Just Wanderlust Blog » A discerning, food-loving, & culturally curious road warrior seeks the world's beautiful and bizarre destinations.

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How To Use Up All Of Your Foreign Currency Before You Fly Home

My pet peeve is being stuck with foreign currency that I can’t exchange back to dollars.  The good news is that this hardly ever happens to me now because I make sure I use every last cent, céntimos, or pence prior to departure, and I recommend you do the same thing!  Here are the two unofficial travel rules I follow when doing so:

1) Avoid money exchange counters to change foreign currency back to dollars.  Not only are you screwing yourself on the exchange rate, but exchange bureaus generally don’t allow you to exchange coins. Which leads me to rule #2…

2) Make sure to use up all the foreign currency. You can leave the foreign currency as tips for the hotel, taxi, restaurant, or even donate it at the airport if they have donation bins. While I’m a big proponent of donating to charity, not all airports have the collection bins so it’s a bit of a toss up.

That said, my favorite way to use all the currency is to find a vendor that lets me pay part of the balance in cash and then the remainder with my credit card.  Hotels are super good about this so this is always my preferred route.  If, however, I need some cash until I get to the airport, I’ve also found that airport gift shops or restaurants also let me charge the rest on my credit card.  It’s such an easy way to use all the foreign bills and coins, and my recommendation is for fellow travelers to do the same!

(photo credit: Bekathwia)

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Luxx Mint - September 25, 2012 - 6:39 am

Great tip, I hate coming home with pockets filled with coins!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, I hope you stop by again soon.

I’ll be posting a few travel photos of my own soon as i’m off to Las Vegas and Hawaii this weekend for a few weeks from the UK – I need some sunshine!

Following you on bloglovin’ x

Luxx Mint

Andi - September 26, 2012 - 7:31 am

Thanks for commenting on my blog, it led me to yours! I hate the coins too. When I was living in France and working in Switzerland it was worse as I had two sets of currencies I was working with, I always carried around two different coin purses!

EDGYMIX-TRAVEL FOR FASHION - September 27, 2012 - 3:30 pm

I always tried to use up all my coin by buying souvenir or drink;P..the duty free stop always allow you to pay cash and partly credit card:)

great tips:)

Kali - October 18, 2012 - 6:19 pm

This is such a great idea. Although I don’t travel too often myself, this will be a great idea for friends and family as well. I have foreign currency sitting all over my house from my husband and now when we go out of the country I can stop that from happening! Anything to allow me to spend just a little more money! 🙂

Just Wanderlust - October 18, 2012 - 8:55 pm

Hi Kali – thanks for stopping by! I was traveling for many years before I realized that I should use up the currency by paying for the balance on a credit card. Now I make sure I always do that so I’m happy to share the tip!

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