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How do I take my money?! Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam

Travel Forums Asia How do I take my money?! Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam

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1. Posted by jadeex (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Me and my boyfriend are off to Southeast Asia the middle of November for 2 months and really need advice please on what way is best to take money. If we take our debit cards from home (UK) won't the charges be a lot to draw out? But we obviously don't want to carry all our money on us either

What has everybody else done/doing?
Any advice would be really helpful pretty please

Thankyou x

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2434 posts) 1y

"... If we take our debit cards from home (UK) won't the charges be a lot to draw out?..."

Why don't you call your bank and ask them?


3. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 1y

Travellers' cheques, credit cards are advisable, some cash, and emergency cash hidden somewhere.

4. Posted by Borisborough (Respected Member 443 posts) 1y

"Travellers' cheques, ..." - do they still exist? The poor commission rates on them now mean they are virtually redundant. A debit card which can be used internationally (Cirrus and others) usually have favourable exchange rates and small commission fees so the banks' fees are offset by these advantages. And if you have a credit card as well (even though the fees to draw out cash seem quite high) there are enough ATMs in most of SE Asia to keep you solvent.

5. Posted by Unboundly (Budding Member 57 posts) 1y

You can call the bank to find out what the charges for withdrawal are. You may even find them on the bank's website. I for one travel with two credit cards and just enough cash to get me through one week or so. If you're worried about bigger payments, you can usually solve that by paying for accommodation, train/plane/bus/other tickets in advance and you might even get a discount.

6. Posted by Azooki (Inactive 10 posts) 1y

get some cash and at least 2 credit cards. book ur accomodation i advance so as to not get short on cash. u can easily pay food thru credit cards.

7. Posted by zoltanszecsi (Inactive 2 posts) 1y

Credit card is more useful than the cash. SO always keep credit cards.

8. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1615 posts) 1y

Credit card for emergencies that may come up. Whatever card you use there will be some fees. Fees to use the ATM, fees your bank may impose for overseas charges, etc.

I do not use credit or debit cards for cheap purchases; I use cash for cheap restaurants, bar tabs and other low value things to lessen any chance of credit card fraud. (Every now and then check your statements too.) For cash with a card I use an ATM. Some locations you may be able to go into a bank and get money off a card in person, you will need some good ID with you.

Have more than one debit card. Don't rely on a single card because that single debit card could be lost, stolen or even damaged.

Cash always works. Don't bother with small denomination currency. Stick with the largest denominations you can get to save room. And no old, torn or dirty currency. Use newest printings.

For Thailand you can use travelers checks. Thailand has banks and smaller bank money changing kiosks available all over the city and the airports. Most of these little bank kiosks are open every day and often late into the evening in areas popular with tourists. For Thailand American Express travelers checks are the ones to bring. (I get my travelers checks without any commission through my credit union account.) In Thailand there is a fee to cash a TC so only bring the largest denominations to save paying fees for $10 value checks. The only time I have had a delay changing a TC is when power was off or computers down. You do need to show a passport for identification. So always have a big bill or two in your wallet.

Many tourists take a little of everything. Cash, debit cards, credit cards for emergencies and even a few travelers checks if Thailand is on your itinerary. For credit cards and debit cards make sure you tell your bank you will be overseas and where. Banks get a little scared when ATM withdrawals come up suddenly from overseas and suspect fraud.

When you do a forum search you may get a little more help with this. For some countries DO NOT leave with their currency because it is hard to unload it in a different country. Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam are some of the currencies hard to unload in a different country. For each country you visit research their particular currency peculiarities. Depends on which countries are on your list.

You do have to safeguard your money. It is not always the hotel help that will rip you off, sometimes friends you meet on the trip might run off with your money too. I record the serial numbers of my hundred dollar bills in case they come up missing. Also I keep a record of my travelers checks serial numbers. You may never recover any stolen cash but the serial numbers could help the police in their investigation. (I keep copies of those serial numbers along with copies of my itinerary and flight confirmation numbers in email form that I save into memory.)

Middle of November for 2 months means you will be in Asia during high season. Hotels will cost more, close to Christmas and New Years holidays some hotels may be more fully booked. Different countries means different visa requirements. Some countries may require you to have confirmed flight out of that country too. Different countries means different rules.

Have fun.

9. Posted by gaptraveller (Budding Member 36 posts) 1y

Credit cards are your best option

10. Posted by jadeex (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Thanks guys, I appreciate your suggestions :)