Planning a tour

Some of our tour design staff  busy at workworking on We really enjoy this part of the process – it’s creative and challenging. The aim is to supply you with a perfect itinerary – one that fits your requirements precisely. Here's how we do it, and how we work out the price.

First step: we design the programme – there are three elements to consider:

The places you want to visit
We start with your preferences, and add our local knowledge about routes, infrastructure and local conditions to build them into an itinerary that balances value for money with the minimum of wasted time. If you don't have particular locations in mind, we’ll make suggestions for you to consider and change as you wish – there's plenty of information on our web site, and we have a large database of destinations and local knowledge to help you to choose.

The type of hotels you prefer
Although Vietnam isn't a developed country, there's a good range of accommodation ranging from the sumptuous luxury of Hanoi's Metropole and Danang's Furama Resort, to a humble family stilt house with an ‘al fresco’ toilet and a communal sleeping room. Many of our customers like to combine ‘roughing it’ in homestays and out-of-the-way places with a couple of nights in a comfortable city hotel or a luxury resort hotel on a beach.

We don't have ‘special deals' that favour some hotels in particular. You can select whatever you want – we’ll always book the best room available at the level you choose.

The transport that you would like
We work hard to ensure not only value for money, but also value for time!

This is where the tour designer’s skill comes to the fore. The transport infrastructure inOnly new or nearly new cars with ecperienced professional drivers Vietnam is comparatively limited. International-standard roads are rare, and the railway is single track. For many places, travel by road is the only practical way of getting around.

The objective is an itinerary that minimizes travel time and maximizes interesting attractions. We’ll provide you with the standard and type of transport you prefer, and the best route, and are usually able to offer options.

Of course, some things are beyond our control - domestic flight times, accommodation availability, or the prevailing weather, for example.

Second step: we work out the price - another three elements

The number of people travelling.
Generally speaking, the more people, the lower the price. However, for our tours, the differential is less than those of other companies, because our profit margins are much lower than average. Whether the numbers of travellers is odd and even makes a difference: there is hardly any single accommodation in Vietnam, so individuals usually have to pay for a double room. Some hotels offer ‘family’ rooms or provide a third bed for a supplement, but this is by no means universal.

How long you want to stay

Obviously, the more days, the higher the cost. However, our tour designers are skilled at avoiding additional costs arising from early ‘check-ins’ and late departures from hotels wherever possible, and juggling tour components and means of transport to maximize the use of the time available and the value of the experience.

The level of accommodation you prefer
As in many countries, the hotel classification criteria in Vietnam are based on facilities rather than intangible factors such as service and ambiance. The most stars and/or highest price does not automatically guarantee the best accommodation for your needs.

We have our own grading system based on a combination of occasional inspections and feedback from visitors. We use a ‘value for money’ criteria: it’s very subjective, of course – we’ll make suggestions, but the choice is yours.

Third step: the total cost

We count all the costs and add a maximum of 15% to the total. This is our profit margin. The industry average is considerably higher, but you'll find it difficult to compare because very few companies disclose the amount they add on – try asking a few!

The figure we quote is always firm – we don't inflate it for negotiating, and we don't haggle.

Fourth step: e-mail the result

We’ll do all this within 24 hours and send you a draft itinerary to consider

The next step is up to you!

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