How to plan a Vietnam trip
It can be lots of work to plan a Vietnam trip to a country that you have never been to especially when you go with your children or with your parents because you want a well-prepared trip. Even if that’s an easy beach holiday to 1 single destination for a couple or small group of friends, you still have to search a lot of information about where to go, what to do, how to get there… you may find the more you research the more you lost or too many options to make decision or you are not sure where you should start from. This article will tell you all steps that you will go through to plan a trip to Vietnam, you can change the order of the steps to suit you, you may go to steps 3 then go back to step 1 to start over.
Decide when to go, where to go in Vietnam and how long your trip in Vietnam
Vietnam is a diverse country with many regions and attractions to explore. Firstly decide on which regions you want to visit: North Vietnam tour, Centre or South Vietnam tour, the best time to visit Vietnam, and the length of your stay. It depends on your personal preferences, interests, and budget. Here are some factors to consider:
Interests: What are you interested in seeing and experiencing? Do you prefer exploring cities or natural landscapes? Are you interested in history, culture, or adventure activities? Consider your interests and choose destinations that align with them.
When is the best time to travel to Vietnam:
Vietnam’s climate varies across regions, with different weather patterns in the north, central, and southern parts of the country. Consider the weather when planning your trip as well, and choose the best time to visit each destination based on the activities you want to do and the climate you prefer.
Up to the north: Cool to cold seasons: November to March. Warm seasons: April to September. Avoid typhoon season Jul- Aug, it affects Halong Bay cruise tour.
Down to the south from Danang: Generally, it is warm the whole year, the average temperature is around 25-30 degree celsius. Avoid the flooding season Sept – Oct.
There is no good time to travel to Vietnam, it depends on where you plan to go visit. For beach lovers, from March to August. The best time for trekking in the north could be: March, April, May, September, October. Those are the top tourist attractions in Vietnam and the best time to visit:
Hanoi: February to April and Late September to November when it is not too hot and there is little rainfall. The hottest month of the year is June.
Ha Long: October to April when it is the perfect time for cruising, kayaking, and swimming. July – August often see sporadic hurricanes and storms, which may render cancellation and delay of your trip.
Sapa: March to April and October to November is the best season to visit. There is little rainfall and plenty of sunshine. The rice field turns to yellow in October making the view significant.
Da Nang, Hoi An: January to July, especially from February to May – the best time for beach activities and low tourist footfall. The rainy season starts from September to November, there can be sporadic hurricanes and storms.
Nha Trang: from January to August, the weather is warm and humid with little to no rainfall. The average temperature is about 28 – 30°C, perfect for water activities such as island-hoping, surfing, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling… October and November, higher chance of rain and storms.
Phu Quoc: Late October to early April, the island is usually cool and pleasant, the average temperature is about 27-28 degrees, the highest temperature reaches 35 degrees.
From late May to early October, Phu Quoc begins to enter the rainy season. This season has heavy rain, strong seas, constant wind, and high air humidity.
Ho Chi Minh City: The best time to visit is December to April, dry season. May to late November, it will rain heavily almost every afternoon, the rain is short and clear quickly.
The length of the trip: It depends on your work schedule, your annual leave, your children’s school holiday…and plan your itinerary accordingly. Minimum 10 days to visit 1 region either North, Central or South. You can go visit the highlights of Vietnam 14 days – 16 days.
Vietnam Peak Season: Vietnam’s peak tourist season is from October to March in general. If you plan to visit during these months, expect larger crowds, higher prices, and more difficulty in booking accommodations.
We highly recommend avoiding long public holidays in Vietnam, due to the price of accommodation, flights and the volume of people travelling on those days, especially in and out of big cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.
Vietnamese public holidays:
New Year’s Day: Typically observed on January 1st and lasts for one day.
Lunar New Year: This is the most significant holiday in Vietnam and typically lasts for several days. The exact duration varies, but it commonly extends for three to seven days. The specific dates are determined by the lunar calendar and include the preceding and following days of the actual Lunar New Year’s Day.
Reunification Day: Observed on April 30th, this holiday lasts for one day.
International Labor Day: Celebrated on May 1st, it is a one-day holiday. Usually, reunification day and international labour day are combined and if they are on weekends, people will have extra 1 or 2 days off work so these public holidays are the second longest after lunar new year.
National Day: Observed on September 2nd, this holiday typically lasts for one day.
Vietnam trip budget: Consider your budget when planning your trip, as some destinations and activities can be more expensive than others. You can save money by traveling during the low season, staying in budget accommodations, and travelling to 1 region to save money on domestic flights.
Once you have considered these factors, research the different regions and attractions in Vietnam and create a rough itinerary. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from travel experts or people who have visited Vietnam before. There are many places to visit in Vietnam so you may not be able to see everything in one trip, so prioritize the places and activities that are most important to you.
Decide where to fly in and out of Vietnam
The three main airports in Vietnam are Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (HAN), Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang International Airport (DAD) in Da Nang. Decide on which airport to fly in and out of based on your itinerary.
Check flight schedules and availability for the airports you are considering. Some airports may have more frequent or cheaper flights than others. For direct flights out of Sydney and Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh/ Hanoi, there are Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways. Vietjet just launched direct flights out of Sydney/ Melbourne/ Brisbane to Ho Chi Minh in April 2023, at the moment they are offering very good deals. Jetstar also has direct flights from Sydney/ Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh.
It may be cheaper to fly in and out of a major airport like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, but you may also want to explore destinations in Vietnam that require additional flights. There are 2 reliable airlines in Vietnam are: Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways, Vietjet Air is cheap airline so when you book with Vietjet, remember to check their baggage included or you have to buy extra and its known for delayed airline.
Consider the time it takes to travel from the airport to your first destination and the time it takes to travel from your last destination back to the airport. Choose an airport that allows you enough time to travel comfortably and without rushing. Youin Travel has many Vietnam tours starting from Hanoi and finishing in Ho Chi Minh/ Da Nang.
Use flight comparison websites such as Skyscanner to find the best flight deals and then book directly with the airlines. We recommend booking your flights at least a few months in advance to get the best deals.
Overall, it’s important to balance convenience, cost, and the destinations you want to visit when choosing where to fly in and out of in Vietnam. Research your options and choose the best airport for your specific travel needs.
Plan your Vietnam itinerary
Create a rough itinerary with the places you want to visit, the activities you want to do, and the duration of your stay in each location. Research the best transportation options for each region, whether it’s by plane, train, bus or private car.
Planning your itinerary for a trip to Vietnam can be overwhelming, but here are some steps to help you get started:
Research your destinations: Make a list of the cities, regions, and attractions you want to visit in Vietnam. Consider your interests and the amount of time you have available.
Determine how long you’ll spend in each destination: If you want to visit many places and are not sure when you will come back to Vietnam usually 2/3 nights at each place, if you have more time or want to have an easy trip, 3/4 nights at each place would be reasonable.
Prioritize your activities: Identify the activities and attractions that are most important to you and prioritize them in your itinerary. This will help you make the most of your time in each destination.
Consider transportation: Research the transportation options between each destination, whether it’s by plane, train, bus, or car. Some destinations may require more time or effort to reach. Google Maps is very useful, if anywhere takes more than 6 hours to drive, you will have the option to have a domestic flight, and the price is reasonable in Vietnam.
Be flexible: Don’t try to pack too much into your itinerary, and be prepared to make adjustments if necessary. Leave some room for unexpected experiences or delays. Don’t forget to leave some time for relaxation and downtime, this will help you avoid burnout and enjoy your trip more.
If you are busy or you feel lost amongst too many information or options.. you can let your travel agent do all the hard work for you, save your time and money, because that’s what they do best, they will give you very good advice to make sure that you have a memorable and safe trip, they also have very good deals that you can’t get online. Youin Travel has some sample Vietnam holiday packages on the website for your reference. You just need to tell us your preferred places and activities that you want for your trip.
Book accommodations, airport transfers and tours
Once you have your itinerary mapped out, start booking your accommodations and transportation in advance. This will help ensure you have the best options and prices available. Vietnam is affordable destination with very reasonable price of accommodation, you can stay at a 5 star hotel/ resort for about $250 per room per night give or take.
When you have accommodations and transportation booked you can start searching for restaurants, bars, and other necessary activities/ tours. With these steps in mind, you can create a well-planned itinerary that will allow you to see and do everything you want during your trip to Vietnam.
Book Vietnam Travel Insurance
It’s recommended to purchase travel insurance to protect yourself from unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies or lost luggage.
When choosing travel insurance, there are several factors you should consider to ensure that the policy you choose meets your needs. Here are some things to consider:
Coverage: Look for a policy that provides coverage for the things that are important to you, such as trip cancellation or interruption, medical emergencies, or lost and stolen luggage.
Duration: Make sure the policy covers the entire duration of your trip.
Destination: Vietnam is in general safe to travel to, only be aware of pickpockets, thieves and scammers in major cities or on popular beaches so make sure your policy includes coverage for those risks.
Provider: Choose a reputable insurance provider with a track record of providing quality coverage and customer service. There are many travel insurance providers in Australia that offer a range of policies to suit different needs and budgets. Some of the most well-known travel insurance providers in Australia include:
- Allianz Global Assistance
- Southern Cross Travel Insurance
- World Nomads
- Fast Cover
- Budget Direct
- Virgin Money
- Travel Insurance Direct
Exclusions: Be aware of any exclusions or limitations in the policy, such as pre-existing medical conditions or high-risk activities.
Comparison Travel Insurance Websites: These are some of popular Australian-based travel insurance comparison website that allows you to compare policies from multiple providers and filter results by price, cover levels, and excess amounts. Remember, the cheapest policy may not always be the best choice, as it may not provide adequate coverage for your needs.
- Finder: This website provides a range of comparison tools, including travel insurance, to help you compare policies and find the best deal.
- Canstar: Canstar is a financial comparison website that provides ratings and reviews of travel insurance providers based on factors such as price, features, and customer service.
- Mozo: Mozo provides a travel insurance comparison tool to help you find the best policy for your needs.
- iSelect: iSelect is a comparison website that allows you to compare travel insurance policies from a range of providers based on features such as cover limits, excess, and exclusions.
By using these websites, you can quickly and easily compare travel insurance policies from a range of providers, making it easier to find the policy that best suits your needs and budget.
Claims Process: If you need to make a claim on your travel insurance policy, you will typically need to provide documentation such as medical reports, police reports, or proof of ownership for lost or stolen items. The claims process can vary between providers, so it’s important to check the policy wording to understand the process and requirements.
Reviews: Read reviews and ratings of the insurance provider to ensure their policies have satisfied customers.
Vietnam Visa Application
Vietnam now has a better visa application process, they offer Vietnam e-visa to 80 countries in the world including Australian and New Zealand passport holders. If you are not Australian and New Zealand you can check if you are eligible to apply for Evisa here.
Written and Shared by Youin Travel Team
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