Funny Money

If you travel internationally a lot, you may have what I have: little ziplock bags with extra bills & coins in foreign currency. I probably have a hundred US dollars worth of Japanese Yen, Israeli Shekels, UK Pounds, Czech Crowns, and EU Euros from trips we’ve taken over that last 10-15 years.

It seems that at the end of each trip I have local currency leftover. It is generally too much to be a simple souvenir, but too little to make a priority of exchanging the value to US dollars. I hang onto it thinking I’ll use it next time I go to that country, but I don’t always remember to bring it a long.

Today, I was heading to the airport and grabbed $35 CDN in bills that I had from our trip to Toronto back in 2018. That was almost 2 years ago. My departure gate was close to the currency exchange stand and I have no plans to head up to the Great White North anytime soon, so it was a perfect opportunity to get rid of it. After a $2 flat fee, I netted $21.02 US – that’s just a $.60 exchange rate.

I guess I should be happy I cashed-in the $ CDN, but the exchange rate was so poor and the value so little, I’m not sure it was time well-spent. Next time maybe I should just liquidate the extra currency buy purchasing a bottle of booze, bag of candy, or overpriced magazine at the duty-free shop.

How do you typically manage your foreign currency at the end of a trip?

Image Credit: Pixabay

6 thoughts on “Funny Money

    1. The Bank of England will exchange out of circulation bills long after they are legal. I have also learned from locals that people use those for donations, as the charities can do the same.
      The UK just switched out their 20 pound note; while the old doesn’t yet have an end date, it is coming. We left the UK last week with all new 10’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The international airport near my home has a donation box for this.

    In general, I will spend my money up to the last $20 or so, keep that while traveling to the airport, maybe buy a snack there, and then donate the rest before boarding the plane.

    For you, maybe there is a US charity that accepts foreign money as donation?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really smart idea for them to do that. I presume you can put whatever currency you have in there and they sort it out and cash it in for the charity? That’s a great approach.


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