How to Plan a Family Trip to Vietnam?
Vietnam is a family-friendly destination that offers stunning landscapes, diverse cultures, delicious food, and affordable prices. Planning a family trip to Vietnam can be both exciting and challenging, especially if you’re traveling with young children. To help you prepare for your trip, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide that covers everything from the best places to visit to how to select a family-friendly hotel.
Best Places to visit in Vietnam with family
Vietnam has a wealth of attractions that cater to all ages and interests. Here are some of the top places to visit with your family:
- Hanoi: The capital city of Vietnam is a great place to start your trip. It offers a mix of culture, history, and entertainment, including the Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Water Puppet Show, and street food tours.
- Halong Bay: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most iconic natural wonders in Vietnam. You can explore the limestone caves, kayak, swim, and cruise on a traditional junk boat.
- Sapa: If you want to experience the rural life of ethnic minorities, Sapa is the place to go. You can trek through the rice terraces, visit local markets, and stay in homestays.
- Hue: Known as the imperial city of Vietnam, Hue boasts a rich history and architecture that dates back to the Nguyen Dynasty. You can visit the Citadel, tombs, and temples, as well as enjoy the local cuisine.
- Hoi An: This charming ancient town is a favorite among tourists for its narrow streets, lanterns, tailors, and beaches. You can take a bike ride, cooking class, or boat trip along the Thu Bon River.
- Ho Chi Minh City: Formerly known as Saigon, this bustling metropolis is the economic hub of Vietnam. It offers a mix of modern and traditional attractions, such as the War Remnants Museum, Ben Thanh Market, and Notre Dame Cathedral.
- Mekong Delta: This fertile region in southern Vietnam is known for its floating markets, fruit orchards, coconut candy factories, and stilt houses. You can take a boat tour or homestay to immerse yourself in the local life.
How Long to Spend in Vietnam
The duration of your family trip to Vietnam depends on your budget, schedule, and preferences. Generally, we recommend spending at least two weeks to cover the main highlights of Vietnam, including Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, and Mekong Delta. If you have more time, you can add some off-the-beaten-path destinations, such as Ha Giang, Ninh Binh, Quy Nhon, or Phu Quoc Island.
However, if you only have a week or less, we suggest focusing on one or two regions, depending on your interests. For example, you can choose between the north (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa) or the south (Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc Island), or combine Hanoi and Hue with a side trip to Hoi An.
Top 3 Family-Friendly Vietnam Itineraries
Here are three sample itineraries that cater to different types of families:
1. Classic Vietnam Tour (14 days)
- Day 1-2: Hanoi – Explore the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, Temple of Literature, and Water Puppet Show
- Day 3-4: Halong Bay – Cruise on a traditional junk boat, visit caves, kayak, swim, and enjoy seafood
- Day 5-6: Sapa – Trek through rice terraces, meet ethnic minorities, stay in homestays
- Day 7-8: Hue – Visit the Citadel, tombs, temples, and enjoy the local cuisine
- Day 9-10: Hoi An – Bike ride, cooking class, boat trip, beach time, lanterns
- Day 11-12: Ho Chi Minh City – War Remnants Museum, Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, Cu Chi Tunnels
- Day 13-14: Mekong Delta – Floating markets, fruit orchards, rice paddies, stilt houses, boat tour
2. North Vietnam Discovery (10 days)
- Day 1-3: Hanoi – Explore the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, Temple of Literature, Water Puppet Show
- Day 4-6: Halong Bay – Cruise on a traditional junk boat, visit caves, kayak, swim, and enjoy seafood
- Day 7-8: Ninh Binh – Take a bike ride to Tam Coc, climb Hang Mua Peak, visit Bai Dinh Pagoda
- Day 9-10: Ha Giang – Drive through the stunning mountainous scenery, meet ethnic minorities, visit Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark
3. South Vietnam Adventure (7 days)
- Day 1-2: Ho Chi Minh City – War Remnants Museum, Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral
- Day 3-4: Mekong Delta – Floating markets, fruit orchards, rice paddies, stilt houses, boat tour
- Day 5-6: Phu Quoc Island – Relax on the beaches, swim, snorkel, sunbathe, try seafood
- Day 7: Departure
Cost of a Family Trip in Vietnam
Vietnam is known for its affordability and value for money. The cost of your family trip depends on several factors, such as the number of people, duration, activities, accommodation, transportation, and food. Here is a rough estimate of the expenses for a family of four (two adults and two children) traveling in Vietnam:
- Flight tickets: $500-$1000 per person (depending on the season and airline)
- Visa fee: $25-$50 per person (depending on the type and duration of visa)
- Accommodation: $20-$100 per night (depending on the location, quality, and facilities of the hotel or homestay)
- Transportation: $10-$50 per day (depending on the mode of transport, such as bus, train, taxi, or private car)
- Activities: $10-$50 per day (depending on the entrance fees, tours, and rentals)
- Food: $10-$30 per day (depending on the type and quantity of meals, drinks, and snacks)
Therefore, the total cost for a two-week family trip to Vietnam could range from $2000 to $8000, depending on the itinerary and preferences.
Best Times for a Family Trip to Vietnam
Vietnam has a tropical climate that varies by region and season. The best time to visit Vietnam depends on your destination and activities. Generally, the peak tourist season is from October to April when the weather is dry and cool in the north and warm and sunny in the south. However, this period also coincides with the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet) in late January or early February, which can affect transportation and accommodation availability.
If you prefer fewer crowds and lower prices, you can consider visiting Vietnam during the shoulder season from May to September, when the weather is humid and rainy in the north and hot and wet in the south. However, this period also has some advantages, such as lush greenery, waterfalls, festivals, and discounts.
How to Select a Family-Friendly Hotel
Choosing the right accommodation for your family in Vietnam can make a big difference in your travel experience. When selecting a family-friendly hotel, consider the following tips:
1. Research: Look for hotels that specifically cater to families or have amenities suitable for children. Check their website or ask for recommendations from friends or family who have stayed at family-friendly hotels before.
2. Location: Consider the hotel’s location and proximity to family-friendly attractions like parks, theme parks, or tourist spots. Ensure it is easy to reach these places, minimizing travel time and convenience for your family.
3. Safety: Prioritize the safety of the hotel. Check if they have proper security measures in place, such as well-lit parking areas and security personnel. Additionally, inquire about childproofing options for the rooms or facilities.
4. Amenities: Look for amenities that cater to children, such as a swimming pool, playground, kids’ club, or game room. Additionally, check for larger-sized rooms or family suites with multiple beds or interconnecting rooms to accommodate your family’s needs.
5. Dining options: A hotel with multiple dining options, including family-friendly menus or kid-friendly restaurants nearby, can make dining experiences more enjoyable for the whole family. You can also inquire about special dietary requirements or options for young children.
6. Reviews: Read reviews from other families who have stayed at the hotel. Check travel review websites or social media platforms to get honest feedback about their experience regarding cleanliness, staff friendliness, and overall family-friendliness.
7. Additional services: Consider if the hotel offers additional services, like babysitting or childcare facilities, which can provide parents with some relaxation time. Also, check if they provide essential items such as cribs, high chairs, or baby baths upon request.
8. Budget: Consider your budget when selecting a family-friendly hotel. Research various options to compare prices and value for money. Be sure to consider any additional costs, such as parking fees or resort fees.
9. Flexibility: Look for hotels with flexible booking or cancellation policies, as traveling with a family sometimes requires adjustments due to unforeseen circumstances.
10. Contact the hotel directly: If you have any specific requirements or questions, contact the hotel directly to ensure they can accommodate your needs and discuss any additional details concerning your family’s stay.
Remember, what makes a hotel family-friendly can vary depending on your family’s preferences and the age of your children. Take the time to thoroughly research and consider your family’s unique needs to select the best family-friendly hotel for your vacation..
Choosing the right accommodation for your family in Vietnam can make a big difference in your travel experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting a family-friendly hotel:
How do you get around Vietnam with family?
Getting around Vietnam with your family can be both fun and challenging, depending on your mode of transport and distance. Here are some options to consider:
- Taxi: Taxis are widely available in major cities and tourist destinations. They are convenient, comfortable, and affordable, but make sure to use only reputable companies and negotiate the price beforehand.
- Public Bus: Public buses are the cheapest way to travel around Vietnam, but they can be crowded, slow, and confusing for first-time visitors. Make sure to check the schedule, route, and ticket price in advance.
- Train: Trains offer a scenic and comfortable option to travel between different regions of Vietnam. They have different classes, such as soft seat, hard seat, soft berth, and hard berth, depending on your budget and preference.
- Private Car: Private cars or vans are ideal for families who want privacy, flexibility, and comfort. You can hire a driver and guide to take you to your desired destinations, with the option of stopping en route for sightseeing or resting.
- Motorbike: Motorbikes or scooters are popular among young and adventurous travelers who want to explore Vietnam at their own pace. However, they are not recommended for families with children due to safety concerns and traffic regulations.
Tips for Family Trip to Vietnam
- Plan ahead: Research and plan your itinerary well in advance to make the most of your family tour to Vietnam. Take into consideration the interests and preferences of all family members and choose destinations and activities accordingly.
- Plan family-friendly activities: Vietnam offers a range of family-friendly activities such as kayaking in Halong Bay, exploring the ancient town of Hoi An, visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels, and floating markets in the Mekong Delta. Incorporate these activities into your itinerary to keep everyone engaged and entertained.
- Pack appropriately: The weather in Vietnam varies depending on the region and time of year, so pack clothes suitable for the specific climate of the places you’ll be visiting. Also, don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Learn some Vietnamese: Although English is widely spoken in tourist areas, learning some basic Vietnamese phrases can help you communicate with locals and show respect for their culture.
- Connect with local culture: Vietnam has a rich cultural heritage, so encourage your family to immerse themselves in the local customs, traditions, and cuisine. Visit local markets, try street food, and participate in traditional activities like lantern making or cooking classes.
- Travel with a private guide or join group tours: Having a knowledgeable guide can enhance your travel experience, especially when visiting historical or cultural sites. Alternatively, consider joining group tours that are specifically designed for families with kids, where children can interact with other children and enjoy age-appropriate activities.
- Take breaks and allow for downtime: Traveling with a family can sometimes be tiring, so make sure to schedule some downtime to rest and relax. Plan for shorter travel days or have intermittent rest days to rejuvenate and enjoy the local surroundings.
- Try local food: Vietnamese cuisine is diverse and delicious, ranging from street food to fine dining. Don’t be afraid to try new dishes and flavors, but be mindful of hygiene and food safety standards.
- Stay safe: When traveling within Vietnam, opt for reputable transportation options that prioritize safety and comfort, such as reliable tour operators or private cars with experienced drivers. Domestic flights are also a convenient option for covering long distances quickly.
- Embrace the unexpected: While it’s important to have a well-planned itinerary, it’s equally necessary to be open to spontaneous experiences. Allow for flexibility and embrace the unexpected, as it often leads to the most memorable moments of any trip.
Vietnam is a fantastic destination for families who want to explore a unique culture, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. With proper planning, budgeting, and preparation, you can create unforgettable memories with your loved ones in Vietnam. Just remember to be flexible, patient, and open-minded, and enjoy the journey!
Do I need to get vaccinated before traveling to Vietnam with my family?
Yes, it’s recommended to get vaccinated against some diseases that are prevalent in Vietnam, such as hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, and Japanese encephalitis. Consult with your doctor or travel clinic before your trip to know the specific requirements and precautions.
What is the best way to travel around Vietnam with kids?
The best way to travel around Vietnam with kids depends on your preferences and budget. You can choose between public transport, private car, train, taxi, or motorbike, depending on the distance, comfort, and safety. It’s always advisable to use child seats, wear helmets, and follow traffic rules.
Is Vietnam safe for families?
Yes, Vietnam is generally safe for families, as long as you take sensible precautions and avoid risky behaviors. However, like any other destination, petty theft, scams, and traffic accidents can happen, so it’s important to stay alert and cautious.