Tips to cope up Demonetization while travelling
Posted on November 29, 2016 by Ghoomophiro
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi shunned the nation with the surprise announcement of the ban of 500 and 1000 rupee notes that hit the Indians like a storm. He announced that effective from 9th November, the entire 500 and 1000 Rupee bills will be demonetized with immediate effect and will be replaced by new currency bills of INR 500 & INR 2000. The bold move didn’t settle well with the average citizen and the country went into an emergency like situation. As expected, it has affected a lot of industries very negatively. Tourism, one of the flourishing industries in the country, providing employment to thousands of people will see a lot of ramifications in the arriving phase.
How will demonetization be affecting the travelers?
As India is bidding adieu to all 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, these currency notes are nothing more than a piece of paper. The biggest problems are being faced by the international tourists who are already in the country. For foreign travelers already in India, exchanging home currency into higher denominations of Indian currency during the entire period will pose a huge challenge and for those who already have the older bills of INR 500 & INR 1000, the exchange will be all the more difficult thanks to huge queues in banks and ATMs.
Most of the hotels, dhabas, lounges and eateries in the country are still not equipped with the card or online transactions. Obtaining cash while standing in the huge queues in banks and ATMs is becoming more and more difficult and perhaps, there are no chances of any improvements until a few weeks either. All this has impacted the stay of foreigners who are currently traveling in India. The basic expenses of food, local travel, and shopping have also become inconvenient for foreign travelers who don’t know what to do with their cash and in case they haven’t paid yet for hotels and sightseeing packages, the woes of demonetization are likely to be higher.
The Indians who are already travelling in India or those who intend to go on a holiday to an Indian destination during 9th November – 30th December 2016 might come up issues while booking if they are looking to buy packages from local agents and pay through cash.
Here are a few ways to cope with the situation.
–Try and go to the places where debits and credit cards are accepted. Although most restaurants and hotels already have online transaction feature, but holds mostly true for the bigger cities. So, it would be better to limit your wanderlust to the metro cities.
-The ATMs in the rural areas are still struggling with massive lines and minimum cash. So in case you fall short on cash, move to the metropolitans where it would be easy to spot an ATM. We just hope that you are lucky enough to successfully withdraw cash within the daily limit before the ATMs run out of cash due to the long persistent queues.
-Despite the demonetization, the government has ordered petrol pumps and railway stations to accept the old currency, so that might be some relief for the travelers.
-Apps like Paytm are also proving to be a great help in dealing with the situation. Most small businesses and shops support online transactions via e-Wallets which are similar to debit/credit card transactions and widely available.
-In offbeat destinations like Kasol, where the availability of ATMs poses a challenge, it is going to be really tough to cope. So we suggest you pay online as much as possible and not to exhaust the cash you hold and carry cash in lower denominations.
The travel sector will no doubt get affected, but if one plays it with the mind, the phase will pass away smoothly. Else, just wait for 50 days as the Prime Minister has asked us to.