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Everything you need to know about preparing for a trip to Vietnam!

Vietnam is a country that offers a lot of attractions and experiences for travelers who want to discover its beauty and culture. However, before you embark on your journey, you need to prepare yourself for some aspects that are unique to Vietnam, such as its visa policy, currency, transportation, weather, health, and safety. In this blog post, we will tell you everything you need to know about preparing for a trip to Vietnam.

By the end of this blog post, you will have a complete checklist of things to do and consider before you go to Vietnam. Let’s get started!

Updated on 17-10-2023
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General Information Before Your Departure

1. When to Travel to Vietnam?

As Vietnam spans a length of 2,000 km from North to South, the weather and landscapes vary from one region to another. For instance, during the same period, one region may be humid, cold, or rainy, while another will be pleasantly sunny.

The best time to travel to Vietnam is from November to April. Within this timeframe, October to mid-December and mid-March to May are the optimal months. These periods offer very pleasant weather, and they are also the least rainy months of the year in Vietnam. However, the landscape changes depending on the climate and region, so the timing of your trip should be based on the specific region you intend to visit.

Learn more about: https://vietnamdecouverte.com/quand-partir-au-vietnam

quand partir au Vietnam infographie
Weather in Vietnam by Region.

Preparing for Your Trip

1. What is the price of the trip?

The price displayed on our website does not include international flights and is calculated based on a group of 6 people with standard hotels. Our tours are private with tailor-made services, so the price varies depending on the travel period, the chosen service category, and most importantly, the number of travelers. Please contact us to obtain a detailed quote for your trip.

2. Are international flights included in your quote?

We do not include international flights in our quotes for economic reasons. Indeed, the price of international tickets will be higher if we handle them from Vietnam. Strangely, this is the pricing policy applied by airlines. Therefore, airline tickets will be cheaper if purchased from the country of departure.

aeroport international de noi bai
Vietnam Airlines - compagnie nationale du Vietnam

Our tips that will be useful in searching for flights:

3. Can I choose the travel date?

Yes, you can select a period that allows you to acquire the cheapest airline tickets. We will then tailor our program accordingly. Please note that we are a specialized agency in custom trips, and we can certainly design a tailor-made itinerary based on your availability.

4. How do homestays work?

This type of accommodation is often offered during your stay in the Northern mountains. The host families, carefully selected by our team, provide you with rooms or private spaces in their traditional houses (made of wood or on stilts). Mosquito nets, mattresses, clean sheets, blankets, and fans are also provided on-site. The shared bathroom and toilet facilities are located outside the house but not too far from the sleeping area. Your French-speaking guide is always there to assist with orientation and adapt to the situation, facilitating communication with the host family.

diner lors de la nuit chez l''habitant
A friendly meal with our clients at a homestay in Nghia Lo.

Also read:  https://vietnamdecouverte.com/dormir-chez-l-habitant-au-vietnam

5. Can I change the "homestay" nights to hotel stays?

Yes, it is entirely possible to stay in a hotel instead of a homestay if the latter does not suit your preferences. Your trip is private and tailor-made; just let us know your wishes, and we will adjust the program accordingly.

6. Is it easy to find a restaurant for meals on our own? How much should I budget for lunch/dinner?

Yes, you will have no trouble finding a restaurant. Our selected hotels are well-located, providing you with a wide range of options for dining at restaurants or local eateries. Your local guide will be available to recommend good places if needed. Please budget around 8-11 USD per person for a hearty meal.

repas vietnam
Un repas typiquement vietnamien

7. Which airline operates domestic flights? What is the baggage allowance?

You will be flying with Vietnam Airlines or Bamboo Airways, two of the best airlines in the country. We do not offer "low-cost" carriers to ensure a smooth experience during your trip.

For baggage allowance, you can typically bring 7 to 12 kilograms of carry-on baggage and 20 to 23 kilograms of checked baggage, depending on the chosen airline. Any excess baggage weight usually incurs a fee of 1.5 to 2 USD per kilogram, to be paid directly during your check-in.

8. Am I exempt from the visa requirement? If not, how can I obtain one?

If you are a French citizen and your stay in Vietnam does not exceed 15 days, you are exempt from the visa requirement. You only need to present a valid passport upon arrival in Vietnam and a return flight ticket reservation.

However, a visa is mandatory for those who are not of French nationality and plan to stay for more than 15 days. There are three options: a regular visa obtained through the Embassy (or Consulate) of Vietnam in your country, an E-visa, or a visa on arrival. We recommend opting for the E-visa or visa on arrival as they are easier to obtain and less expensive.

e visa vietnam
Formalités de l'E-visa Vietnam

Learn more about: Formalités pour le visa vietnamien

9. What is the deadline for booking the trip?

We do not impose a specific deadline for booking, but it is advisable to reserve your airline tickets and the tour as early as possible. In fact, the earlier we make reservations, the better the services, considering that the best providers may have limited availability. Therefore, our clients often book their trips 4-6 months in advance.

All Practical Information

1. To whom, how much, and when should we give tips?

Tips for guides and drivers are not included in the quote, and they are not obligatory. However, it is customary to show appreciation to guides and drivers with a tip, and the amount is at your discretion.

As a guideline, consider 3 - 6 USD per traveler per day for the guide and half that amount (2-3 USD per person per day) for the driver. Tips can be given in Euro, USD, or Dong (local currency) at the end of each leg of the journey (when you are leaving the guide/driver to move to another region).

All other small tips to cyclo drivers, rowers, boatmen, porters, etc., are included and paid by our guide, so you can travel more comfortably.

2. Are insurances included in the price?

No, insurances are not included in the price, and it's our clients who purchase them separately. These insurances are not expensive, and you can easily obtain them. Here are some insurance companies with which our clients often have contracts: Europe Assistance, Mutuaide Assistance, Mondial Assistance, ACE Travel Insurance, MACIF, GMF Assurances, MAIF, and others.

assurance voyage vietnam

Learn more about : Assurance voyage Vietnam 2022

3. How can I make payments on-site? Which currencies are accepted?

International cards like Visa or Mastercard are widely accepted in hotels, shops, and restaurants. However, Vietnamese banks typically apply an additional commission of 3% to 4% if you choose this payment method.

You can also pay with Euros or USD in some businesses in major cities (hotels, restaurants, etc.). But for small expenses, it's more advantageous to have Vietnamese Dong (VND). You can easily exchange currency at banks, jewelry shops, or even at your hotel.

4. How much does a SIM card cost?

A SIM card allows you to access the internet throughout Vietnam and make calls and send messages as needed. The average price of a SIM card in Vietnam ranges from 2 to 8 US dollars at most, depending on the internet capacity and different features. You can purchase one at the airport or in stores in major cities.

Your question or comment
<div class=fs18>Mrs Duong Thi LAN</div>Travel Consultant
Mrs Duong Thi LAN
Travel Consultant
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