Wednesday, November 16, 2005

On Money, Valuables, Shopping & Tipping

Money and Valuables

Leave expensive jewelry and sunglasses (even look-alikes) at home.

It is up to you to decide how much money to bring on the trip. Bring cash to Kenya. US $50’s and $100’s get a better exchange rate than smaller denominations. All bills need to be NEW and CRISP. Also bring some US $1’s and $5’s for tips and purchases in flight and during the layover in England. You will have several opportunities to exchange your US dollars for Kenyan shillings beginning at the airport in Nairobi.

Do not bring travelers check; they are too hard to change.

Do not carry checks as they take too long to be credited to an account plus banks charge a 10%-13% handling fee.

There will be a few stores that take credit cards. However, some stores charge extra to pay with a credit card; so ask first.

Make copies of your credit cards (both sides) and instructions for cancellations in case of theft. The same applies to your driver’s license if you choose to bring it.

Carry as small a bag or purse as possible. Wear your fanny pack or backpack on the front of your person. Put your billfold in a front pocket. Avoid purses with long shoulder straps. Carry important documents and/or money in a money belt or bag worn under clothing.

The Team Leader will take a large amount of currency to pay for food, lodging, etc. Envelops will be prepared for each place that we will need to pay and will contain the correct amount of dollars. Different team members will be given the envelops so that the money is well distributed. You will be asked to convert those US dollars into Kenyan Shillings (KS) and carry this money on you until it is time to pay bills.

Shopping and Tipping

You will have opportunities to purchase items during the mission but especially during the final three days in Kenya.

The Lodge where we will safari and some stores in Nairobi will accept credit cards.

Carry small denomination bills and be prepared to bargain.

It is not necessary to tip at meals as this is included in the cost of our meals.

The Team Leader will take care of tipping our drivers, the hotel staff and staff at the Lodge.

If you request assistance carrying your luggage to your room, the rule for tipping is $1 US per two bags.

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