I am 20 and I am travelling solo to Thailand in August. My trip will last 4 weeks and I plan to go to Bangkok, Khao Sok National park, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. I plan to volunteer in Koh Samui but will be doing planned trips in the other places. This is my first time travelling solo and I just wondered whether anyone had any advice for me.
I just wondered whether anyone had any advice for me.
If you plan on using credit or debit cards make sure you notify your banks that you will be overseas before you leave on the trip. If not when you try to make a withdrawal from an ATM your request may be denied. Your hometown bank may suspect credit card fraud.
Don't rely on a single credit or debit card. That card could be stolen, lost or damaged. Use cash for inexpensive purchases such as restaurants and bars to keep fraudulent charges from being added to your credit card account.
When you take money from an ATM take out the maximum you can at one time. There is a fee to make a withdrawal. That fee is the same if you withdraw 1000 baht or 10,000 baht,. (Your withdrawal limits depend on the ATM and what your bank sets. So know how much your bank allows for one single ATM withdrawal.)
If you travel with a purse full of cash be very careful! Never trust anyone you do not know from back home. You will get your best exchange rate for converting your money to Thai baht in Thailand. There will be bank currency exchanges at the airport open 24 hours a day. No need to change money ahead of time for a low rate. (Rates change every working day - up or down. But not by too much.)
Have copies of your itinerary, your flight confirmation numbers and passport information pages. I keep a record of my flights and itinerary in my saved emails. Schedule a final few nights back in Bangkok before you fly home. Do your shopping then so you don't have to carry stuff you buy all over the country.
Do forum searches for more help.
Don't trust anyone you don't know from back home. Be careful of any people you meet on your trip, especially if they are over friendly or like to use dope around you. You might end up in trouble with them or have your money stolen.
Have a good time partying but don't get so wasted you do something stupid. When I read about women traveling alone being assaulted or robbed usually excessive alcohol consumption is mentioned. Be careful giving out too much personal information on an open forum, some cultures see a woman traveling alone without a mate as fair game for anything! Better safe than sorry.
Karazyal, you make excellent points about bank cards and letting bank no your travelling, my card was blocked when I done my visa extension in Mae Hong son a month ago, and the look on my face when every ATM didn't work was a picture ha! But don't trust anyone from back home......? Meaning? Don't trust any other traveller? If I had that out look while travelling I wouldn't of meet the friends I have now, friends for life! Most travellers have the same out look mentality, you might get the odd wrong one! But if your not daft or gullible there's no reason why you shouldn't go with your instinks. Have a good trip, if your ALLWAYS worried you won't enjoy yourself, I've just came back from 5 months in Thailand Cambodia malyasia Vietnam , didn't have 1 prob
Don't (fully) trust anyone you don't (already) know from back home.
Probably could have phrased the statement a little better.
I have no problem tipping a few beers or going on tours with people I meet overseas. But you do have to be careful with random "friends" you meet. If someone shares a hotel room with them or invites them over and you may not even know their real name. If you are not careful they could walk out the door with everything you own.
Some people are just too trusting. I don't think anyone should share an ATM pin number or password to their computer with anyone they meet on the road. When asked, some tourist with a new "friend" may allow that new friend to use their computer and then not pay attention. Many people have bank accounts on their computer and other personal information. (Probably a good idea to password protect anything with private data you don't want anyone else to get a hold of! Good in case your computer is stolen too!)
I think a woman has to be more careful than a man traveling alone. Some posts I read have real names and other personal data. Hi, I am "Mary Smith" and I am alone and will be in XYZ Hotel on March 21. The lady might end up with some perv playing games! Or a lot of requests from strange guys who thinks she's looking for a date.
Comment on not being able to get a withdrawal from an ATM. That happens from time to time too if the card becomes damaged or corrupted in some way. Always a good idea to have a back up debit card. For Thailand I also have American Express Travelers Checks too. Largest denomination available because there is a fee to cash them. If it is a $20 check or a $200 check - same fee to cash. I can get them without any charge from my credit union. The same banks and bank kiosks that change foreign currency to Thai baht usually will take them. At least in the big cities.
That's my 2 cents worth!