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changing money?

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We're traveling to Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Singapore and will need to change money in all countries.

My research indicates that generally speaking, using my US ATM card to withdraw money is probably the best way, although my bank charges a 3% FEE (same as most credit card companies) as well as having to pay the ATM fee to whatever bank I withdraw money from.

My question is, is there really no cheaper way? Cash is not a better alternative?

I'm told not to bother with traveler's checks - correct?

I've changed money in other countries, but SE Asia is new to me. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences.

Stephanie

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