The amount of spending money you'll need depends on personal habits, but a good rule of thumb is $50 USD a day. This allows for lunch, snacks, soft drinks, souvenirs, free-time activities and optional excursions not already included in your itinerary, and local transportation during your free time. Make your arrival day smoother by pre-ordering local currency from your bank. Get together with some friends to save on fees.
If you plan on using your bank card to withdraw cash overseas, make sure to contact your bank a few days or weeks before you travel. They can apply a travel approval note on your account that specifies the countries you're visiting and the dates you're traveling. This will help prevent your bank from putting a hold on your account for "suspicious activity."
If a logo for PLUS or CIRRUS is on the back of your credit card or bank card, you can probably use the card for cash at ATMs. These are the major money networks overseas. Call either PLUS (1-800-843-7587) or CIRRUS (1-800-424-7787) for ATM locations around the world.
Please note: ATM cards will not work in Cuba and may not work in Japan. Participants should bring cash and exchange on arrival or bring local currency.
The Euro, the single currency of the European Monetary Union, began circulation on January 1, 2002. The Euro has replaced the national currencies for a host of countries. For a full list, please visit the website of the European Commission
For more information about the Euro, please go to: http://www.xe.com/euro.php
Coins — Foreign countries don't exchange coins, either U.S. or foreign. Generally, only banknotes are convertible. Leftover foreign coins in your pocket are good souvenirs for family and friends.
Changing Back into Dollars — The rate changing back to dollars will not be as favorable as changing into foreign currency, so try to avoid having large amounts of foreign cash left over at the end of your trip.
Your common sense will take you a long way.
Keep your money, passport and other valuables in a hotel safe when available.
Use a money belt or neck pouch for carrying money. Strap purses and cameras diagonally across, not over, your shoulder and preferably under your clothing.
It is a good idea to leave expensive cameras, fancy sound equipment and jewelry at home.
It is customary to tip your full-time ACIS Tour Manager a minimum of $6 per person per day and your Touring Bus Driver $4 per person per day for a job well done. For ACIS America trips within the U.S. or to Canada, the customary tipping amount is $3 per person per day for the tour manager and $3 per person per day for the bus driver. Additional tips for outstanding service are always appreciated, but never required. Since spending money tends to run low at the end of the trip, group leaders will often collect the minimum standard tips before you depart to keep them safe.