How do you handle and store your foreign currency between trips?

54 replies

Ourmanin

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 08 Jun 2018

Total posts 144

In 2013/14 the UK had major problems with the 50 pound note (forgeries) and changed them 3 times.. I had a few problems cashing them, so now only keep the smaller denominations. "Left overs" I keep in envelopes, larger coins eg 1 & 2 pound, 50cE and above I tend to keep in bank coin bags and the smaller ones go into the change for good envelope on the plane coming home. I do tend to accumulate quite a few each trip.

Racala, as a Brit myself, I would avoid the £50 note at all costs. Many places, including major businesses, will flatly refuse to take them for fear of forgeries. My in-laws recently came on a trip to London with us and the first thing they had to do was go to a Bank and change them for something smaller. I don't know why we have that attitude in the UK, but for whatever reason they are seen as "dodgy".


And on the subject of UK currency, if you really want to see a great reaction, find a Scotsman trying to use a Scottish bank note in London, only to be told, "We don't take foreign money". Priceless!

BJ01

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 07 Dec 2015

Total posts 56

When travelling I minimise the use of currency whenever possible (i've never even held NZ or SG currency despite frequent trips) I just use a good travel card.

That's rather brave! I can't imagine setting foot in any country without some coin of the realm, especially in Asia – food stalls, markets, little hole-in-the-wall places, there are so many places where it's all about cash.

I agree and I'd also include the US - I couldn't go totally cashless there with the tipping requirements!

CP

SilkAir - KrisFlyer

Member since 28 Mar 2017

Total posts 9

My preference is to use cash when possible and thus I keep various currencies in a Smythson currency wallet - one for European currencies and another for the rest of the world. Travel cards and various loyalty cards are kept with the appropriate currency and coins are stored in the plastic coin bags issued by Australian banks.

MR1961

Member since 17 Feb 2016

Total posts 9

My preference is to use cash when possible and thus I keep various currencies in a Smythson currency wallet - one for European currencies and another for the rest of the world. Travel cards and various loyalty cards are kept with the appropriate currency and coins are stored in the plastic coin bags issued by Australian banks.

Love those Smythson currency wallets. Nice one.

Himeno

Member since 12 Dec 2012

Total posts 291

I normally exchange notes for the next currency when I arrive somewhere, though I've been keeping USD or JPY when returning to AU for the next trip (US and Japan are my most common trips).

I keep coins, each currency in its own small ziplock and all the small ziplocks together in a larger ziplock bag. Each is labeled and I have a couple of spares. I just swap over coins when I exchange the notes. eg, arrive in HND, trade AUD notes for JPY and swap out AUD coins into AUD ziplock bag and empty JPY ziplock into wallet.

346

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 May 2017

Total posts 55

When on a leisure trip, I actually prefer to use cash. I think it adds to the experience.

Looking and using currency you've never used before.
As for storing after the trip, i usually, as others say, donate, pay larger tips or buy random consumables. I like to keep some left over as I have a nice collection of foreign currency, generally the lowest denomination of note, so then in 50 years I can say, remember when Indonesia used to have a 1,000 IDR note!.

Hirizer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 Jan 2017

Total posts 2

Birmingham INTERNATIONAL airport, last year. Needed a GBP1.00 coin to get a trolley. Just arrived from Australia, no UK coins, no machine to spill out coins in exchange for a paper quid, and credit card slot broken.

Not very international. Had to rely on good Samaritan for that one pound coin. This airport arrivals hall has since been upgraded though (they sent me photos, along with an apology, after I complained). Still, always handy to have a few local coins in your pocket on arrival.

Jon W

Member since 25 Feb 2013

Total posts 6

Birmingham INTERNATIONAL airport, last year. Needed a GBP1.00 coin to get a trolley. Just arrived from Australia, no UK coins, no machine to spill out coins in exchange for a paper quid, and credit card slot broken.
Not very international. Had to rely on good Samaritan for that one pound coin. This airport arrivals hall has since been upgraded though (they sent me photos, along with an apology, after I complained). Still, always handy to have a few local coins in your pocket on arrival.

Ha, wouldn't have helped me even with my bag of coins. I usually have organised bags of coins for the countries I most visit but I lost about 12 quid on the pound coin changeover because I had an unusually long period between UK trips,. Left with a bag of coins no-one would accept!

aggie57

QF

Member since 04 Apr 2014

Total posts 134

Intersting how this has evolved into a cash vs. card discussion as well. Here in the US I always try to keep a few $1 bills in my wallet, yes for tips. But unless I’m traveling the only place that’s really needed is valet parking and the car wash. And in LA you do valet pretty often. Otherwise no cash needed.

Ross

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 May 2014

Total posts 83

Birmingham INTERNATIONAL airport, last year. Needed a GBP1.00 coin to get a trolley. Just arrived from Australia, no UK coins, no machine to spill out coins in exchange for a paper quid, and credit card slot broken.
Not very international. Had to rely on good Samaritan for that one pound coin. This airport arrivals hall has since been upgraded though (they sent me photos, along with an apology, after I complained). Still, always handy to have a few local coins in your pocket on arrival.

Exactly same happened to me in Manchester Airport, thankfully a good Samaritan also came forward with a pound coin.

EKdevotee

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 05 Jun 2017

Total posts 9

I travel to several countries on a regular basis, and collect substantial amounts of UGX, ETB, NGN, AED, OMR, EUR USD and GBP. Same as you, I keep the sorted noted in suitably sized ziplock bags, and take them with me when I'm on the road again. It's quite handy to have notes on hand in African countries when I arrive as ATMs are not numerous, and often don't work when I find one!

I agree with the coin problem. I always make a gift of them to a random person on the way to the airport, and always get a really good reaction. Try it! In places like the UAE, where there is still a bit of a coin shortage, it's really important not to take any coins out of the country.

EKdevotee

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 05 Jun 2017

Total posts 9

When travelling I minimise the use of currency whenever possible (i've never even held NZ or SG currency despite frequent trips) I just use a good travel card.

That's rather brave! I can't imagine setting foot in any country without some coin of the realm, especially in Asia – food stalls, markets, little hole-in-the-wall places, there are so many places where it's all about cash.

I agree. Most African countries (and I'm sure many other less 'developed' countries) do not use credit cards and cash is essential for most purchases.

Himeno

Member since 12 Dec 2012

Total posts 291

I agree with the coin problem. I always make a gift of them to a random person on the way to the airport, and always get a really good reaction. Try it! In places like the UAE, where there is still a bit of a coin shortage, it's really important not to take any coins out of the country.

There's a coin shortage in the UAE?

I have coins in NZD, SGD, MYR, JPY, TWD, HKD, RMB, KRW, GBP, AED, EUR, NOK, SEK, CHF, HUF, CAD and USD

BRCW

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 04 Oct 2016

Total posts 13

I use small ziplock bags, one for each currency, and put them all inside an A4 document wallet.

Pallydou

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

Member since 02 Jul 2018

Total posts 22

For coins I have dedicated coin purses for each currency - USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, KRW, HKD, CNY, AUD, SGD. I got some cutie ones which costs just a few bucks a purse. Don't be surprised I use a cat face purse for pences, or Country Road PEY wash bag for nickels & dimes.


For bank notes I just take the notes for those countries in daily wallet (and Aussie dollars of course). For the bank notes I am not using for that trips, I put in a separate ugly wallet given from my mom (sorry!) and put it at home.

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