Changing money

Reading this post some months back we were inspired to write about our experiences trying to obtain local currencies in the countries we traveled to. Now bear in mind that our little red dot has a high density of money changers. They stock currencies from around the world and can even procure some for you if you give them some lead time.

The downside though to obtaining currency notes from these changers, is on some occasions we were given old versions of notes that were no longer valid… not that the changer did that intentionally, but they too were caught unaware…

Or the other consideration that if you get damaged (not even torn) notes, most folks will not accept it for payment or exchange. This is true whether one gets the note from the home country, at airports (where they apparently rip you off) or at bureaus in the country you head to. Which makes e-payment so attractive. Some day, we will all seamlessly have access to payment platforms in the countries we visit without the need for currency notes…

Perhaps exchanges and paper notes will become mostly obsolete?

Tell us. When you travel to a foreign country, how would you like to be able to make payments? Do you prefer good ole fashion paper currency or e-payments?

The rising Yen’s impact on our planned trip

Well, it is time to pack for the Japan trip in February.

Early you say? Not for the missus.

Anyway, one of the “benefits” of traveling Japan in the past few years had been the favourable exchange rate of the Singapore dollar to that of the Yen. However this has changed in the recent months with the turmoil in the stock markets leading to a stampede of capital flows. The Yen is rising against the Sing dollar!

Currency                Screen grab from Yahoo Finance portal. The value on the graph reflects how much Yen that a Singapore dollar can buy. Its dropping!

In just a matter of a week, the change in currency exchange rates has added ~S$185 to the cost of our travel arrangements in Japan. Certainly hope this will not continue!