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Exchanging Money

melbourne
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23 posts
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Exchanging Money

Hi all,

We're heading to Vanuatu on Monday - we fly into Vila and only have around 50 mins before connecting flight to Santo. The Santo flight doesn't arrive until 5.25pm. Where would be the best place to exchange money - we've heard of Goodies and the 7/11 store but we won't have enough time to get out there and make the connecting flight. Would you recommend exhanging a small amount in Melb or Sydney and then travel back to Luganville the day after we arrive and heading to the ANZ bank????? What are our other options if any??? We're staying at Oyster Island if that makes any difference..

Many thanks,

Joinmelb

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vanuatu, Port Vila, Espiritu Santo
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3,879 posts
25 reviews
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1. Re: Exchanging Money

Hello Jo,

If your flight in to Vila is on time and you do have 50mins up your sleeve then you will have enough time to duck into Vila and exchange your money at Goodies, however, because the cost of the trip into town and back would eat into the value of that process I would suggest that you exchange your money in Luganville. Whoever your driver is from Pekoa airport, ask them to take you to your accommodation via Luganville. It is only a few minutes detour from the airport and you can exchange at a bank if it is open, if not then at either the chinese supermarket or the petrol station. Your driver will know which one to take you to.

You may find that your driver will offer to act as "guide" and in this case may negotiate a price for your exchange. If there are other passengers on the bus he may negotiate a good price for several people at once. The niVan practice is that with any group negotiation one person does the transaction with the vendor and then hands the funds or goods out to the group members. Otherwise you may individually deal with the money exchanger. If you go to the bank of course you will do this individually with the teller. The group negotiation process would only be with a trader in the chinese supermarket or petrol station.

Be wary of the ATMs. It is better to deal with a person if you can.

Oyster is a fair way from Luganville and it would be better to do your money exchange on the way. Drivers are very accommodating and friendly so have no fear in making this request. Outside of Luganville you will find it virtually impossible to use any other form of exchange other than vatu so get your cash straight up. You can make another trip into town later in your stay if you want to exchange more money. These trips are pricey so bear that in mind.

Hope this helps,

Jen

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vanuatu, Port Vila, Espiritu Santo
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25 reviews
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2. Re: Exchanging Money

ps,

Another thing is that you are likely going to be paying your driver in person so he will be most obliging to assist you to exchange your funds into vatu in order to pay him.

Congratulations on an excellent choice in Oyster Island for your stay. A top spot. Say hello to Grant for us :)

Newcastle, Australia
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2,502 posts
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3. Re: Exchanging Money

Of course you could also exchange money at the National Bank in arrivals at Vila airport while you are waiting for your bags etc.

Did you book flights through to Santo on the 1 ticket? 50 minutes will make it very tight if you need to collect bags and re-check them in the domestic terminal. In reality you will only have 30 minutes to clear immigration, collect your bags, clear customs and get to domestic terminal for check-in as this closes 20 minutes before a flight.

melbourne
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23 posts
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4. Re: Exchanging Money

Thanks for the responses! Hindo we did book through a travel agent and it is an "approved flight plan" according to air vanuatu - originally the flight was later but after we booked the flight to santo was brought forward - we know it is going to be tight hence why we were looking for advice on exchanging money so we didn't have to muck around when we get there! Jen - thanks so much - will def say hi to Grant for you - can't wait till we get there! Our transfers were all included so won't need cash for that but we think we'll def exchange at the supermarket or petrol station! Will do a review of everything when we get home in 2 weeks!!

5. Re: Exchanging Money

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