THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
(Updated March 2019)
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
As you prepare to embark on your upcoming Affordable World journey, please log on to your My Affordable account and click on your trip confirmation ID to review the most up to date trip details including hotel information, flight schedules, and ticket number(s). Please make sure you have all travel documents, passports, and necessary visas ready before you depart for your trip.
CHECKING IN AT THE AIRPORT
Be sure to bring your passport as you will need to present it when checking in at the airport. Please be advised not all airlines assign seats in advance. Some airlines assign seats at the airport during check-in. We recommend all travellers arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to the flight departure time. You will receive boarding passes at the airline counter when you check in for your flight.
UPON ARRIVAL IN VIETNAM
Please go through Customs and Immigrations on your own. After you pick up your luggage, exit the baggage claim area and look for the Affordable World representative holding an Affordable World flag or sign. Please wear your Affordable badge for easy identification.
Airport Transfers upon Arrival
Affordable World tour guides/airport assistants will wait for arriving tour members outside the airport baggage claim area for up to 90 minutes* after the landing time of the tour member's flight before departing from the airport with transportation to the hotel. If for any reason a tour member does not meet the Affordable World representative within 90 minutes after the landing time of the tour member's flight, the tour member will be responsible for his or her own transportation from the airport to the hotel, along with all associated expenses.
Land Only & Extended Stay Travelers
Land only packages do not include airport transfers. Please arrange your own airport transfer to the hotel as listed in your travel documents. The tour guide will leave information for you at the hotel regarding the time of the meeting the next day. Airport transfers out are not included for those who have chosen to extend their stay at the end of the tour. If you have purchased an airport transfer service from us, please be sure to provide all flight information to Affordable World prior to your trip departure date.
- Passports must be valid for 6 months from the return date of your trip
- Entry visas are required for U.S tourists entering Vietnam. Visa must be obtained prior to arrival in Vietnam.
- We have partnered with Visa Central to offer a fast and easy way to obtain a visa, passport and other documents for your Affordable World vacation. Please visit www.visacentral.com/aw and select your tour to obtain more information
- It is the responsibility of the traveller to obtain a Vietnam visa in a timely manner
- For detailed passport and visa requirements, all travellers are advised to check with the related embassy or consulate
- If you are holding a non-US passport, please check with your embassy or consulate in your jurisdiction for Vietnam travel requirements
- In addition to your passport, please also bring a scanned copy of your passport as customs will request this information for your Halong Bay cruise
Baggage allowance for international flights may vary by airline and is subject to change at any time. Please refer to the below information for Air China and Cathay Pacific’s baggage policy as of November 1st 2016. For up to date baggage allowance information, check directly with the airlines.
- Cathay Pacific International Flights - The standard free baggage allowance on international flights is 2 pieces per person, up to 50 lbs each. Carry-on baggage is limited to one piece per person, up to 15 lbs.
- Eva Air International Flights - The standard free baggage allowance on international flights is 2 pieces, up to 50 lbs each. Carry-on baggage is limited to one piece per person, up to 15 lbs.
- Please keep in mind that within Asia, the baggage limitation on domestic flights is typically restricted to one piece of check-in luggage, and one carry-on bag
- Baggage is the sole responsibility of the traveller. We recommend using a TSA approved luggage lock and Affordable World luggage tags showing the name and contact information of the owner (Please use the Affordable World luggage tags provided in this package). Baggage without a lock may be refused for transport
- DO NOT pack medicine, valuables, and other personal necessities in checked luggage. Keep these items in your carry-on bag
- Consider packing a change of clothing and toiletry in your carry-on bag to avoid inconvenience caused by delays or lost luggage.
- Power bank chargers over 20,000 mAh are restricted from carry on and check in luggage
- Power bank mAh capacity must be clearly labelled by manufacturer on the charger
- Please visit www.tsa.gov for USA carry on restrictions
- No porter service will be provided throughout the tour. During the tour please keep an eye on your personal belongings and valuables at all times. Be aware of your surroundings when going out on your own.
- Important note: Affordable World Tours’ representatives cannot enter the luggage claim area. After you collect your luggage and exit customs, our local Affordable World representative will be waiting for you outside with an Affordable World flag or sign.
Vietnamese currency is called Vietnamese Dong (VND). As of May 2018, the exchange rate is $1 U.S dollar to 22775 VND. We suggest you bring a combination of cash and credit cards for your trip. Most department stores, hotels and restaurants will accept major credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. However it is more convenient to use cash especially if you are planning to shop and eat in smaller shops. Please always keep your currency exchange receipts as you may need to present these when changing VND back to your own currency at the end of your trip.
Please note gratuities are not included in your tour cost. They are customary and their purpose is to encourage and reward quality service. Our guides greatly appreciate any tips you would like to give them. Our recommended tip amount is $10 USD per person per night.
HEALTH & MEDICAL MATTERS
Medical and vaccination requirements vary between countries and it is important you check with your family doctor or a qualified medical professional for the most up to date travel health information for the region you are visiting. Due to the length of the trip, it is advised you consult your doctor for existing medical/dental conditions before departure. It is advised to pack any prescription medicine in your carry on hand luggage. Please make sure prescription medicine is fully labelled. It may also be useful to bring aspirin, over-the-counter medicine for the flu, indigestion, motion sickness, etc. In case of illness during the trip, please immediately notify your tour guide for assistance.
Vietnam’s electrical system operates at 220 volts so a converter is needed to operate a normal 110 volt American appliances. Electrical appliances will also require an adapter that can change the shape of the plug prongs. It is recommended travellers bring their own voltage converter and adapter
The time difference between major cities in North America and Vietnam are as below:
- Los Angeles + 15 hours
- New York + 12 hours
Meals are included in Vietnam as per itinerary. Tap water is not potable in Vietnam. Bottled water may be purchased from the hotel or convenience store. We regret to inform you that Affordable World is unable to confirm any special meal requests as it is based on the availability of the providing restaurants, hotels, and airlines. Please contact the airlines directly to place special meal requests for your flights.
Although Affordable World’s national guides will be happy to assist you with any shopping requirements, Affordable World Tours does not assume responsibility for any items purchased at shops while on tour. You are never required to purchase any items while on tour and thus must be responsible for your own purchases. Any after sales correspondence must be between the passenger and the shop in question.
CLIMATE & CLOTHING:
This area’s climate is hot and humid but there are regional and seasonal temperature variations.
Due to its long shape, Vietnam has diverse weather that is affected by monsoons. There are generally two seasons:
- May to Oct - Hot and humid with rain; Average temperature 85 – 95 F
- Nov to Apr - Cool; Average temperature in Hanoi is 52 F and 73 F in Ho Chi Minh City
The official language is Vietnamese. To make your trip more interesting and rewarding, we have included a list of the most useful phrases in Vietnamese
|Useful Vietnamese Phrases|
|Thank you||Cam on||Cumon|
|Excuse me||Xin loi||Sin loy|
|Please||Lam on||Lam on|
|How much?||Bao nhieu||Bough new?|
|I do not understand||Toi khong biet||Toy kom beet|
|Toilet||Nha ve sinh||Nya vay sing|
|Good/Bad||Tot/Khong tot||Tote/Khom tote|
VIETNAM EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER
Our experienced staff of Vietnam specialists take pride in providing you with the very best in service and planning. Thank you for choosing Affordable World as your partner in travel. We are confident your trip will be happy and rewarding!