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Beginner Wanting to Go Thailand, Advise Would be Great.

Travel Forums Asia Beginner Wanting to Go Thailand, Advise Would be Great.

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12. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Travel Guru 542 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

75 Baht to the pound was the first time I went to Thailand which I think was roughly about six years ago. The first couple of years I went the exchange rate used to fluctuate between 70-75 Baht. Then when the pound suddenly lost its value the exchange rate just kept getting lower and lower over a few months until it sort of settled down again at roughly 50 Baht to the pound. I think it's 47 Baht to the pound at the minute.

The free overseas withdrawals from Nationwide ended this summer, with Nationwide initially bringing in a 1% fee for overseas withdrawals. However, as previously stated this increases to 2% plus £1 from 1st November.

However, according to the moneysavingexpert website this is still cheaper than any other bank. My own experiences regarding exchange rates used when you make withdrawals would also confirm this.

As for the £100 minimum deposit, Halifax, the second best bank for overseas withdrawals, also ask for a £100 deposit when you open a current account. I can confirm this personally because I recently opened an account with Halifax to use as my back-up account when travelling.

Although obviously £100 isn't a problem because you obviously spend a lot more than this when travelling so if you want to use an account for travelling then you'll no doubt be paying a lot more than this into it.

As for opening a Halifax account, it was pretty straight-forward. My only criticism was that the advisor didn't offer me the option of opening a reward account (which gives you £5 a month if you pay a £1000 into it) but luckily my mate had told me about this account so I specifically asked for that account.

13. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Travel Guru 542 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

I agree on the point about the exchange rate always being better in Thailand.

If you change cash in the UK the tourist rate you get is generally between 5-8% less than the interbank exchange rate. Whereas if you exchange cash in Thailand the tourist rate you get is generally only about 2% less than the interbank exchange rate.

The only exception to this was when I was going to South korea from Thailand and the exchange rate in Thailand was ridiculously low. I think this was purely because very few people go to South Korea from Thailand. With virtually all of the popular currencies, you always get a significantly better exchange rate in Thailand.

14. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Travel Guru 542 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

I also agree that having fun should be the priority.

Saving money by opening the best account and also getting the best prepaid travel card takes less than an hour though. The overall cost of backpacking for a few months generally runs to a few thousand pounds so a saving of even 2-3% per withdrawal can mean a saving of a couple of hundred quid over the course of a holiday, which could mean enough money to do a skydive or whatever later on in your travels.

Basically, put the effort in before you leave and then you don't have to worry about cash once you're away.

And again I would definitely recommend having at least two options to get access to cash on your travels, just in case you lose a card or it gets eaten by an ATM machine or whatever.

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