hello off on our RTW in 2 weeks starting in bangkok straight over cambodia and asia for 3months - oz - nz- etc for 7 months total.
We have a barclays bank account and a post office credit card, is taking travellers cheques a good idea or not? they have the advantage of being safe but have heard you pay lots in comision and can be a pain to change? whats the score or best advise to get to our funds???
any advise from traveller would be great thanks
Any advice from the "professionals" always recommends you take some of your funds in travellers cheques. I've never personally used them, and definitely not been disadvantaged for not having had them. Cash (as long as your sensible and careful with it), and credit cards are the easiest and most fuss-free ways of carrying your money I think
Don't take them. Travellers Cheques regularly attract a high commission rate and are a pain to change just like you said. Mainly for when in Asia, bring a supply of $USD cash. Get small denominations of crisp new notes of $1, $5, $10 and some $20. Don't get any $50 or $100 as you will have a lot of difficulty changing them if not find it impossible (even in the US a lot of places won't take $100 notes and look very closely at taking $50 notes). When in Australia and NZ just use your cards as USD are useless in those countries for anything more than exchanging at a currency exchange place or bank.
Not sure what capabilities a Barclays bank account or post office creditcard actually have on the card itself, but if the postoffice card is a mastercard or visa you shouldn't have any problems using it in most countries (maybe some places in Asia might not have creditcard facilities). With the Barclays card if it has the Cirrus or Maestro logos on the card then you shouldn't have trouble using them at any ATM.
If you plan to withdraw cash using your creditcard rather than just making general purchases, be sure that you have your own money in the creditcard. If you start doing cash advances with the banks money then you'll most likely be getting slugged with large amounts of interest and large fees.
Have a great trip.
I've just come back from travelling and I recommend you have some travellers cheques with you. I mainly used my card. A tip is to open a nationwide account as I believe they don't charge you everytime you draw money out abroad (need to check it out as not sure if this is still the case!)
Maestro cards can be a problem in some countries so hence why I used travellers cheques in certain countries.
Hope the info helps!
i would take some travellers cheques - i didn't really find them a pain to change in SE Asia, and your are covered against loss/theft. i would also take some US$ with you, and draw the rest out of your current account. as trace88 said, a nationwide account would be a good idea as bank charges for withdrawals can really mount up. having a credit card is also very useful for booking flights/hotels online, where your maestro card woudl generally not be accepted.
I take traveller's cheques, but only as "dead" emergency funds. The commission you pay for them and the time you spent searching for a place to cash them make them inconvenient to take. But because they are insured against theft I have them as a last reserve, i.e. that in case all my money, my cards and my tickets/passport get stolen I still have some money to tide me over. That is what you should do too.
If you do decide to take travellers cheques, make sure you take the receipt with you or you may not be able to change them.
Personally I found them a waste of time and even brought some back, losing a heap load on the exchange rate. I am lucky enough to have a Nationwide account so was able to withdraw small amounts of cash without being charged. They would be handy though in emergency situations if you couldn't get to a bank, got your wallet nicked etc. Keep a record of the numbers elsewhere, or email them to yourself.
Have a great trip!