You have bought airline tickets, booked your hotel and got your visa done— all good! You also browsed the Internet and looked up sightseeing suggestions. However, do you know what currency to carry on your trip? For example, if you are going to Thailand, their currency is Baht (THB). Should you convert all your travel money to Baht or should you convert it to US Dollars (USD)?. I have got calls from my clients after they have reached their destination that they are short of money.
This post will be very useful if you are going to Thailand. Other general information will help you on your travel to other countries as well.
Now if you are traveling to Thailand on a holiday, you should know that you cannot carry more than Rs.10,000/- (INR) outside India. You can, however, exchange your money for US Dollars. The upper limit to carry USD is USD19,999. You can carry more USD in cash, but you need to have the right documents that explain why you have that much money. You also have to declare to customs that you are carrying that much money. The upper limit to carry Baht is 50,000 or THB 100,000 per family
For those who are getting a visa on arrival, you can only pay the fee in Baht. The usual fee is THB2000 per person. My recommendation is that you carry the visa fee from your home country and some THB2000-3000 extra. This extra money is needed if you have booked your own travel. You will be landing in Thailand early in the morning or late at night. You will require that money for the taxi, early-morning snack, water etc. The rest of the money can be converted into USD. It is easy to carry, plus it is accepted all over the world.
The USD can be exchanged anywhere in Thailand at the exchange booths. Never exchange your money at the airport. They give you the worst exchange rates. Avoid converting all your dollars at one go. A USD 100 will give you around THB3500. That should be enough for a day. If you are traveling with family, exchange accordingly.
If you want to use debit cards in Thailand, make sure you have them activated to be used internationally. You can use your debit card at any of the ATMs. The bank, will, however charge you THB 200 per transaction. Your bank also charges you for international usage. Please do note that if you withdraw THB 10,000, the receipt will show THB 10,200. The ATM does not show it as a charge, but as a part of the withdrawal.
Sometimes ATMs reject your debit card; try using it at other bank’s ATMs.
Credit cards are good at airport shopping, malls, high-end hotels and restaurants. But the rest of Thailand only believes in cash. Some restaurants might even charge you additional surcharge of 5% on your credit card.
You have either bought a package or you booked it yourself. Now, the package will cover hotel, airfare, transport, local sightseeing and breakfast. Remember, you have to pay for lunch, dinner and lots of snacking. You will be buying a lot of water, too. Your sightseeing tour just has a pick-and-drop facility and maybe even an entry ticket. Now, if you are going to a temple or some sightseeing spot, you have to pay for camera, food etc.
If you have gone to a place like coral island, you have to pay for the activities there. A parasailing costs approx. INR 2000 per person, and an underwater scooter experience will also cost about that much. So that would be an additional cost of INR 8000 for two people. If you have gone with your family, this will become a major cost, which you haven’t put in the budget when you started your travel. Multiply the cost with sightseeing and adventure sports that you will be doing each day.
If you have booked the package yourself, a major chunk of your budget will be spent on local transportation. The rest of the expenditure will be more or less as mentioned above
Eight Major Currencies Accepted Worldwide