Average Vacation Costs to Different Places Around the World

Discover the average vacation costs, compare prices & plan your budget to various destinations worldwide from Singapore!

Discover the average vacation costs, compare prices & plan your budget to various destinations worldwide from Singapore!

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As we live in a small city-state, it’s no wonder that Singaporeans are passionate about travel, with most of us going for vacations at least once per year. We ourselves have been doing that too, having travelled to Vietnam in November 2022 and Japan in April 2023.

In fact, the average Singaporean household spends S$4,080 per year on vacations, according to the 2018 Household Expenditure Survey that is conducted once every 5 years. That is equivalent to S$1,259 per person for a household of 3.24 individuals!

However, with the varying expenses associated with travel, figuring out the true cost of a holiday can be a challenge. That’s why we’ll be breaking down the average vacation costs for flights, accommodation, food, entertainment, and transport, so you can make an informed decision about your next overseas adventure in 2023.

Pssst, stick around to find out our own personal expenses for Vietnam and Japan!

Average Cost Of Vacations By Destinations In 2023

The cost of a vacation varies dramatically by destination. For example, travel within the ASEAN region from Singapore is the most affordable, averaging around $389-$1,412 per person for a short 1-week trip, according to Value Champion.

Popular destinations in East Asia and Australia cost a bit more, ranging from $1,251-$3,346 per week per person.

Travel to the United States is the most expensive out of all the destinations, due to the long-haul flights, expensive food, and pricey accommodations that can set you back between $200-$700 per night based on research done by Value Champion.

Statue of Liberty, New York under white and blue cloudy skies

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Average Cost of Holidaying in Southeast Asia in 2023

If you are looking for an affordable vacation, Southeast Asia is your best bet. The average cost of a weekend trip is S$250-$620 per person. Expect to pay an average of $128-$1,476 for week-long trips.

Accommodations are the main reason why the cost differs so much, with 2-star or budget hotels costing between $13 (or even lower) to $17 per night, whereas 5-star resorts can cost upwards of $140 on average. For luxury seekers, the most expensive part of the trip will be 5-star hotels, which will make up 65% of the trip’s expenditure.

Fortunately, food costs are some of the cheapest compared to other regions, with a typical meal costing less than $4 per person.

green grass field under white clouds during daytime

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Average Costs Of Holidaying In East Asia & Oceania In 2023

For destinations in East Asia & Asia Pacific, an average one-week vacation costs between S$736 and S$3,590 per person. Flights can cost anywhere from $260 for a roundtrip flight to Hong Kong to almost $800 for a roundtrip flight to Sydney, Australia.

If you choose to stay in 5-star hotels, accommodations and eating out can take up to 85% of your budget. Alternatively, if you spend your time in budget hotels, your highest expenditure will be the flight, constituting less than 40% of your overall trip cost.

Food is also rather pricey. Be prepared to pay an average of $15 per person per meal.

Vietnam vs Japan Vacation: Our Average Costs

For reference, this is what our average costs were like when we travelled to Vietnam in November 2022 for 8 days and to Japan in April 2023 for 13 days.

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1. Travel Expenses

First things first: getting there.

aerial photography of airliner

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**Flights to Vietnam
**A direct flight from Singapore to Vietnam (Hanoi) typically costs between $200-$400, depending on the time of year and how far in advance you book.

Low-cost carriers like Jetstar and Scoot offer affordable options, while Vietnam Airlines and Singapore Airlines provide more comfort and amenities.

We paid roughly $222/person for a return trip on a budget airline for our Vietnam vacation.

**Flights to Japan
**Flights to Japan (Tokyo) are generally more expensive, ranging from $600-900 for a direct flight. Airlines servicing this route include ANA, Japan Airlines, and Singapore Airlines. However, you can save some bucks by opting for a layover or budget airline like Zipair or Scoot, which will bring the price down to around $500.

We paid an average of $700/person for a return trip on a budget airline for our Japan vacation.

Winner: Vietnam.
Flying to Vietnam from Singapore is significantly cheaper as it’s a shorter trip, leaving you more cash to splurge on other holiday expenses.

2. Accommodation

Now that you’ve arrived, let’s talk about where you’ll rest and freshen up to prepare yourself for your adventuring.

**Vietnam’s accommodation
**Vietnam’s accommodation options range from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts. A dorm bed in a hostel can cost as little as $5 per night, while a private room in a mid-range hotel averages around $20-$30. If you’re after a more luxurious stay, expect to pay around $60-$100 per night.

We paid around $60/person for accommodation during our 8-day vacation to Vietnam.

**Japan’s accommodation
**Accommodation in Japan tends to be pricier. The amount can also vary depending on which city you’re in.

A bed in a dormitory-style hostel costs about $20-$30 per night, while a private room in a mid-range hotel will set you back around $70-$150. If you’re looking for a high-end experience, you can find luxury hotels and traditional ryokans starting at $250 per night.

We paid $700/person during our 12-day vacation to Japan.

Winner: Vietnam.

Accommodation is generally more affordable in Vietnam, making it the better option for cost-conscious travellers.

3. Food

A huge part of travelling is experiencing local cuisine. Let’s see how Vietnam and Japan stack up in terms of food costs.

**Food in Vietnam
**Vietnamese cuisine is delicious, diverse, and incredibly wallet-friendly.

Street food like banh mi (a Vietnamese sandwich) or pho (noodle soup) can be enjoyed for just $1-$3 per dish. Don’t forget to also try the local egg coffee for around $1-$2. A meal at a local restaurant will usually cost around $5-$10, while a more upscale dining experience might set you back $15-$30.

We paid an average of $77/person during our 8 days in Vietnam.

white ceramic bowl with soup and green leaves

Photo by Vy Huynh on Unsplash

**Food in Japan
**Equally awesome, Japan is famous for its mouth-watering dishes like ramen, beef bowls, and sushi. A meal at a budget-friendly conveyor belt sushi restaurant or ramen joint can cost around $10-$15 per person. Dining at mid-range restaurants will set you back around $20-$80, while high-end dining experiences can start anywhere from $80 and above.

We paid an average of $277/person during our 13 days in Japan.

sushi lot

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Winner: It’s a tie.

Both countries offer incredible food experiences. While Vietnam definitely takes the cake for affordability, you can also go for more budget meals in Japan with their ubiquitous konbini (convenience store) snacks for around $3-$6 per person.

4. Entertainment

Now, let’s explore the cost of activities and attractions in Vietnam and Japan.

**Entertainment in Vietnam
**From historical sites to natural wonders, Vietnam offers a wealth of affordable experiences. Entrance fees for popular attractions like the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City ($2 per person) and the ancient city of Hoi An ($7 per person) are relatively inexpensive.

A guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels will set you back around $20-$30, while a Ha Long Bay cruise ranges from $50-$200, depending on the number of days you spend onboard.

We paid $338/person for entertainment during our 8-day vacation.

**Entertainment in Japan
**Japan offers a mix of both affordable and expensive entertainment options. Entrance fees for temples and shrines, like Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine or Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine, are typically free or low-cost (around $5 per person). For a unique cultural experience, attending a sumo match or a tea ceremony can cost anywhere between $40-$100.

However, visiting popular attractions such as Tokyo Disneyland or Universal Studios Japan will set you back around $100 per ticket.

We paid $613/person for entertainment during our 13-day vacation.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Vietnam has some more affordable options, but Japan offers a wider variety of experiences to suit different budgets. Ultimately, it depends on what you’re interested in doing.

5. Transport

Getting around is a crucial aspect of any holiday. Let’s compare the cost of transportation in Vietnam and Japan.

Transport in Vietnam

Transportation in Vietnam is generally cheap and accessible. A ride on Ho Chi Minh City’s public bus system will cost less than $1, while a taxi ride averages around $0.50 per kilometre. For long-distance travel, consider taking a sleeper bus or train, which can range from $15-$50, depending on the distance and class.

We paid $32/person during our 8 days in Vietnam.

**Transport in Japan
**Japan is known for its efficient and convenient public transportation system. However, it can be quite pricey. A single ride on Tokyo’s metro will set you back around $2-$4, while a 7-day Japan Rail (JR) Pass, allowing unlimited travel on JR trains, costs around $295. However, this is set to increase further to $497 from October 2023 onwards .

We paid $313/person during our 13 days in Japan.

Winner: It’s another tie!
Vietnam’s transportation options are more budget-friendly, making it the better choice for cost-conscious travellers. However, be prepared to spend significant time on the road as there aren’t many high-speed trains readily available.

Though you pay more in Japan, you generally spend less time travelling from city to city as compared to Vietnam.

**Total Costs: Holiday in Vietnam Or Japan?
**So, the final roundup - how much does it cost to travel to these two countries?

We paid an average of $2,600/person for a 13-day Japan trip (Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo), which translates to about $200/person each day.

As for Vietnam, we paid $730/person for an 8-day trip to Hanoi, Sapa, and Ha Long Bay), which translates to about $90/person each day.

When comparing the cost of a vacation to Vietnam and Japan, Vietnam (not surprisingly) comes out on top in terms of affordability, which is perfect for budget-conscious travellers.

However, if you’re willing to splurge a little more, Japan offers a unique blend of cultural and modern experiences that is also well worth the money spent.

Overseas Travel Is More Than Just Calculating Your Expenses

We get it. Keeping track of your expenses is important to ensure that you don’t bust your budget while overseas.

But do also keep in mind that travelling goes beyond merely calculating dollars and cents. It’s also about discovering new places, meeting different people, and learning about other ways of life - all of them invaluable experiences that are hard to put a price on.