We are all aware there are numerous islands around the world, but some of these are far more familiar than others. You may never have heard about the Marshall Islands but this article aims to change all that. You’re about to find out which currency the islanders use too – and it’s the US dollar.
This currency has plenty of coins and notes in use, although some are a lot more popular than others. For example of the half a dozen coins that are in circulation, the 50 cent coin and the dollar coin are actually not used that often at all. Instead, the one cent, five cent, 10 cent and 25 cent coins are in use. The 25 cent coin is commonly referred to as a quarter.
There are seven banknotes in circulation although one of these – the two dollar note – is rarely seen, even though it is legal tender. The other notes are the $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes.
It is thought the islands were first discovered – at least in part – in the 1500s. They have had an interesting history but for the purposes of this article, and of finding out how long they have used the US dollar, we merely need to know the Americans conquered the Marshall Islands in the Second World War. Nowadays the islands are in a free association with America. This basically means they use the US dollar and are partly-funded by the US as well. The islands have been self-governed since 1979. As such you could say this is a mutually-beneficial association.
This is very easy, as you may well imagine! For starters the US dollar is the most often used currency in the world, and is the leading reserve currency too. It is also used by many other countries and islands as well as in the US itself.
As such you won’t have any trouble getting hold of the currency if you should ever choose to go to the Marshall Islands. You can go to any good bureau de change and get the currency from there. This is easy to do prior to going to the islands. You just have to find out which bureau de change is going to offer you the best deal. Don’t automatically assume one with no fee is going to be better for you. The exchange rate can vary between outlets so this is wise to check before going to any particular one.
For the most part you can pay for goods and services using either cash or card payments. Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted and are most likely to be accepted in places that see a lot of tourists. However if you go off the beaten track this may not always be the case, so it is a good idea to have cash on you at all times.
You can take traveller’s cheques into the Marshall Islands with you too if you wish. These are quite widely accepted in various places. You should definitely get them denominated in US dollars as well, since these will be the easiest to exchange, for obvious reasons.
You can always get more cash out at a bank in the Marshall Islands. Be aware that banking hours are likely to be shorter there than you are used to. As such it is wise to figure out where the closest banks are when you get to wherever you are staying.
You shouldn’t need too much direction on this one! There are numerous currency converters online, many of which give an up-to-date exchange rate almost to the minute. Whatever currency you use, you can find that on the converter and then look for the US dollar to convert it into. Just use either a single unit each time or type in the amount of money you want to take with you, to see how many US dollars you’d get in exchange.
Of course the rate you get will likely be the Interbank rate. This means you may end up getting a slightly different rate when you go to a bureau de change. Not only will the rate probably change slightly anyway, you’ll also have fees to bear in mind. It gives you an idea of what to expect though, which is the main thing.
Generally speaking the Marshall Islands are a very safe place to visit. Petty crime is probably the main thing to be aware of when visiting, although this too is very unlikely to happen to any particular individual. As you might guess, those that do partake in this kind of activity are most likely to pick the obvious and easiest targets. Therefore if you do everything you can to avoid becoming a target you will hopefully have nothing to worry about.
Basically all you need to do is to ensure you don’t carry more cash with you than you really need to. In addition you should think about how visible your possessions are. If you have a bag with you, never leave it unattended. If you stay in a hotel or somewhere similar, try and book into one that has a room safe that is bolted securely to the floor. This will ensure your passport and other papers, and excess cash, can be stored securely while you are out and about exploring.
If you want further up-to-date information on the situation in the Marshall Islands, the best bet is to go to the UK government website. They have a special page for travel advice concerning a visit to the islands. This is at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/marshall-islands/safety-and-security.
The Marshall Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean. They are actually very close to the International Date Line, although they are situated just a short distance to the west. There are more than 1,100 islands that make up the Marshall Islands, so you have an impressive choice of places to visit! Not all of these islands are inhabited though, and many are very small.
The capital of the Marshall Islands is Majuro. This, in common with many other islands that comprise the Marshall Islands, is a coral atoll. An atoll is basically shaped like a ring and it has a lagoon in the middle, so as you can imagine it is a very beautiful place in many instances. The island itself is made from coral and therefore forms a coral reef. According to official information the island of Majuro is just 3.7 square miles in size. This relates to the actual land mass. In contrast the lagoon it encloses has a mass of 114 square miles. This will give you an idea of the size of it and of how little land there is compared to the lagoon.
Despite the size, Majuro does manage to pack a lot into its space. For example there are many hotels to stay in here, and the international airport receives many tourists who want to see the island. Many people who want to visit the Marshall Islands come to Majuro because it has numerous attractions to see. One of these is the Alele Museum. This takes you on a fascinating trip through history to discover more about the islanders and the islands they live on.
The Laura Beach Park has to be one of the most popular attractions on the island, purely because it provides you with an impressive place to sunbathe. You can also see a memorial nearby, the Peace Park Memorial, which remembers those who died in the Second World War.
As you can probably imagine, water sports such as snorkelling and diving are exceptionally popular here. If you are a keen diver you will enjoy being able to go beneath the waves to discover life around the coral reef. Even snorkelling brings you the opportunity to explore the depths, which means you can really make the most of seeing the aquatic life here.
Even if you stay on Majuro and you never see any of the other Marshall Islands, you can still have a sensational holiday you will never forget. With a delightful opportunity to make sure you can enjoy staying on a coral reef, this holiday could open your eyes to a completely different way of life.
While there are sights to enjoy on Majuro, perhaps the biggest reason why some people come here is simply to sit back, relax and take life at a different pace. You can make sure you explore the territory, take a walk whenever you wish and dip into the sea too. What more could you ask for than the bliss provided in many parts of the Marshall Islands?