Hello again everyone.
As you might have read, I'm going travelling for several weeks all around the region.
What is the best way to take money? I've heard lots of contradictory answers, and some people suggest a nationwide card, but I believe they have stopped doing free withdrawals. So should I use traveller's cheques? Or should I still use a card? Or...?
#1 HexagonalBolts has been a member since 5/5/2011. Posts: 12
First off you should have access to some type of bank account. If something happens you will need that. A credit card (visa most widely accepted ) of some type. Dbit? Up to you. But DO make your banks aware that you will be overseas. I have dealt with the freezing the card stuff on more than one occasion. Also, bring some TTs. Large denominations because you pay less when exchanging. People complain that there is a fee but if you can fly around the world and you worry about losing 10 bucks over 1000 dollars, think what happens if you get all your money stolen. TT's are replaceable if you follow the proceedures. There are banks everywhere I have been that can help you sort em out. Also bring some straight crisp brand new US bills in small denominations. Cambodians do NOT like old or wrinkled bills. They give you shite ones for change but every now and then thy ***** at you giving them back.
Remember this...(I don't know your country of origin).....uses a major currency if you bring cash to exchange. British pounds/US dollars/Euros. Yen are also good in SE Asia. But I have seen other countries have problems even though they are major to us. Canadian and Australian come to mind except in places they congregate. I am not trying to start a disagreement everyone. I travelled recently with said people and saw the problems when not near a major bank especially. Even though the Canadian dollar was equal or a penny more than the US dollar, on all the exchange websites and banks, on the ground the US dollar still got me more local currency at EVERY exchange place we visited. I got tired of walking from place to place with these guys. Some places wouldn't even change it.
So bring more than one form of payment. Cards/cash AND TTs. I have seen people lose cards...then what? May take a couple of weeks for a replacement.
Like Thomas says, nothing wrong with bringing a sampler platter to the party. I usually bring my debit card (VISA) and my China Unionpay, that gives me two options as Unionpay works in the big cities in Vietnam and Thailand and not many other places but the VISA seems to work in most ATMs.
I've certainly seen people in Laos run into road blocks on ATMs with even major credit cards so good clean bills MUST be brought along. Honestly, my number one friend is cash. I travel with nothing valuable save for my passport and the money I need to eat and get a mosquito net over my head. It is fairly rare that I break out the debit or credit card while I'm on the road. Bring your card and top off your cash belt in major urban areas, it will help you budget and then you won't have to worry about finding a major bank that will deal with anything else. For me - if I've lost my card then I've lost my traveler's cheques and my passport and I'm already in a lot of trouble.