I read that when traveling abroad, you should shop around when you’re trying to exchange your currency for the local one. I had no idea how important that tip was until it almost ruined our multi-country trip.
When we traveled to Vietnam and Thailand last March 2019, we made sure to prepare a good amount of cash for the trip. We made sure we have more than enough for food and transportation, tourist attractions, and souvenirs. The hotels and guided tours were all paid in advance. On the last third of our trip, however, we were quite surprised when we realized that we somehow spent most of our travel fund and we needed to cut back on all expenses.
It was really odd as we weren’t splurging at all. We didn’t do a lot of shopping and the cost of meals and transportation in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok were very similar to Manila. We budgeted for it all, so what happened?
- Did our cash get stolen? No. We were extra careful and we always checked.
- Was it the food? No. The meals we had weren’t that expensive.
- Was it the tourist attractions? No. We actually budgeted for all of those.
- Was it the taxis? No. They cost the same and we didn’t use them that often.
- Was it the souvenirs? No. We didn’t do a lot of shopping.