Plan Your Trip

PLAN YOUR TRIP

To best enjoy your adventures that are tailored to your own wish. Coming up with a travel plan and communicating between you and us about your travel plan is essential.

 

This page talks about preparing an effective travel plan and exemplifies a travel plan that we have communicated, executed and managed sucessfully with one of our travelers.

 

 

STEP 1: A travel plan

 

 

A travel plan is a simple note of where you want to go, When you want to go, what you want to do, how do you want to do it.

 

Planning a trip could be very exhausting, Where do you begin? What is the best thing to do, where is the best place to go but also fit my busy schedule as well as limited budget ?. It is not easy to sit back and plan for these things especially where the cultures, society and language of where you wanna go are completely different.

 

As experts in planning trips for travelers, We’ve developed a checklists that ensure you ask a few questions to yourself that ensures you don’t miss anything important. Most people don’t want to use their precious time traveling here and feeling irritating about “could/should have” statements.

 

1. Decide where you wanna go!

 

Identify where you wanna go sets a goal for you to look forward to. Saying I wanna travel is not enough. picking a destinations is immensely important, as it gives you a definite goal. It helps to narrow down the commitments in which your time, your wish and your budget allow. In case of Vietnam, If you just wanna go to Vietnam, it is not enough. Vietnam offers a wild range of activities, cultures, societies, sceneries as well as climates. You might find it annoying not bringing some extra winter jackets thinking Vietnam is hot in the winter due to its location in the tropics, while you might regret it for not having any bikini for your tan in some other parts of Vietnam.

 

2. When you go!

 

Given you are a busy person, taking a given amount of time for your trip with your family, deciding the length of your trip will helps you to realistically achieve your lists of thing to do in that particular place. As consultants, we find it very illogical to constantly rushing into traveling from one place to another. jumping on one bus to another bus. It is the tourist mindset that we want you to avoid. In addition, the length of your travel will decide your ability to adjust back to your normal life in that you are living. This includes a day or 2 off before you start to work again or simply to get rid of the jet-lag that long distance travel will cause you.

 

3. What you wanna do with yourself or with your friends, family while your are traveling!

 

Sketch out the major activities you want to enjoy and prepare for it. This will also help you figure out if you need any reservations for your chosen tours or activities. you might have to prepare for some of the adventurous activities.

This is as simple as for example, if you wanna ride a motorbike here, make sure you make a copy of your license. if you want to enjoy a good hike, make sure you bring some nice shoes. In the most beautiful landscapes, all you need is a book or a camera to feel or capture these moments.

 

 

It is extremely important to manage your expectation on destinations you are going, the time you have and especially the activities and comfort you want. If you choose to go on an adventure to some most remote areas in one of the poorest regions in Vietnam, manage yourself and trust you mind that there is no star-rate hotels there. Though when asked, our consultants are very honest about what we have to offer. Just communicate !

 

When you have some ideas of where you want to go, the length of your trip, what you want to enjoy. Write your tour operators and start communicate your wishlist to them. Communication is often a very effective way to solve problems, deal with risks, and ensure that tasks are completed on time accordant to your plan.

 

The more detailed you plan, the more information the operator could prepare, especially if you are traveling with minors, kids or old people or simply you have a short amount of time without regreting any of the minutes you travel.

 

Here is an example of good communication between traveler and operator that results in a great trip , fun for both travelers and tourguide. This communication is between Ilse's family and one of our consutlant

 

 

STEP 2: Write us

 

Dear Positive Tour,

 

My name is Ilse de Jong, we are a family of 4 from the Netherlands and we would like to travel on a motorbike tour to Ha Giang in early January 2017. We are driving motorbikes here in the Netherlands.

 

We have about 10 days to travel in the north of Vietnam and we want to do Sapa, Ha Giang and Ha Long Bay.

 

I would like to start the trip on the first of January for 3 days 2 night in Ha Giang, is this possible?

 

If needed I am available on my Vietnamees phone number +84 1664973514 or my Dutch Whatsapp number +31 634303237.

 

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Dear Ilse,

 

Thank you very much for being interested in our tour. Please find a few things below regarding to planning of the trip.

 

1) We confirmed your trip on 1st January 2018.

 

2) You mentioned you are a family. Are you all 4 riding motorbike ? Also, If it is a family vacation, we strongly recommend another day added from our regular tour so you can have some more time to relax, chill out and enjoy with you family. A 3 days 2 night tour might be a bit exhausting for family traveling. 

 

3) We can arrange buses from Sapa to Ha Giang on the date of departure. It takes about 6 hour from Sapa to Ha Giang and the bus leaves at 6am in Lao Cai City.

 

4) Most often people do tour in Ha Long which starts from Hanoi. If you want us to arrange buses from Ha Giang to Ha Long City, we can do that too.

 

Hope to hear from you and please let me know if you have any question.

 

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Dear Cuong Vu,

 

Thank you for confirming our trip.

 

We are traveling with our family, my parent both mid fifties and my brother and I, both in our twenties.

 

We would all ride motorbikes.

 

I would like to change our travel plans, in my previous email I said we would travel from sapa to ha giang but this is not correct.

 

On the first of January we will travel from Hanoi to  Ha giang.

From Ha giang we would like to travel to Ha long Bay. We not sure yet which tour company we would like to use. Could recommend one?

 

We where also thinking we could take a night bus from Ha Giang to Hai Phong and find a nice boat in Hai phong or cat ba.

 

Is it possible to leave Ha Gaing Thursday the 5th of January and arrive in Hai phong on Friday morning?

 

With warm wishes,

Ilse

 

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Dear Ilse,

 

Thank you for letting me know. I thought you are like a couple traveling with kids. please find below some of the answers to your concerns as well as some question for clarification:

 

1) Riding a motorbike is fun, I know Dutch do ride scooters a lot. What you mean is you all ride motorbike so I will prepare 4 motorbikes. please confirm !

 

2) We confirmed to pick you up from Hanoi. Would you please let us know your hotel as soon as you book it so we can come pick you up.

 

3) in regards to tour in Ha Long:

 

it depends on your budget and activities. Ha Long is a boat bay which has been ruined by the industry here. Doing tour in ha Long bay means paying for your privacy. Each company buys a piece of the bay, building a boat and make that piece private and do tour there. It depends on your budget, you can sit in a like titanic - boat in the most beautiful part of the bay paying 1000 USD per tour or you can do cheaper one depending on the quality of the boat and the piece of the bay that company has invested.

 

We actually don't work with any of these companies since our ethics are a bit different. There are lots of them you can book online or via trip advisor, these are big cooperate that invested millions of dollar into the bay and their boats. In fact, We recommend going for a family vacay in Quan lan Island which belong to Bay Tu Long Bay. You wont miss the Ha Long bay since the boat will go through the bay but the destination is much more relaxed and less touristy. We can arrange that

 

Also, I did not know it was your parents. the bus from Ha Giang to Ha Long City is 10 hours night sleeper bus. it might not be convenient for older people. Just so you know. From Quang Ninh you can go to Cat Ba by boat or bus directly, not necessary you need to go via Hai Phong. We can also arrange this for you.   

 

4) If you leave on 1st, doing 3 days 2 nights tour, the tour would finish later afternoon on 3rd. You can sure stay one more night in Ha Giang. Please note that the bus to Ha Long City leaves at 6pm running through the night. There is no buses leaving in the morning. You can either stay the night on 3rd in Ha Giang and leave the next evening for Quang Ninh or added one more day with us making the trip fun and more relaxed for older people, we ensure to bring you back in good smile to do the sleeping bus to Ha Long City.

 

I hope to hear from you.

 

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Dear Cuong,

 

We propose the following itinerary, can you make us a good offer for this trip?

 

Monday Jan 1st pick up of 4 persons at our hotel in Hanoi: In the mood of love / 42C Lý Thường Kiệt, Tràng Tiền, Hà Nội, Vietnam;

 

https://www.airbnb.nl/rooms/20021148?eal_exp=1512338301&eal_sig=5a72ed1211e61344bb1fe0c094540602efbfb5a39793ddf6fafdcd3c00791fec&eal_uid=16251119&eluid=0&euid=d87a087b-5fab-6bb4-6d55-bbfb5ebf1f7f

 

Transport to Ha Giang, 4 motorbikes ready for a 4 day/3 night trip.

 

Thursday 4th of January Transport by sleeper bus depart around 6 pm / boat to Bay Tu Long Bay. Can you arrange family stay here for the night of 5th till 6th. Is there possibility for kayaking / cave exploration during trip?

 

Saturday 6th of January return transport to the same address in Hanoi (42C Lý Thường Kiệt, Tràng Tiền, Hà Nội, Vietnam), arrival time in Hanoi is not important, we prefer to spend most of our day in Bay tu long bay.

 

Some additional questions:

 

We assume all meals are included in the trip, correct?

What kind of clothing do you propose for this January trip into the mountains?

What kind of insurances do we need for the motorcycles are those included in the trip?

 

Warm wishes,

Ilse

 

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Dear Ilse, 

 

Please find some information below 

 

1) The Ha Giang tour is confirmed. I would say 3 layers rule applied for clothing. 1 is your shirt, 2 is something warm and 3 is water/wind prove. Since you are driving motorbike and each insurance company has different insurance policy, we honestly don’t know how it works with insurance on motorbike for Dutch citizens. Keep that in mind you do a 4 day tour so it is very relaxed and we go very slow, average 25km/hour, mainly to relax rather than stressing out about driving motorbike.

 

2) On the fourth, you will leave for Ha Long City around 6pm. You will arrive near Hon Gai port in Ha Long around 5 am (about 10 minutes walk). There are boats leaving for Quan Lan Island around 7-8am. Remember that it is not the tourist season so they don't leave right away rather wait till there are full people to leave. It is why I said it is 7-8. The boat journey takes about 2 hours.

 

3) Quan Lan is a quiet island that is not touched by the tourism industry. So unfortunately, There ain't kayaking. We are working on bringing about that option for you. However in the worse case, You can hike for a day or fishing or squidding or catching sea worm and learn to cook it ( it is fun and rich in protein). We can get you a bicycle or motorbike to explore the island too. Homestay is about 15 USD per night, 4 can fit in and good mean is about 10 USD per meal per person.

 

There is no tourist activities such as cave exploring cos it is not a tourist island. We however explore a big cave in Ha Giang though. Please note that we are not operating this tour. We helped with coordination only. Given you only stay for 2 nights. I think it would be fun to say like go for a hike together with bicycle in the afternoon 5th and morning 6th get a motorbike exploring the island before you take the boat at 2pm back to Ha Long City to hop on a minivan back to Hanoi. Boat ticket is about 15 USD per person 1 way and the super comfy van back to Hanoi costs the same. We will coordinate this for you.  

 

If you are happy with this, I can start preparing for it. 

 

I think this is a very fun holidays so let us know soon.

 

Best regards,

 

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Dear Ilse,

 

So I have worked out the Kayaks with some of my partners in Ha Long So I could get you some Kayak for fun.

 

Since our company is interested in working there in the Island so we are looking at running a tour there. I would myself be your tour guide in the island. We offer you a package of the following itinerary.

 

Friday 5th Jan

 

5AM: Arriving Ha Long, breakfast and chilling out 

8AM - 10AM: Speed boat to Quan Lan

11AM: Lunch at Quan Lan 

12.30PM: Visiting old town Quan Lan, Quan Lan Temple (Depending on you, it would be a bicycle or motorbike)

2PM: Visiting some fish farm. We can learn to dig shells or catch crab from the sea for dinner.

4PM: Beach time at Son Hao Beach. Kayaking around.

7PM: Seafood dinner at the beach

 

Saturday 6th Jan

 

8AM: Breakfast 

9PM: Motorbiking around the island, Hiking to Eo Gio peak.

12AM: back to our homestay for Lunch

1PM: Check out getting ready for the boat ride back

2PM-4PM: boat back to Ha Long City

4PM-9PM: back to Hanoi on a mini van

 

 

So I think this would be really fun. The price for the this trip would be another 150 per person. In total, it would be 440 per person for both Ha Long and Quan Lan.

 

I hope this brings you a bit more options and less stressful in organizing your trip.

 

Best regards,

 

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Dear Cuong Vu,

 

It al sounds very nice, I don’t think we need any adjustments.

We look forward to our vacation and thank you for organizing this.

 

Ilse

 

 

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