If you are planning to travel to Vanuatu, remember to have some cash with you when you arrive, so you can exchange it for some Vanuautu currency (Vatu) at the airport. The exchange rate can vary between the two agents, so do a quick check if you like, though they are pretty close. I think there was about 3 vt/ AUD difference. Do not exchange too much here, just enough to get you through a day or two. The best place is in Port Vila at Goodies. They reputably have the best exchange rates on a consistent basis. Again there is not much difference, but that depends on how much you are exchanging I suppose.
We have also found that ANZ and WESTPAC are the best represented banks here. Using these two banks you can withdraw cash with no extra fees.
Also, when using a credit card there are fees to exchange currencies too. To alleviate this we got a 28 Degrees Credit card, which offers no fees on international transactions.
Local transport on one of the many buses costs 150vt per adult and 100vt for kids. This can vary slightly from bus to bus. A bus ride for this price will take you most places around Port Vila. If you want to travel further it will be more of course.
Taxis are more expensive. Just ask the rate to your destination before agreeing to go with them. It depends on how many are travelling and how many stops you want to make as to whether this is the best option for you. The taxi we went with yesterday was willing to wait for us to have a look in a shop without charging any extra, while a bus has other passengers to service so will drop and run. So for the next bus it will cost you the same again.
Money for the Markets
We went to the markets in Port Vila yesterday. I love them. Fresh fruit and vegetables grown and sold by the locals. There is lots to choose from, so take a moment to have a look around.
You have to remember that the people here are generally quite poor, and work hard for their income. The local people who have market stalls live here 5 and a half days a week! The market operates 24 hours a day because of this. The market closes Saturday at noon, and reopens first thing Monday morning.
What we experienced yesterday is worth knowing. The stall holders have only a little change with them. So handing over 1000vt ($10) for a 100vt or 200vt item can create a problem. There is the option of buying more items from the same vendor. But if you want to spread the money around a little like i do, make sure you have some smaller denominations handy. 100vt coins, 200vt or 500vt notes are the best in my experience.