Asia,  Destinations,  Travel Budgets,  Vietnam

A month in Vietnam | Travel Budget Breakdown

In November 2023, I spent about one month traveling from the north of Vietnam to the south. I thought it would be interesting to see my budget for that trip, so here’s what I spent in each major category.

Vietnam Travel Budget

My general budget for the month was $1,500 USD, and luckily I stayed well under that even after going on so many group tours and buying Western food.

During my trip, I visited Hanoi, Ha Giang, Ninh Binh (Tam Coc), Hue, Hoi An, Da Lat, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

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Total: $1,221 or $45 per day

Accommodation: $190

Hostels in Vietnam are very affordable, with most rates coming in $5-8 for a dorm and $10-12 for a private room. I entirely stayed in hostels during my trip, though I splurged for private rooms fairly often because I got sick (again) after my stay in Ninh Binh.

For a complete list of where I stayed in Vietnam, check out this post: Where to stay: Vietnam hostels & hotels for solo female travelers

My least expensive stay was at the Ha Giang Safari Hostel at only $3/night in a mixed dorm WITH breakfast– excellent tour company but not the most luxurious hostel, imo. Breakfast was cooked to order and very good, though!

My most expensive stay was in Hanoi at the Old Quarter View Hanoi Hostel, which was $11.43/night for a mixed dorm bed and did NOT include breakfast, though they did have a discounted menu at the attached cafe. It’s located right in the center of Old Quarter so the location is fab, and I assume that’s why the price is relatively higher.

My favorite stay was in Dalat, in the Dalat Sky Hostel where I got my own ensuite private room for only $10.31/night. The cooler temperatures in Dalat was welcome after 3-ish weeks of heat and humidity!

Groceries: $0

See below!

Food (Eating out): $227

Vietnam is one of those places where you can just eat out all day and not bother to cook, so that’s what I did! Since most hostels included breakfast, I only really had to buy 2 meals a day. By this point I was totally addicted to ordering meals through Grab Food delivery (and KFC mashed potatoes), but even that wasn’t too expensive compared to food delivery in the US or UK.

My whole spend worked out to be just slightly under $9/day.

Here’s some of my favorite restaurants I ate at in Vietnam:

Hanoi

  • Bancông Cafe & Restaurant — beautiful decor and great views of the Old Quarter if you eat out on the balcony.
  • Banh Mi 25 — a popular sandwich place with excellent options.
  • Cafe Dinh — get your egg coffee here! It’s run by the daughter of the guy who invented it.

Ho Chi Minh City

  • The Hungry Pig — Western-style breakfast bagels and sandwiches, including hash browns! Good coffee, too.

Tam Coc (Ninh Binh)

  • Little Italy Pizza — if you’re craving wood-fired pizza, this is the place to get your fix!

Tourism: $575

I maybe went a little overboard this month, as I kept going on group tours. I probably could’ve saved a bit of money just going on my own with a Grab bike or something– but it worked out fine because I still stayed under budget!

The biggest expense was my 4 day Ha Giang Loop tour, which was absolutely worth it and a highlight of my trip. The tour also covers accommodation and food for those days as well, so that worked out great for me.

Other tourist things I did in Vietnam:

Transit: $171

Long-distance buses are plentiful and cheap, so that’s what I took to move around the country. Tickets usually cost $25 or so for the VIP cabin buses, where you get a private bunk on a bus. The regular class tickets cost about $10-15, but it was worth it to upgrade to the bunk option for overnight and long bus rides. Much more comfortable!

Here’s some of the more memorable bus adventures in Vietnam:

Shopping: $18

Not much souvenir shopping here in Vietnam, tbh, because most of it looked like cheap stuff I could get off Amazon. I did buy some coffee for my parents and a couple postcards.

If you’re going for a souvenir, I highly recommend the coffee. Vietnamese coffee is the best I’ve had (so far, anyway) and it’s absolutely worth the space in your luggage.

Medical: $52

I have a monthly insurance policy with SafetyWing. I haven’t had to actually use them so I can’t vouch for anything other than affordability, but I prefer having it just in case I need it.

This expense also covers some medicine purchased at various pharmacies and convenience stores, plus some bug spray (as always).

Other (laundry, postage, etc.): $40

Most places had laundry service, though I found it a little cheaper to take my clothes to the laundry places myself as the hostels just outsourced it anyway. For instance, if the hostel charged $4 for laundry, it cost only $3 to take it five minutes down the street and pick it back up yourself.

I got a 30 day sim card for $14.24; it came with 169 GB which is a crazy amount for that low of a price.

Vietnam Travel Photo Gallery

Click the photos to enlarge:

Vietnam Travel Diary

I kept track of what I did where in Vietnam and posted about it here on the blog. You can see all the Vietnam journal entries here.


Thank you for reading! Here’s some more posts about travel budgets:

Anastasia is a former librarian turned digital nomad. She's been traveling the world full time for two years and has visited 18 countries so far! Just Gone Wandering is a travel resource for solo female travelers on a backpacker's budget-- or slightly more-- and highlights amazing places to visit as well as providing tips and tricks for traveling smart and frugal. Read more...

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