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  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Business Travel Cost Expectations: Vietnam

    Cash is king, tips are not typically expected in most scenarios, and you can stay in a luxury hotel in certain cities for around $80 per night. Such is a very brief overview of the business travel cost to Vietnam. The overall business travel cost to Vietnam varies depending on multiple factors, such as when you’re going, the city you’ll be staying in, the length of your stay, and how quickly you need your business visa processed.

    We researched the business travel cost of a Vietnam trip in late October, with a stay lasting six nights in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, and a departure from three of the busiest U.S. airports. Here’s what we found.

    Overall Business Travel Cost to Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Sending an employee overseas typically costs a company $2,600 per person, according to a report from the expense management company of Certify, although the report did not clarify the length of the trip. Depending on your choices, it is quite possible to do Vietnam on notably less.

    Vietnam Business Travel Cost: Average Flight Fees

    Certify put the average cost of round-trip, coach airfare for international flights at $1,217, slightly higher than the costs we found for round-trip, economy flights to Vietnam. We checked out flights from three major international airports heading to both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, finding prices that ranged from around $700 to more than $14,000.

    We stuck with the “best flights” that came up at the top of the list, with “the best” defined as flights with only one or two stops and the most reasonable airfares and travel time. Airlines ran the gamut from China Air to Asiana, with Korean Air and EVA Air in between – just to name a few.

    Flights out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

    Time from flights out of LAX to Vietnam ranged from 18 hours and 20 minutes to nearly 21 hours. The average cost of the best flights are listed below.

    • LAX to Ho Chi Min City: $744
    • LAX to Hanoi: $767

    Flights out of Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

    Flying out of Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport increases your travel time to 20 hours and 55 minutes to more than 32 hours. Average business travel cost of the best flights is shown below.

    • IAH to Ho Chi Minh City: $827
    • IAH to Hanoi: $1,036

    Flights out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

    Travel time gets even longer if you depart from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Expect to spend at least 22 hours and 15 minutes on the plane, with other flights lasting nearly 27 hours.

    • ATL to Ho Chi Min City: $1,070
    • ATL to Hanoi: $1,189

    Vietnam Business Travel Cost: Hotels

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Hanoi, Vietnam

    Vietnam round-trip flight prices are lower than the average flight cost for international travel, and hotel rates are lower still. Certify pegs the average cost of a hotel during international business travel at $275 per night. Many hotels in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi serve up more economical options. We only looked at hotels that earned the 2010 Travel Choice award and high ratings from Trip Adviser reviews.

    • Ho Chi Minh City hotel rate range: $94 to $263
    • Hanoi hotel rate range: $24 to $102

    Vietnam Business Travel Cost: Visa Fees

    Depending on how quickly you need your Vietnam business visa processed, the cost can range from $274 to $355. Costs include a service fee for assistance obtaining the visa and the consulate fee. Visa costs were calculated for a one-year business visa with multiple entries.

    Vietnam Business Travel Cost: Per Diem Expenses

    As noted earlier, you won’t have to spend a lot of money on tips as they’re typically not expected in restaurants, bars, hotels or taxicabs. You can leave a 10 to 15 percent tip for exceptionally good restaurant service if you wish, or a few dollars for the hotel cleaning staff or a late-night taxi ride.

    Daily costs can range from as low as $40 to $100 or more, depending on the level of luxury in which you choose to invest. Lonely Planet provided a basic rundown of per diems costs.

    Low-Budget Options

    Up to $40 per day

    • Glass of bai hoi draft beer: 50 cents
    • One-hour local bus ride: $1 to $1.50
    • Local meal of pho: $1.50 to $2.50

    Mid-Range Options

    Between $40 and $100 per day

    • Mid-range restaurant meal: $8
    • One-hour massage: $6 to $20
    • 10-minute taxi ride: $4

    High-End Options

    $100 or more per day

    • Gourmet restaurant meal: $20
    • Internal flights: $30 to $100

    Of course, your business trip may not include all the expenses, such as the beer or the massage, but you do get a general idea of how much various items cost in Vietnam. If you budget wisely and stick to the lower-range hotels and meals, your Vietnam business travel cost could easily stay below the international business trip average cost of $2,600 per person.

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