VietnamTravel Tips & InfoVietnam Travel Tips: Guide to Packing for Vietnam and How to Budget

Vietnam Travel Tips: Guide to Packing for Vietnam and How to Budget

Vietnam is a fantastic destination with many adventures in store for travelers! While you’re getting excited looking for flights and booking hotels, have you considered what you’ll need for the trip? Our newest addition to our Vietnam travel tips have you covered with a quick guide to packing for Vietnam!

Start with a checklist when packing for Vietnam! Write down everything you plan to bring on your trip.

  • Carefully decide what items you’ll need to be comfortable during your flight. Pack those in your carry-on bag
  • Double-check TSA regulations for prohibited items in carry-on and checked baggage.
  • Consider stowing an extra duffle bag in your checked luggage to transport any souvenir on the way home safely!
  • Don’t forget your passport and check the visa requirements

Here’s a helpful tip: Always email yourself a copy of your passport, and leave a copy of your planned itinerary with your family/friends.

  • We would recommend packing earplugs along with you for the long flights. Surprisingly, earplugs are not widely available in Vietnam. You can also add on the headphones and a neck pillow.

Clothing for All Occasions

When packing for Vietnam’s climate, there are a few articles of clothing you can’t forget to bring

  • A fold-up poncho for rainy days (if you’re traveling between April – October)
  • Thin cotton shirts and shorts for more humid evenings
  • Sneakers and sandals
  • Swimwear
  • Smart casuals for gatherings on your nights out on the town

Warm clothing might be needed if you are traveling to the Central and Northern regions of Vietnam during Winter/Spring. The weather in the South is very hot and humid. Bring shorts and thin-layered clothing.

clothing in vietnam
The weather in Ho Chi Minh is hot and humid almost all year round, so light clothing is the smartest choice

Vietnamese culture favors more conservative clothing. Though people are getting more and more open-minded, it is a good reminder to dress modestly if you are touring landmarks such as temples and pagodas, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum in Hanoi, and Hue’s Imperial Tombs.

By respecting the culture of the land, you’ll fit right in and have a pleasant experience. Locals are friendly and welcoming.

Toiletries and Necessities

As with any vacation, carefully pack your cosmetics and toiletries. Bring any daily medications you might need and keep extras in a separate container in an emergency.

It’s wise to have a few travel-sized tissue packages on hand in Vietnam. They might come in handy for the public bathrooms or the sweats you’ll get from the weather.

Sunscreen is necessary if you have sensitive skin, especially during Vietnam’s hot summer season.

During your flight, plan to stow your toiletries in your checked luggage unless you have TSA-approved liquid containers for travel.

Electronics in Vietnam

Whether traveling with a group or flying solo, it’s important to stay connected to your loved ones while in a new country. If you go with an unlocked cell phone, you can easily access a local SIM card and use mobile data locally. Price plans are dependent on usage. If not, most hotels, cafes, and restaurants have WiFi access in the cities. If you intend to travel to remote highlands or towns, you should get a local SIM for more reliable coverage. Major Vietnam Network Carriers are Mobifone, Viettel, Vinaphone, etc.

Pick up an international power adapter so that you can charge your phone, camera, or laptop in your hotel room. However, you can easily find these adapters locally at any convenience store. The prices are low, around $2.

The voltage-current in Vietnam is 220V. The outlets accept the following electrical plugs:

vietnam socket packing for vietnam

Pack up your electronics in your carry-on bag to have them with you during travel.

Adventure Gear

Vietnam is FULL of adventures, from climbing and hiking Mount Fansipan to watersports, such as parasailing and scuba diving in the South China Sea.

Bring bug spray and hiking boots in addition to your required gear for hiking and camping adventures.

For watersports, unless you want to bring your equipment, I recommend just renting them at your local tour operator or gear shop. Things are very convenient nowadays, and you can pretty much pick up your equipment. This will help you travel light.

If you want to capture photos underwater, bring your GoPro or waterproof camera.

Other items worth mentioning are GPS (Google Maps App installed on your mobile phone), sunglasses from, a watch, a camera, and a local guidebook.

If you do want to take your gear along with you, visit today to find the gear that’s right for you.

Planning Your Vietnam Trip Cost: How to Budget

When most people hear “international travel,” they first think of dollar signs.

While traveling internationally can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. A trip to Vietnam can be a great way to see a new part of the world without breaking your budget. In fact, Vietnam has been ranked as one of the most inexpensive countries to travel to in 2017.

Here are my top budgeting tips for keeping your Vietnam trip cost low!


Keep your Vietnam Trip Cost Low by Understanding the Exchange Rate

The exchange rate is constantly changing, so keeping up with it while traveling is important.

At this time, $1 in United States dollars is worth approximately 23,000 Vietnamese dong.

With favorable exchange rates like these, finding incredibly affordable hotel accommodations is easy.

If you’re looking for the lowest Vietnam trip cost possible, you can find rooms for as cheap as $7-$20 a night. Even if you’re looking for something more comfortable and luxurious, rooms at a nice hotel or resort usually only run around $80 a night.

Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Sure, you could eat fast food in Vietnam. But where’s the fun in that?


The local foods in Vietnam are not just delicious; they are also highly affordable.

Like with hotels, there’s also a range of options from rustic to luxurious. For instance, Vietnam is famous for its street vendors, where you can get two meals for under $5.

These are also reasonably priced if you’d like a more formal, sit-down meal. You can get dinner for two in most Vietnamese restaurants for under $20.

Finally, if you’re a beer drinker, you’ll want to try the Bia Hoi, which is Vietnamese for “fresh beer”. This beer is brewed quickly and must be drunk within 1-2 days. The best part? You can enjoy a local beer for around $1 – need to know the right place to find them.

Use Public Transportation

One of the best parts of traveling to Vietnam is enjoying the scenery and culture with public transportation.

Bus and train are two of the easiest ways to get around the country. Additionally, many buses and trains are equipped with beds for sleeping, so you can save on a night of hotel accommodations while traveling. For most major cities, you can find the best-budgeted bus prices in the backpacker’s area. Since so many Vietnam travel agencies are clustered in a zone, the prices are competitively displayed outside on the signs and standees. You can easily shop for prices for moving from one city to another.

To get the best transportation price, I recommend booking ahead and directly with the bus or train company. Many hotels will offer to make reservations for you, but they will likely add surcharges.

If you are short on time, you can use domestic flight carriers on a budget, like Vietjet Air and Bamboo. Their flight prices are reasonable.

For tips on how to avoid taxi scams in Vietnam, you can read my other blog here.

Arrange Accommodations in Advance

Vietnam has many lodging options almost everywhere you travel, from high-class resorts to local bungalows. Remember that hotels can get fully booked extremely fast during high tourist seasons, and you might miss your desired rooms. Additionally, if you are traveling to more off-the-beaten-path areas, it is crucial to check out safe and comfortable options before your trip.

Take Advantage of Local Tours

The low prices you’ll enjoy on accommodations, food, and transportation will leave plenty of room in your budget for fun tours and excursions.

local tours budget for vietnam

Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle

In Vietnam, haggling is not only acceptable: it’s expected. Don’t hesitate to bargain on the quoted price at local markets.


I hope you enjoyed these tips on traveling to Vietnam on a budget.

Do you have any tips for packing for Vietnam that I missed? Feel free to let me know!

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