utilize the tourist buses for the majority of traveling
Surprisingly, this is the opposite to many of the services on offer in Vietnam. You’ll find that the “tourist” buses are actually cheaper than the other public transportation that covers longer distances from city to city. Use these buses to save you money.
5) Move with the times, look for relevant apps
Forego archaic guidebooks and embrace the 21st century with the many state of the art and innovative apps at your disposal. Top10TravelApps has a list of its favorite Vietnam-themed tourist apps that is worth checking out.
Tips for the End of Your Trip
1) Agree on cab fares before you jump in it to the airport
Throughout Southeast Asia it is imperative that you always agree on a price of a cab before you enter so that you aren’t met with an alarming rate at the end of your journey. However, we only recommend you use cabs if you really have to as these will cost considerably more than the aforementioned tourist buses.
2) Pack light
At the end of your backpacking trip, it’s not uncommon for people to have accumulated more possessions than they set out with. However, make sure that before you leave for the airport that your baggage doesn’t exceed the allowance specified by the airline you’re flying with. There aren’t many like Singapore Air–which increased its baggage allowance–while the majority are decreasing in order to drive profit margins.
3) Pay attention to hidden costs of low budget airlines
If you’re traveling to a nearby country such as Thailand or Malaysia and you plan to use a budget airline, be careful. Parking4Less documented how many of these budget airlines impose extra charges on their ticket fares, very similar to carriers in Europe such as Ryanair. These can vary from baggage charges; to online checking fees; to quoting prices without tax.