Spending Money and Currency

Find out how much spending money you should bring, what form you should carry it in, and learn about currency and conversions.

Spending Money

Explorica recommends that each participant budget $30 to $50 in spending money each day for souvenirs and any transportation and meals that are not included in the tour fee.

Participants will also need to budget an additional amount for tipping Tour Directors, bus drivers, and cruise ship staff.  Visit the Tipping on Tour page for more information.

Recommended Methods

PERSONAL DEBIT AND PREPAID DEBIT, ATM, & GIFT CARDS

Personal Debit Cards and Prepaid Debit, ATM, & Gift Cards are safe and convenient ways to access money while abroad. Using these cards will allow you to make purchases and/ or withdraw local money at a fair rate and with a minimal charge compared to the high fees often charged by money changers. Nonetheless, please note the differences between these cards before selecting which type you would like to take on tour.

Personal Debit Cards: These cards are linked to your personal bank account. They may be used to make purchases from merchants or to withdraw cash from ATM machines. It is important that you contact your bank before you leave to make sure that your debit card and PIN number will work abroad, and also to let your bank know that you are traveling to avoid security flags and frozen accounts.

Prepaid Debit Cards: The available balance on these cards is dependent on what was prepaid prior to use. They may be used to make purchases from merchants or to withdraw cash from card-affiliated ATM machines.

Prepaid ATM Cards: The available balance on these cards is dependent on what was prepaid prior to use. They may only be used to withdraw cash from a affiliated ATM machines. They may not be used to make purchases or obtain cash back from merchants.

Prepaid Gift Cards: The available balance on these cards is dependent on what was prepaid prior to use. They may only be used to make purchases from merchants. They may not be used to withdraw cash from an ATM machine or obtain cash back from a merchant.

Please note that some cards are for domestic use only. Make sure your card does not say, "Valid only in the United States" before taking it on tour.

Read more about Prepaid Debit, ATM, and Gift Cards

Specifically for Greek Cruises:
Please note that you can only use cash or a credit card to add money to or pay the balance of your personal cruise account card.  When using a credit card, purser regulations require that the cardholder name match the passport name of the traveler.  If cash is your preferred method of payment, be sure to withdraw the necessary amount before boarding the ship as there are no ATMs on board. Debit Cards and Gift Cards will not be accepted.

Credit Cards

Credit cards can also be used abroad but it is important to note that some foreign countries require that credit cards have a PIN number (not required in the US).  Speak to your credit provider about the possibility of needing a PIN number, to make sure your credit card will be accepted abroad, and also to inform them of your travel plans to avoid security flags and frozen accounts.

Cash

Explorica recommends that you limit the amount of cash that you carry and instead carry your ATM card or prepaid cash card.  Before you leave, exchange enough money to get you through your first day abroad, and after that just withdraw money from the ATM as you need it.  This will also help you avoid exchange rate fees if you travel to countries that use different currencies.

Traveler’s checks

Traveler’s checks are not recommended as many international vendors no longer accept Traveler’s Check redemptions.

Currency

Because most European countries have joined the European Union and have converted to the Euro, participants of many of our European tours will not have to worry about currency conversions.  However, if you would like to find out more information on current exchange rates, visit the XE currency converter site.

International Currency