Cambodia Study Tour Next Steps and Travel Checklist

Welcome to the AJWS Study Tour to Cambodia! Now that your space is reserved, it’s time to start planning your trip. Please follow the checklist below and contact Stefanie Rubin (212.792.2938; srubin@ajws.org) or Neely Grobani (212.792.2800; ngrobani@ajws.org) with any questions.

  1. Complete and submit your participant paperwork. All forms are due 60 days prior to the trip (12/2/15).

    Participant Information Form
    Physician Form
    Agreement and Waiver of Liability

  2. Purchase trip cancellation insurance. We highly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance to protect you from unexpected changes to your availability. In order to qualify you must purchase cancellation insurance within two weeks of submitting your deposit to AJWS. One option is to contact Terry Seligman at the following number:

    Terry Tours Travel Insurance (TTTI)
    415.388.8391 or 877.800.0330
    www.terrytours.com

  3. Contact Absolute Travel, our partner tour operator, for all your logistical needs. Absolute Travel is available to help you with all Study Tour logistics, including visa and passport questions, booking flights, paying for additional nights at the hotel, trip extensions, and any additional services you may need. Please be in touch with Leslie Overton (212.627.1950 or loverton@absolutetravel.com) and mention that you are traveling on an AJWS Study Tour.

    • Passport and travel visa: Check your passport to be sure it is valid for at least 6 months from the date you depart. Participants traveling with a U.S. passport can obtain a visa upon arrival in Cambodia for a $20 processing fee.
    • Booking your flight: It’s never too early to start looking into flights, especially if you plan to use air miles. You should book a ticket into Phnom Penh arriving by the afternoon of Sunday, January 31st and departing from Siem Riep on the afternoon of Sunday, February 7th. If you are traveling on the optional extension, you will need to book a departing flight from Bangkok either late evening on February 10th or on February 11th. (Transportation of participants to Bangkok is included as part of the Laos extension). *If you are booking your flights on your own we ask that you have Absolute Travel review your itinerary prior to booking to confirm your arrival and departure times. Once you have finalized your travel plans, please remember to share your itinerary with Absolute Travel.
    • Additional nights at the hotel: If you will arriving before January 31st or departing after February 7th please be in touch with Absolute Travel to reserve and pay for your additional nights at the hotel.
    • Optional Trip Extension: There will be an optional tourism extension to Laos from February 7th to February 10th, 2016. If you would like to participate in this extension, or plan your own, Absolute Travel can help you with all your booking needs.
  4. See your doctor for medical approval and travel vaccinations. You will need your doctor’s approval to travel with AJWS. If you have not traveled to a developing country within the last two to three years, you may need vaccinations and medications. We recommend seeing a doctor specializing in travel medicine. For more information on recommended vaccinations, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (The CDC) webpage here to learn about staying healthy in Cambodia.
  5. Staying safe while abroad: We do everything we can to ensure your trip abroad with us is a safe and pleasant one, including conducting scouting trips to countries we have not traveled to before and consulting with private travel safety and security experts. However, travel to the developing world always will have a certain degree of risk not found in travel to Western countries. We strongly recommend reviewing the US State Department, CIA, and Center for Disease Control’s recommendations for travelers prior to your departure.

    US State Department:
    www.state.gov/p/eap/ci/cb/index.htm
    CIA factsheet:
    www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cb.html
    Center for Disease Control (CDC):
    wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/cambodia?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001

  6. Familiarize yourself with the country and culture. To get the most of out of your journey, you may want to research the country and culture prior to your arrival. You will receive a handbook in the mail with more detailed background information on Cambodia and the grantees we are scheduled to visit with. In the meantime, now is a great time to begin familiarizing yourself with Cambodia’s unique history and recent transformation. You can find a list of recommended resources here.
  7. Make photocopies of your important documents and leave them with someone you trust. It’s always better to be safe than sorry which is why we recommend making two photocopies of your visa and passport and leaving them with a friend or family member while traveling.
  8. Exchange rate and making purchases abroad. At the time this document was written the exchange rate was 1.00 USD=4,020.75 KHR. For the most up to date exchange rate information please refer to www.xe.com.

    Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Cambodia and the major cities have ATMs. While many hotels and restaurants will accept credit cards, smaller shops will prefer to deal in cash. The best form of currency to use is cash in USD which is accepted everywhere or, you can exchange a small amount of cash at the airport or hotel upon your arrival. We recommend keeping the majority of your money locked up safely in the hotel, bringing only what you need with you for the day.

    Remember, your accommodations, meals and ground transportation will all be taken care of so the only items you should need cash for are souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, and gratuities for the guides and drivers (about $10 – $15 per day for the guides and about half that for the drivers). We also strongly recommend leaving copies of your credit cards and their emergency contact numbers at home in case any of your cards are lost while abroad.

  9. Don’t forget your toothbrush! Click here to download our recommended packing list for Cambodia.