Money and Finance while travelling
Money and Finance while travelling

You need money to travel. In this first post, I'll mention ways of accessing your money.

There's many horror stories about those being stranded having to beg because they lost their ATM card (or their ATM card does not work).

Also in some countries, ATMs do charge usage fees.

Here are some tips to not allow the following to happen, or to at lease minimize it.

The countries I'll be focusing on are as follows:

  • Philippines (Tried and tested. Cash pickup)
  • Thailand (Tried and tested. Cash pickup as well as domestic bank transfers)
  • Vietnam (Cash pickup but rates might be a bit high so better to use as a backup)
  • China. If you have a wechat pay account, you may use some online services to add credit. Or sell bitcoin for credit.


  • For Thailand, you have either if you have bitcoin OR if you have a US or EUR bank account or have access to USDC which is a tokenized version of the US dollar backed by regulated financial institions.
  • For Phillipines you have
  • For Vietnam you have bitcoinvn if you have bitcoin.
  • For China, you can use a service called to fund your WeChat account via any credit cards or bitcoin.


The best way to acquire bitcoin is by looking up sellers on HODLHODL and then transfering your cash to them. The site is quite safe with a rating and escrow system. You may also try to use BISQ too.

Another way is to find exchanges in your country too, and sign up for them. But opening an account at an exchange will be similar or worst than opening a bank account in terms of documentation and paperwork.


One of my other go-to cards I love using is Revolut. A nifty feature I like is your card can be shipped anywhere in the world, so if you are long term travelling and need a replacement card you can easily acquire one. It is only available to Europe / UK / Australia / Singapore / Canadian citizens and residents though.

Another method is to try with a local bank account. For Europe, a nice card to use is N26. All you need is a Europe phone number (which you can change later to anything), a passport, and an address in Europe to ship to (your Airbnb will work). N26 gives you a full featured IBAN account and support is quite helpful too.

For South East Asia, Bangkok Bank and Kasikorn bank is quite friendly for foreigners (even tourists to open). If you want the best chances, go to the Head office in Bangkok to do so. The requirements to open an account is clearly listed on their website. Or if you have a friend who works at the bank, the requirements doesn’t even matter.

For Thailand and Myanmar in general, you can actually make use of everex which allows for cash pickups or deliveries. This assumes you have a US or EUR bank account though.


For the best chances, I recommend that every traveller has a small stash of bitcoin to use in an emergency which is less tempting than having a small stash of cash (you should have both!).

It can save your ass when you’re stuck with no working ATM card or cash and you don’t have to resort to begpacking.

Original post by myself is also available here