Travel money and currency
Whilst on tour you will need to take enough money to cover the cost of any meals not included in the holiday and for drinks, tipping and other incidentals including shopping and optional activities.
We recommend you to take Sterling or US dollars as well as Chinese Yuan (China), Vietnamese Dong (Vientam), Cambodian Riel (Cambodia) or Thai Baht (Thailand). We also advise you to take Indian Rupee (India) and a credit/debit card. (Tipping must be in US dollars).
Many countries have ATM machines, particularly in major cities, and this can be an ideal way to access cash abroad, although bank charges are sometimes quite high. In addition, credit cards are now very widely accepted, particularly in larger cities.
Be prepared with enough cash in hand for the first few days. Once you have started your tour, you will quickly get a sense of how often or how much you need to exchange money. Try not to leave this to the last minute: exchange desks can close, ATMs can run out of cash, and your group could be scheduled to leave your hotel at 7am tomorrow morning!
Keep some of your exchange receipts: You can convert any unused notes into USD at the international airport exchange desks when you depart. You will need to present your passport, airline ticket and some receipts of the money exchanged/withdrawn in
Outside of major towns banking becomes less reliable and requires you to plan ahead. If you are travelling to remote areas on one of our experiential tours, you should take cash in USD as Pound Sterling currency is not always recognised.
Taking one credit/debit card is recommended in case of emergency and may be used for large purchases in most of your hotels, department stores, and souvenir stores. The most widely accepted credit cards include Visa, MasterCard and American Express. However, please do not rely on a credit/ debit card as your only source of spending money and keep a photocopy of your card(s).
ATMs can be a good source of travel money, especially in major cities, but we strongly recommend that you do not rely on this method – although there appear to be many ATMs, they often run out of cash, have different minimum withdrawal amounts, may not be in English and reject foreign cards. If you do need to use an ATM. Try to withdraw as few times as possible because overseas withdrawal fees can be very high. Check with your bank before departing the UK.