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Over the past couple years of travel, I’ve amassed quite a bit of foreign currency – just a bit, here and there, that’s left over at the end of a trip. When nearing the end of a trip I always tried to spend just the right amount so that I would have as little as possible left, but not have to take out extra from my bank or have to convert a few dollars to local currency… I’m sure you all have had similar goals at the end of a trip before.
Well, then I started traveling more. And I started visiting multiple countries on the same trip. So, I decided it was time to rework my plan, especially for countries that I visit on a semi-frequent basis. Now, I have two main methods of keeping track of foreign currency, one for at home, and one for while I’m traveling.
I’ve seen different strategies work for different people, but small plastic ziplock bags are the answer for me. I keep the main currency I am using in my wallet [I currently travel with a Vera Bradley Zip ID Card Case], and other currencies I will need on the trip, or the coins that I collect for my dad in these small plastic bags. Depending on the trip and how much cash I’m carrying across the different currencies, these are sometimes stored in a secondary pocket in my purse or in a larger bag.
At home I keep left over foreign currency in envelopes that are sorted alphabetically by country name. Even if I only come home with a few coins that might be worth a dollar or so… they still go into an envelope. It makes it really easy if I know I’m going on a trip to Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan. I go to those envelopes, and I put the money in the baggies that I mentioned in the ‘while traveling’ section. I prefer the longer business-style envelopes, because no matter the size of the currency, it all fits.
How do you keep track of your foreign currency?
I use the exact same strategies. And like you, I used to pride myself on using up all of my currency when I left each country. Now, I know I might be back and don’t care as much. The Euro has certainly changed my habits as I want to have some left to ease arrival the next time over. I am a bit of a purse freak and also collect change purses. I now have several that have multiple compartments, so when I am traveling to several countries on the same trip, I bring along one so I can put the coins in the separate compartments. I also usually take all of my U.S. coins out of my change purse before I leave the country to simplify and not have to haul those coins around too.
Plu,s you can keep your weed in it
I have a bunch of tiny change purses that are the size of your little baggies
That’s a great way to handle all of that loose change too, Wendy!