Okay guys, I’ve failed my budget miserably. I made a few too many splurges in January and lost sight of my goals. Here are my January expenses…
– Includes $95 Visa extension
– Includes $290 motorbike purchase, repairs, oil, petrol, parking, etc.
– Includes $210 suit and shipping
$51.53 / day
Before you scold me, I do have a few explanations.
First, I had to extend my Vietnamese visa, costing a whopping $95. This was a necessity, though, as I knew I needed more than one month to see Vietnam properly.
Vietnam has changed their laws so that you must file your extension through a travel agency instead of doing it at Immigration, which used to cost an affordable $10. I filed my extension with Vietnam Backpacker’s. They’re an amazing hostel chain that offer great accommodation throughout Vietnam, tours, and a good time. Since I was short on time, they sent my passport down to their hostel in Hoi An when it was ready, so I didn’t have to wait in Hanoi another 10 days. Thanks guys!
Second, I spent New Year’s Eve and the first two days of January on Vietnam Backpacker’s Castaways Tour in Halong Bay, averaging $108 each day. It was a pricier way to ring in the new year, but a blast.
Third, I bought a motorbike to ride Vietnam with full intention to sell it when I arrive in Ho Chi Minh City. But as for now, that’s another $290.
And finally, I splurged in Hoi An and bought a suit. Not just any suit though. Hoi An is famous for inexpensive tailor shops boasting great quality and fast turnover. I spent $165 ($45 on shipping) on a custom-designed, custom-fitted suit. It took 3 days, with 4 fittings and alterations. In the States, I would have spent at least $500 on that.
So with the last three luxury expenses added up, I spent an additional $716.00. So if you’re on an extremely tight budget, you can still do a month in Vietnam for $881.43 ($28.43/day).
But I wouldn’t do it any other way. I’ve fallen in love with Vietnam and don’t regret a thing. Hopefully February will be a less expensive month!
Here’s a few more photos from January in Vietnam…