Thailand & Your Travel Money – what you need to know

Mon, 14/08/2017 - 4:38pm
Read Time: 4.0 mins

Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, and this Southeast Asian nation is certainly friendly to your wallet, making it a perennially popular holiday destinations for Kiwi travellers.

Travel Money NZ are the experts when it comes to foreign exchange and can help you get more bang for your Thai baht. Check out their guide to what to expect on your Thailand holiday from everyday costs to the best exchange rates and market haggling tips.

Know What Costs to Expect

Little things can add up on a holiday. Once you’ve paid for your flights, accommodation and tours, it’s good to know what to budget for day-to-day items such as drinks, eating out and getting around. We recommend starting with the basics – knowing the everyday costs you can expect on your Thailand holiday.

Know How to Haggle At The Markets

Haggle, barter, negotiate, dicker – whatever you’d like to call it… as Kiwis, negotiating a lower price with a shop keeper is not something we do to do in our everyday lives.
But in Thailand, is not only an acceptable practice, it’s expected! Haggling is restricted to markets, street stalls and small shops, though – don’t attempt to negotiate on price at a department store or a shop where signs discourage bartering. Once you’ve got the basics down, have fun with your interactions – it’s a win-win for you and the stallholder!

Here are our top tips for you:

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price.
Know what you are prepared to pay, ask for the price then offer less.
The rule of thumb is to offer 50 per cent of the asking price and work up to your desired price.

2. Aim for a win-win.
Remember, haggling should leave both parties feeling like winners.
If you lose (by paying too much), or the vendor loses (by making a loss instead of a profit), then all of the fun has been taken out of the negotiation.

3. Be polite and friendly.
You’ll go further if you’re polite and friendly; So be clear and decisive about what you want.  Is it really worth bargaining over tiny amounts?

4. Try different tactics.
See if you can negotiate a cheaper price if you buy in bulk, ideal for all those souvenirs!

5. Learn a few local phrases.
Not only will the vendor be surprised, but it also will keep the barter light hearted, you’re trying a new tactic and trying to meet the vendor half way in both price, and language.

Phrases you could learn are:
- I can find it cheaper somewhere else
- My best offer is xxxxx
- That’s too expensive!
- What’s the real price, not the tourist price?

6. Separate your notes.
Keep some smaller baht notes handy for drinks and little items so your larger banknotes are not on show.

Know How To Get The Best THB Rate

The team at Travel Money NZ often asked “when’s the best time to get the best exchange rate?”. Like you, they don’t have a crystal ball but what they can do is ensure you’re getting a good rate by following (and avoiding!) some the below steps.

Things Not To Do:

1. Leave your foreign exchange to the last minute and buy your currency at the airport.
Avoid high commissions and fees and not-so-great exchange rates at the airport by pre-purchasing your Thai baht before you go. You can order online or in store, and even set up a Currency Alert, which allows you to pick a rate you’d prefer and Travel Money NZ will email you once the rate hits that mark.

2. Rely solely on your bank.
Yes, your bank knows money, but there are other options to buy your foreign currency.  Don’t gamble that your bank will have your desired overseas currency on hand – often you’ll have to wait several days for the currency to arrive and may be charged an additional commission fee on top of the base exchange rate.

3. Put all your money on the one bankcard.
When you travel, it’s a good idea to carry your money in different formats so you’re not caught short if your bankcard is lost or stolen. We recommend using a mixture of methods, including cash, a pre-paid travel money card like a Multi-currency Cash Passport, and of course you bank cards for backup protection.

Hopefully this gives you some information to prepare you for your Thailand break.

Travel Money NZ are the FXperts and are always on hand to help you with any of your travel money needs – just visit your nearest store for information on your foreign currency options, international money transfers and more! 

Because you’re a valued Flight Centre customer, we want to give you something extra to leave you with more foreign exchange in your pocket…



Receive VIP rates on your foreign exchange at any Travel Money NZ store by mentioning Uncover Thailand before 31 December 2017. This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you.  We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.