Frequent travellers, unite! For you have something in common. Most of you will be familiar with that loose wad of small notes and rubble of loose change nestled in the bottom of your backpack. It’s a motley aggregation of currencies from your travels around the world.
It doesn’t look like much, but it can add up. It’s also worth dealing with errant loose change in the pocket of your jeans so you don’t inadvertently set off airport metal detectors on your next trip abroad.
So what can you do with your leftover foreign currency? Here are some suggestions:
Start a collection jar: Sometimes, foreign currency coins serve as a reminder of adventures abroad. Perhaps buy a big jar, polish up the coins, and deposit them inside to create a memento of all your travels.
Keep it in your passport cover: This doesn’t work for coins, obviously. But if you regularly travel to the country your currency comes from, it might be worth holding on to some notes and tucking them away safely in your passport cover. You can then use them in the airport on the other end, or rely on them to buy your next snack while travelling.
Have a currency conversion day: Dig up all your coins and loose change, and take it to your neighbourhood forex outlet to convert into local currency. At the very least, it’ll buy you a cup of coffee and a doughnut. But after a vacation, we most often are in need of money for all our other expenses, here your leftover currency will come handy.
Create a travel fund: You can save up on the leftover currency for your next trip by simple creating a travel fund. But, left over cash is easily spent. One way to have this money unspent is to exchange the currency and directly transfer it into your bank account. Do so by visiting any of the of the nearest Xpress Money agent location. Click here to find out more.
Here are things best not to do:
Don’t drop it in a charity box: Every little helps, but it’s more courteous to donate in local currency. You wouldn’t want hardworking volunteers distracted by having to get your small change converted.
Don’t hoard it for your next vacation: Chances are you’ll forget to take your currency with you as you rush out the door. And you’ll return with a fresh round of loose change in your pocket, which will only compound the problem.
Even better, don’t get stuck with leftover currency at all. There are some powerful prepaid debit card solutions in the market that allow travellers to preload funds and spend them electronically. The cards also offer multiple currencies, and don’t compromise sensitive details if lost. Wireless mobile payments are also gaining ground. And countries like Sweden are almost entirely cashless, with even street vendors carrying debit card machines. So perhaps try avoiding coins to begin with, and go digital instead.