MONEY in Thailand ... first time traveler...

Travel Forums Asia MONEY in Thailand ... first time traveler...

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about Thailand
1. Posted by Ofie (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hey so to make it as simple as possible.
I will be in thailand for 5 weeks...
1. how much should i plan on spending each week in dollars or baht?
2. should i bring all the cash with me?
3. how does the atm work there? ... service charge?...
4. is it better to exchange money before leave or there.. and how much should i bring on the first day...

thank you.. so far figuring out the money situation is making me nuts lol

THANK YOU

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2216 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Ofie

Hey so to make it as simple as possible.
I will be in thailand for 5 weeks...
1. how much should i plan on spending each week in dollars or baht?
2. should i bring all the cash with me?
3. how does the atm work there? ... service charge?...
4. is it better to exchange money before leave or there.. and how much should i bring on the first day...

thank you.. so far figuring out the money situation is making me nuts lol

THANK YOU

This question comes up pretty often for Thailand. A quick forum search will give you some more ideas.

Make sure you can stay 5 weeks. Coming from Canada you can get a 30 day entry stamp in your passport. If you are staying longer you have to have a visa or leave Thailand and return.

Not everyone spends money the same way. Some travelers stay in crap cheap hostels and some travelers stay in fancy 5 star hotels. There is no one figure for every traveler. Roughly if you have available the same amount of money you would spend in your own capital city for the same time you shouldn't be too far off. You can eat cheap off the street, eat cheap in food courts and from small restaurants or you may be the type that every meal has to be a show with waiters and fancy dishes. Backpackers get by spending less than 300 baht a day. There is no shortage of places to eat in Thailand in all price ranges.

You can bring cash but only take the largest denomination currency that is in good condition. You can use ATM's for cash withdrawals but be aware that there is a 150 baht surcharge for every withdrawal so take out the maximum you can at one time. You can also change cash and travelers checks pretty easy at the airport and in many places in the city. With travelers checks you will have a fee of 33 baht per check so don't waste fees on small checks get the big denominations. When you fly home you will have an opportunity to change your Thai baht over to your own currency 24 hours a day.

If you plan on using an ATM they work the same way they do in the US or Canada. I have only used a 4 digit pin number in Thailand. There are ATM's all over Bangkok and major cities. My preference is to use an ATM when the supporting bank is nearby and open. That way if the card jams you can get the bank to open up the ATM. You do have to notify your bank or credit union that you will be in Thailand or the withdrawal may not be authorized because your bank suspects fraud. (My advice is to use cash for cheap purchases in restaurants and stores to lessen any chance of fraud.)

Don't change money over Thai baht before you get to Thailand. You can change your currency to Thai baht 24 hours a day at the airport. You will get your best exchange rate in Thailand. There is NO reason to bring any Thai baht with you to Thailand! Stores and hotels usually have a lower exchange rate than the many bank money changers.

My preference is to keep a credit card for emergencies and use cash, travelers checks and debit cards in Thailand. Some banks and many credit unions provide travelers checks without any fees.

Use the security box to safeguard any valuables and excess cash. If you are the type to use credit cards for everything everywhere you go keep in mind that some fraudulent charges could show up on your next monthly statement. Hotels are usually okay though for charging rooms.

Good luck.

3. Posted by Rambler1 (Budding Member 51 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hey ya,

Travelling in Thailand cater well tourists from backpackers to people with a larger budget. Minimum amount of cash you really need for travel, food and hotels are about £15 English pounds. I'm not sure which dollar you are referring to. This will give you the budget of a backpacker with still enough to travel about on trains, buses and ferries.

Don’t worry too much about cash. There are ATM's everywhere in Thailand. I little bit to start you off is always helpful, take a credit card encase you lose you cash card and £100 worth of Traveller Cheques is handing encase you lose everything else. Keep your money in different parts if you bag, pockets and backpack to ensure if you lose one you still have another.

ATM will charge you a service charge, check with your bank.

Take £50-150 on your first day to get you started. Queues at atms in Bangkok can be quiet long and bit of a pain so get out large amounts of money at a time.

And have fun!!

4. Posted by Ofie (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

thanks so much! really helpfull advice :)

5. Posted by lfcfanuk (Budding Member 24 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Cheers Karazyal

I was going to get some Thai Baht before I go....

I will just get some american dollors so I have something with me when I get there now

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2216 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Quoting lfcfanuk

Cheers Karazyal

I was going to get some Thai Baht before I go....

I will just get some american dollors so I have something with me when I get there now

It all depends on the currency your country uses. Most currencies are easy to change in Thailand, no problem with US dollars, Euros, Pounds, etc.

Here is a list from a couple banks, your currency may be on it.

http://www.bangkokbank.com/bangkok%20bank/web%20services/rates/pages/fx_rates.aspx

http://www.kasikornbank.com/EN/RatesAndFees/ForeignExchange/Pages/ForeignExchange.aspx

If your currency is accepted you save money by not exchanging twice. If you normally use pounds just bring them for exchange.

Good luck.

7. Posted by lollysanddollar (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I followed the advice on here to change the bulk of my money in Thailand but in my case it was the wrong advice.

I actually got a better rate changing my pound sterling in London, 45 baht to the pound. In Thailand I got 42 baht to the pound. I'd have been better off changing all of my money in the UK. This will be of particular interest if you're exchanging large amounts of money.

So don't assume that you'll get a better rate exchanging your money in Thailand. I found good exchange rates in London by using comparison sites.

[ Edit: Edited on 21-Nov-2017, at 14:21 by lollysanddollar ]

8. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 694 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I followed the advice on here to change the bulk of my money in Thailand but in my case it was the wrong advice.

To be fair this is a seven year old thread, so the information could be outdated, I was scrolling through some travel guides today and found some outdated information, so I think it is good to double check information before following especially if it is this old. Also it might depend on your starting country, just because the UK might have a good rate doesn't mean the USA would be as equally good.

9. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2216 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

"I actually got a better rate changing my pound sterling in London, 45 baht to the pound. In Thailand I got 42 baht to the pound. I'd have been better off changing all of my money in the UK. This will be of particular interest if you're exchanging large amounts of money."

When you made your currency exchange comparison was it for the very same day? Rates often change a little bit, sometimes more than once in the same day. Rates can go up and down. My US dollar rate was higher months ago but now it is lower. But the rate for my USD is still better in Thailand than changing money in the US on the same day about the same time. Rates are not fixed!

I remember getting around 55 baht to the dollar for a short period but that was probably around 15 years ago. That was then! Right now I can get a better rate in Thailand without any commissions or fees than I can changing money in the US from an authorized source.

I checked a couple other big travel forums - most of the UK long term frequent posters still recommend changing UK pounds in Thailand. There are links you can pull up and do a same time - same day comparison for what you can get back home and make a decision. (Like below link.)
https://daytodaydata.net/

At the airport on first arrival I only change enough USD to see me through my first day spending - taxis, hotel, food, drinks, etc. Then I only change dollars as I need them.

Old post. ATM fees are higher now. Travelers checks not as popular as years ago.

10. Posted by JamieConway88 (Inactive 3 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Everything in Thailand is quite cheap so I think you should not exchange too many money in cash. Baht is better than Dollar, ofcourse.
Service charge and ATM work great, but you should exchange your money before go there. I don't know what will you do in there for 5 weeks so it is impossible to say how much exactly you need to bring. However, in Thailand there are many exchange store in airport and city, you will find it out easily, so don't worry about it.

Quoting Ofie

Hey so to make it as simple as possible.
I will be in thailand for 5 weeks...
1. how much should i plan on spending each week in dollars or baht?
2. should i bring all the cash with me?
3. how does the atm work there? ... service charge?...
4. is it better to exchange money before leave or there.. and how much should i bring on the first day...

thank you.. so far figuring out the money situation is making me nuts lol

THANK YOU