I'm off in just four teeny weeny days and am after some last-minute advice regarding currency . Some people have advised cash, others travellers cheques, others both - which is best and why??? Please help!?!
My itinerary is as follows:
...Hong Kong for 3 days...
...Bali for 2 weeks...
...WA for 4 weeks...
...NZ for 4 weeks...
...OZ for 5 months...
...Fiji for 2 weeks...
...Vancouver for 2 weeks...
I have just a few small queries about which form(s) of currency will best serve me:
1. Are travellers cheques easy to use? i.e. accepted most places?
2. Is it easy enough to change money when you are away? i.e withdraw money from my current account with my UK bank and then exchange for relevant currency in the country I'm in?
3. If I take just cash (specifically to HK, Bali & Fiji as only there a short time) is it easy to exchange any left over currency for the currency of the next Country I visit? i.e. On leaving Bali, if I have some IDR left, will I be able to exchange these for AUD on my arrival in WA?
4. If I were to use mainly travellers cheques how would change be given (if at all)? Can these be used anywhere? Will they sell for the same amount I buy them for? i.e if I buy $100 worth but only use cash, on my return to England, will I be able to sell them back to whomever I bought them for £100? Or, will this depend on the current exchange rate, as it would do for cash?
5. Am I making any sense? Apologies if not but I went to several Travel Agents today and was told nothing of travellers cheques, just exchange rates for cash, I then come home to find my dad's been speaking to a friend (that old chestnut) who's advised I should go with travellers cheques as they're insured! AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!
Anyhoo, as always, any help/advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated!
personaly, in 37 countries I've never needed a traveller's cheque...
I have a mastercard and visa. That gives you access to cirrus and the other one..that means atm heaven... The only place I didn't have access to an ATM from memory was in Cambodia and even in the very south there are banks.. Apparently ATMs are popping up in Phenom Phen these days..
On average, i found personally that I got great and up to date currency conversions from ATMs... I have a savings account that I regularily transfer cash into my credit cards via online banking and keep my credit limits very low!... If they get ripped off, they get very little out of you. I know you are only going for a short time, but for the RTW travellers out there, you might like to keep the majority of your funds in a fixed account earning better interest and have monthly portions transfered out of that account into your savings. That extra interest might just give you that extra couple of days on the Seine or wherever..
On extensive travels i alway have cash in US, Britsh Sterling and Euro hidden and on hand to get me out of any sticky situation that might arise.. (have never REALLY needed it)... Suprisingly ( i know this is off topic) I found australian dollars quite a commodity in Cairo... I don't know why, but as soon as anyone knew I was originally Australian, they wanted AU$...
Sorry for going overboard on your answer... Sounds like you;ll have a great trip... Stay safe,
sorry, in regard to extra cash when ready to leave a country, you might find that other countries will not be willing to change... Smart management might help... Also if you are lumbered with excess foreign currency, try swap it with another traveller. Or most major airports will change most currencies (except the US, those airports are so ignorant they think the US dollar is the only currency on earth. Example, try buy a coffee in JFK without US currency...Every other major airport will accept the major currencies (US, UK, Euro, HK etc)Especially when you are just in transit. See above post for carrying several currencies. rant over).
Have a ball
oh, and maybe you might like to get a backup of both your credit cards and hide them in weird places in your kit... Good backup..
Thanks ever so much for the advice. It really helps to put my mind at rest that I won't need travellers cheques. I hadn't planned on taking any but other people (mainly my Pops, bless him) were starting to make me doubt that decision .
Hey, take a coiuple just for pops and when you get home, let him know it came in handy, if only you mention that it made you feel safer and let you enjoy your holiday more...Got to love Grandaparents!!