What to do with leftover foreign currency?

Don’t know what to do with your leftover dinar?

You can exchange your leftover cash at the airport (at a terrible rate) but do you really want the financial transaction in your holiday destination to be a wallet-rinsing rip-off?

Follow these tips to get the biggest bang for your foreign bucks.

Did you tip housekeeping?

It’s polite to leave a little something for the people who made your home away from very homey during your stay. Tip: stack your dalasis and bututs neatly to show your appreciation.

See if your hotel will accept it as partial payment for your bill

Before you check out, ask the front desk clerk if you can use your leftover currency to pay for part of your hotel bill. Tip: make sure you approach them when they aren’t busy- it’s not nice to make Nepalese clerks count all those paisa and rupees when there’s a queue!

Buy a round for the house

Go to a place you enjoyed and buy a round of drinks. Tip: don’t forget to leave a few levs and stotinki for the best bartender in Bulgaria.

Exchange them at a supermarket, use the voucher for last-day snacks

Dump your change into a coin converter for a voucher. You’ll pay a small percentage for the convenience, but it’s fun to see how close you can get to spending every single shekel and agorot in an Israeli grocery store. Tip: don’t try this in the US, where prices don’t include tax.

Load up your Starbucks card

The Republic of Ireland, Mexico, Australia, Canada, the USA, and the UK have the Starbucks card program. Convert your leftover pesos to pounds on your loyalty card.

Tip street musicians and performers

Toss your extra tugriks to your favourite buskers.

Museums, churches, that hobo with the funny sign. Tip: Forgot? Most airports have collection boxes for a variety of worthy causes.

Hit the duty-free

Put those extra zloty to work by buying souvenirs, snacks, and Polish vodka.

Use the cash as souvenirs

A neat thing about foreign currency is that it looks so weird! A Zambian kwacha or a few ngwees is an inexpensive souvenir waaay cooler than a tacky plastic fridge magnet.

Buy crypto at a cryptocurrency ATM

This can be an amusing diversion at the airport for those who want to dip a toe into the Ethereum. Tip: never buy crypto with anything other than cash at a foreign ATM in a foreign country.

Keep it as motivation to return to your holiday destination

Next time you go, you’ll have a little walking-around money to get you started.

How to avoid sneaky expenses and ATM fees whilst abroad

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battleface editor Sasha Gayer
battleface magazine editor Sasha is a writer and amateur palaeontologist from New Orleans. When not writing or digging dinosaurs, she teaches English.