- Living on a budget in Vietnam
I still cringe when I think about all the money I needlessly wasted at my placement. Not having a concept of the
exchange rate got the better of me more times than I’d care to mention, as well as just generally being frivolous
in the early days came back to bite me after a few months. So I thought I’d compile my top ten tips on how to not
lose all your cash in ten days.
1. Learn the numbers in the local language as
quickly as you can. This helped me to no end. Once they realize you’re not the average Westerner they’re likely to
be pretty lenient on the price. If they still aren’t willing to give you a decent price don’t be afraid to walk
2. When you use an ATM take out the maximum amount
it’ll allow. Taking out the equivalent of $20 – $30 here and there resulted in me losing over $100 in overseas
3. When catching a cab look for one of the smaller
ones driving around. They’re likely to be cheaper. Try and get an idea of how much the ride will cost before
departing. If you’re not happy with the price, find another taxi. This will make sure the driver doesn’t rip you
4. Laundry was probably the most costly aspect of
my stay. Try and make your clothes last longer than you would at home. This may mean washing them by hand. It’s a
chore but it’ll save you a truck load in the long run.
5. Walking is a great way to see a city or town.
You’ll find more shops, cafes, galleries and people. Plus, in most countries, walking is free. Score.
6. If you’re buying a train, bus or boat ticket
ask about student discounts. You never know.
7. Eat where the locals eat. You’re guaranteed an
authentic meal at a damn good price.
8. Thoroughly check the bill after eating at a
restaurant. Don’t remember ordering that bottle of French wine? Didn’t think so.
9. Bring food with you on long train and bus
trips. Restaurant cars and rest stops are always overpriced. A loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter go a long
10. Don’t ever be rude to the merchant or cab
driver. Keep smiling. It’ll make haggling much, much easier.
I’m sure there are plenty more money-saving tips. What have I missed?