I'm travelling from New Zealand and will be only able to access NZ-based accounts while I'm travelling (so no joy for me with these fee exempt accounts Aussies and Brits seem to be able to get). So my choices are: (a) sucking up the high transaction fees and using my debit card, (b) pain in the butt travellers cheques in USD, (c) one of those Travelex Cash Passports, and/or (d) carrying a lot of USD around.
What do you think? How easy is changing TCs in these countries? Do you get good rates vs cash? I guess TCs are pretty good as they can be replaced if stolen...
Any suggestions/recommendations on what currencies I should bring from NZ or how I should manage my money would be much appreciated.
We have 3.5 weeks in China, 3.5 weeks in Vietnam, 1.5 weeks Cambodia, 2.5 weeks Laos and 3.5 weeks Thailand. We're budgeting NZ$140 per day for the trip between a couple. China is sorted for transport and accommodation (cheapy Tucan tour) and we'll be booking/pre-paying 2.5 weeks accommodation in Thailand. Will some other cover off major expenses seperately (e.g. Halong Bay cruise, all airfares, Gibbon Experience). I think this should be a pretty decent budget if we stick to this - equates to about NZ$1000 per week - and if we have a buffer of about NZ$200 set aside for 'surprises'.
Main concern at the moment is basically around the best and cheapest way for us to work with foreign currencies... :o)
*cross posted in some SE Asia forums*