VietNamNet Bridge – “Hunting” for discounted tours, traveling in groups or organizing trekking tours themselves are the solutions Vietnamese have chosen to save costs in the economic recession.


Tuyet Mai, a teacher in Hanoi, said she only books the tours with discounts. In previous years, Mai accessed to the travel firms’ official websites, compared the quoted tour fees of different travel firms and booked the tours with the most competitive prices.

However, Mai said, she has been not really satisfactory about the quality of the tours. Though the tours were really economical, Mail felt uncomfortable with the accommodation and food services.

“I have followed a new way to look for discounted tours. I try to look for the opportunities on the websites of big travel firms. In general, the big firms offer the discount rates of 15-20 percent at maximum. However, you will feel satisfactory about the service you receive,” she said.

Mai Huong, an office worker, has noted that nowadays, people tend to become “smart tourists.” Huong and friends, for example, can save much money by designing and organizing tours themselves. They try to “hunt” for low-cost train and air tickets, call hotels to book rooms 5-7 days in advance in order to enjoy the best hotel room rates.

Especially, they try to not use the expensive local services, if possible. For example, they bring with themselves fast food, drinks, cookers, bowls and chopsticks.

“By doing this, we can control our spending, take initiative with our itineraries. Especially, the trips are wonderful, because we can discover things ourselves,” Huong said.

The Viet, a student in Hanoi, also said he likes traveling by himself, because he can decide where to go and when. “If you are a member of a group of tourists, you will have to follow the fixed schedules,” he explained.

“Booking rooms proves to be the most difficult thing for you when you organize tours yourself,” he said. “The hotel room rate tends to increase on holidays or peak days. Therefore, you would have to spend big money on accommodations if you forget to book rooms many days in advance.”

“In general, young people nowadays like traveling by themselves, even if they are in good financial capability,” he noted.

“Phuot” – the choice of the youth

The term “phuot” has become so popular among the youth, which is means traveling on motorbikes to discover the country.

“Du lich bui” is the term with similar meaning, which means trekking, opting for backpacking tourism, self-designed and low-cost tourism with four ‘nos’: no tour, no guide, no bus and no hotel.

Phuot’s and du lich bui’s biggest advantage is that they allow young people to travel as they dream, while the costs are cheap enough to fit their limited financial capability. The phuot travelers are adventurers and explorers.

Especially, phuot and du lich bui have been chosen by young travelers because they can reach out to the newly discovered or “neglected” land. Thien Truong beach in Nam Dinh province, Tinh Gia in Thanh Hoa and Quan Lan in Quang Ninh provinces are the most favored destinations for the youth nowadays. For those, who like the forest and mountain landscapes and want to learn more about the lives of the ethnic minorities, would go to Hoa Binh, Thai Nguyen and Ha Giang – the mountainous provinces in the north.

Ha An