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How to plan a trip to Vietnam: The first and last guide you’ll ever need

Posted By: Sao La Tours / Vietnam Travel Guides
How to plan a trip to Vietnam might be the first question that pops up in your mind when organizing your first-ever vacation in this country.

How to plan a trip to Vietnam might be the first question that pops up in your mind when organizing your first-ever vacation in this beautiful country. For those who have little traveling experience, planning a trip can be quite a challenge as you don’t know where to start from. No worries! In this article Sao La Tours will guide you through the whole process of making a proper plan for a perfect holiday in Vietnam.

How to plan a trip to Vietnam - Determine your needs and wants

First of all, you need to find answers to these questions, which will give you the main idea about how the trip should be:

How much time do you wish to spend in Vietnam? (Time)

If you’re on a grand journey to explore Asia, we suggest having a short three-day tour in Vietnam. In case you want to stay in Vietnam longer, check out the detailed itineraries on Sao La Tours’ website for more information. We offer all kinds of tours that fit your demand.

How much do you want to spend for your trip? (Budget)

When it comes to budget, there are many factors to consider such as accommodation, transportation, food and drink, insurance etc. Below are the most common type of budget:

  • Backpacker budget: $40 - $50+/day

  • Mid-range budget: $80 - $100+/day

  • Luxury budget: $250 - $310+/day

Determine the type of budget for you trip to Vietnam

Determine the type of budget for you trip to Vietnam

Are you traveling by yourself or with your family/friends/partners? (People)

Traveling solo means that you have more freedom to do whatever you want at any time you like. In this case, traveling by motorbike around Vietnam might be the best option to stay on budget. If you travel with the elderly or small kids, it’s important to find out the places or activities that can keep them entertained and not too exhausting.

What type of travel experience are you looking for? (Type of experience)

There are many types of travel experience for you to choose from. adventure trek to relaxing tour, leisure bike, motorbike tour, honeymoon vacation or luxury cruise. The type of tour is important to determine what your destinations will be.

Vietnam motorbike tours are perfect choice for solo travelers

Vietnam motorbike tours are perfect choice for solo travelers (Source: Collected)

Choose where you want to visit in Vietnam

Choosing the right destinations for your trip must be based on the brainstorming that you just did before. The easiest way to design your trip is by going North, Central to South of Vietnam. Below are some of the must-visit places for travelers in Vietnam for the first time:

  • North of Vietnam: The capital city Hanoi, Halong bay, Ninh Binh, Cat Ba island, Bai Vi national park, Ba Be national park, Ha Giang (Hoang Su Phi terraced rice fields and Dong Van Geopark), Mai Chau valley, Mu Cang Chai, Pu Luong nature reserve etc.

  • Centre of Vietnam: Da Nang city, Hoi An old town, My Son, Quang Binh, the royal city of Hue, Bach Ma national Park, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon and so on.

  • South of Vietnam: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city), Cu Chi tunnels, Mekong Delta cruise, the “pearl island” Phu Quoc, Mui Ne, Con Dao national park, Vung Tau and many more.

How to plan a trip to Vietnam: Choose the ideal time

Choosing the suitable time to visit Vietnam will affect the cost and the comfort of your trip. The climate in Vietnam can vary depending on each region. The central and southern Vietnam feature two seasons, which are rainy and dry seasons and the overall weather is warm all year around. On the other hand, the North of Vietnam is characterized with 4 seasons: scorching hot summer, cold winter (with a chance of snow), pleasant autumn and spring.

There might be winter snow in the mountainous areas of northern Vietnam

There might be winter snow in the mountainous areas of northern Vietnam (Source: Collected)

Organize a detailed itinerary for you trip in Vietnam

If you only have 4 to 6 days to spend in Vietnam, then only choose one region (North, Centre or South of Vietnam) to visit. For longer trips that last 7 to 15 days, it’s possible to travel to different regions or even go on a cross-border trip. Below are some of the tour itineraries that you can use as reference:

  • 4-day trip: Hanoi - Halong bay - Hanoi (Northern Vietnam)

  • 4-day trip: Danang - Hoian - My Son - Danang (Central Vietnam)

  • 4-day trip: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Cu Chi tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City (Southern Vietnam)

  • 7-day trip: Hanoi - Halong bay - Danang - Hoian - My Son (Northern and Central Vietnam)

  • 9-day trip: HCMC - Mekong Delta - Cu Chi tunnels - Hanoi - Halong bay - Sapa - Hanoi (Southern and Northern Vietnam)

  • 10-day trip: Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Halong bay - Danang - Hue - HCMC (Vietnam grand tour)

Visit the highlights of Vietnam North to South

Visit the highlights of Vietnam North to South (Source: Collected)

How to plan a trip to Vietnam: Service booking

Service booking includes transportation, hotels, tour guides, cruises etc. You can ask a local travel agency for help as they will get you the best deal and best price. Remember to book a private car the airport to your hotel before landing. You can also find many taxi drivers right at the airport but they’ll charge higher prices.

Check the validity of your passport and visa

Your passport should have at least two blank pages and 6 months till the expiry date. Also check if you’re on the visa exemption list or not. If not, applying for an E-visa won’t take you too much time.

Hopefully this article will be a helpful guide to answer your question: How to plan a trip to Vietnam. Sao La Tours understands all of the challenges when organizing trips. That’s why we’re here to help you figure out the best solutions for your vacation in Vietnam. Feel free to email us or give us a call for advice anytime you want!

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