Booking your holiday to the incredible paradise of Vanuatu is the easy part and in preparation for your time away, it’s also the most exciting part. But there are still some finer details which you need to consider if you’re going to enjoy your time in Vanuatu to the fullest. Money, mobile phones, Internet usage, passports – these are all things which you should be across before your flight.
So, to help you get the most out of your Vanuatu holiday, we’ve put together some handy things to know before you set off.
The local currency used in Vanuatu is the vatu (VTU), which comes in denominations of coins and notes. You should have in mind that you need to exchange your currency once you get over there because even though some of the restaurants and businesses in Port Vila may accept Australian dollars, the vatu is more widely accepted and it’ll make things much easier if you’re just using one currency. The main banks you’ll find in Vanuatu are Westpac (which has a branch at the international airport), ANZ and the Bank of Hawaii.
ATMs and money exchange
If you’re bringing cash with you to exchange into the local currency, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a money changer at the airport arrivals, so you can have your money exchanged for vatu while waiting to collect your luggage. You’ll also find that in Port Vila, the store called ‘Goodies’ provides an exchange service, just in case you forgot to get it done at the airport.
When it comes to withdrawing money in Vanuatu, there are several ANZ ATM machines in Port Vila and Luganville on Espiritu Santo – so if you’re in those areas you should be ok to take out money as you need it.
Generally, it’s handy to carry at least 500 to 2,000 vatu with you around town (don’t worry – that’s only around AU$5-25!), as some cafes and tours don’t have EFTPOS or credit card facilities. Market stalls only take cash as well, so you’ll want to keep some on you just in case you spot that perfect souvenir.
When visiting more remote areas, it’s important to plan ahead and take a good supply of vatu with you, as credit cards and other currencies aren’t accepted outside of Port Vila and Luganville. For rural areas, it’s best to take coins and smaller-denomination notes.