It is important to prepare for your trip to Vietnam well. In this article, you will find practical information about applying for a Vietnam visa and other preparations you should not forget prior to departure.
Vietnam visa: requirements for your passport
One document you should definitely take along is your passport. You will need it before your trip starts, at passport control at the airport. Although during check-in the passport is often used to check whether a traveller has flight tickets, it is still useful to print the flight tickets and take them with you.
The electronic travel authorisation is linked digitally to the passport number. It is therefore important that you travel with the same passport with which you applied for the visa. A Vietnam visa is only valid if the passport also meets the requirements of the Vietnamese immigration service. The passport must still be valid for at least 30 days after the expiry of the validity of the Vietnam visa. If this is not the case, you will first need to apply for a new passport before you can fill in the Vietnam visa application form.
Documents and means of payment for travel to Vietnam
In Vietnam, you can pay with your debit card in most places. As a rule, however, European debit cards are blocked by banks for use in non-European countries, in order to prevent international fraud with bank cards. Your debit card must therefore be activated before departure. You can contact your bank for this purpose, but in most cases you can activate your card yourself via the bankʼs website or app for use outside Europe.
Virtually all credit cards are accepted in Vietnam. The only places where credit cards are not accepted are at street food stalls and in some rural areas. At most other establishments, credit cards are a valid form of payment. However, cash is king in Vietnam. By far most transactions in Vietnam are made with cash. So it can be wise to always have some amount of cash on you in the rare cases your credit card is not accepted.
If you plan to rent a car, there are some requirements you should take into account. In Vietnam, you cannot rent a car if you only have an international driving licence (and your national driving licence). To rent a car, you need a Vietnamese driving licence that can be applied for in Vietnam itself. There are two options: you can have your own driving licence converted, or you can apply for a new Vietnamese driving licence. In both cases, you need to provide three passport-sized photos, a valid visa and a copy of your passport and national driving licence.
Ready for departure!
Decide well before departure if and what vaccinations you want to take. Vaccinations are not required for a trip to Vietnam. Depending on your travel plans, it may still be wise to take a number of vaccinations. Ask your doctor if there are certain vaccinations recommended for the areas you wish to visit in Vietnam.
You might also want to carry your medicine passport. It is a booklet which contains information about any illnesses, conditions or medication you are taking.
Pack a small travel pharmacy. This can include plasters, bandages, ointment, disinfectant and scissors. You can, of course, add to the travel pharmacy as required, as long as you observe the conditions for the free import of medicines into Vietnam.
Carry proof of your health, travel and cancellation insurance. This type of information is always useful. Not only because you will have the telephone numbers at hand in case of emergencies, but also because (in exceptional cases) you may be asked for it on arrival in Vietnam.
Arranging your Vietnam visa before departure
Before travelling to Vietnam, you need to check if you need to apply for a Vietnam visa. British nationals can stay in Vietnam without a visa for up to 15 days. For longer stays, a visa is required. This also applies to minors. Travellers intending to stay in the country for less than 30 days can travel with the e-visa they applied for online and do not need to make an appointment at the Vietnamese embassy.
The Vietnam visa is a single-entry visa, which means that you may enter the country once. Both the validity period and the maximum duration of stay are 30 days. Bear in mind that there are only a limited number of locations in Vietnam where you are allowed to enter the country with an e-visa. Check this in advance, and also read all the other requirements of the Vietnam visa before applying.