Traveling to different countries is an amazing thing. It opens up your mind to new possibilities, it leaves lasting memories and it could also change your life. Upon returning home you always return with two things. A new appreciation for that country and loose change that cannot be used in the U.S. Most currency exchanges don’t exchange coins and neither will your bank. If you have loose foreign coins, here is how to put them to good use.
1. Change for Good Programs. Airports and airlines collect money in one form or the other which raises money for humanitarian efforts worldwide. A majority of the airlines raise money through coins to donate to UNICEF. Some airports have large jars in the airport or the airlines leave little envelopes on your seat or make announcements to pick up. It’s a great cause and use of coins that would more or less be sitting in a draw for some time once you return home.
2. Add to your hotel bill. Once you’ve squared away all your expenses while in a foreign country, the leftover funds can be added to your hotel bill and the balance can be paid via credit card. This is an easy way to alleviate your pockets of the load once returning home and also reduces your credit card bill.
3. Starbucks Gift cards. Leftover money can be added to a Starbucks gift card in one currency and can be transferred to another when you get back home. Most importantly, there are no fees associated with the currency swap on these gift cards. If you visit Starbucks daily, this is a no-brainer. If you don’t, you can always give the gift card to someone who does.
4. Keep them. You will either have an extra souvenir to remind you of your trip or you’ll have currency if you ever choose to return. Countries in Europe are very favorable for this as most of the European Union uses the Euro. I recently visited Europe and had enough change to get me from the airport to the city and buy breakfast.