As your vacation abroad is ending you may find more foreign currency than you realized you are holding. What should you do with this currency at the end of your vacation? Here are some good ideas.
Leave for Hotel Housekeeping Staff
Perhaps the easiest way to get rid of extra, unwanted foreign currency is to leave it on a counter in your hotel room. You should take the time to leave a small thank you note and place the currency on the note. These workers are not typically paid a lot of money and certainly your gratitude, expressed in such a form, will most certainly be appreciated.
Contribute to Hotel Charity Programs
Some international hotel chains have programs to support local charities. They may even have a notice in your room, with an envelope, that you can use. Just place your unwanted local currency, seal the envelope and leave it at the front desk, or with the duty manager at check out time.
Social and Business Club Donations
If you are a member of the Lions International or the Rotary Clubs you might pay a visit, exchanging club banners and contribute foreign currency to the clubs current charity programs. This will usually end up involving more money than the spare foreign currency change that you find in your pocket. For that reason it would be good to take a contribution from your club at home. Your remaining foreign currency can be added to that contribution.
Avoid Having Extra Change
Some people disburse small change in foreign currency as they travel. Any foreign money that is worth less than one America dollar they give out as tips. This accomplishes several things. You appear as a generous person, you don’t have small change to mess with throughout your trip and when you are ready to go home, the only money in your pocket can be exchanged for your home currency. This can be done at the departure terminal, usually after clearing immigration, or near the baggage area when you get home.
Payment of Airport Departure Taxes
It is always a good idea to have some small change foreign currency, right up to the last moment before your departure. This avoids the necessity of having to change more of your dollars into the local currency if a need arises. You may be able to use your small change local currency to pay the airport departure tax as you get ready to depart.
Gifts for Officials
When traveling abroad you should avoid the appearance of trying to influence any official with your money. However, at departure time, you can ask the immigration officer, after he clears your documents, if he could “dispose” of your extra change. This allows you to easily get rid of your extra foreign currency. You also get to see a very happy immigration official as you depart.
For the most of time, people choose to use credit card instead of currency when they travel abroad. When you decide to do that on your next trip, you should call your credit card issuer(s) and make sure your credit card can be used in the destination country.