at home, i hate carrying coins around with me. abroad, though, unless you’re willing to pay hefty transaction fees, using your debit or credit cards for small purchases just doesn’t make sense. meaning you come home with a ton of coins (or small bills) that you couldn’t manage to spend at the airport. i have an upcoming trip that will take me through three currency regions: the pound sterling, the euro, and the canadian dollar, and i have chump change from past trips to each.
at what point, though, does it not make sense to bring your leftover money with you? i have £1.97 (a little over $3 US) in 17 coins. i think i have come up with some sort of algorithm that takes into account:
- the value of the money (↑)
- the number of coins (↓)
- the time spent in each area (↑)
- other upcoming trips where i will be able to use this currency (↓)
- how long until i can use the money on this trip (↓)
according to this, i will bring my pound of pounds (ha, actually, not sure how much it weighs) but will leave my €1.05 (only two coins, but i will be going to germany later this summer) and C$8 (just transiting through canada on the way home after 10 days and will have lounge access, and will be going to toronto for a long weekend next month).
something i wish is that more airlines would take part in UNICEF’s change for good program, where flight attendants collect leftover change during flights that will be used to fund programs around the world. if i’m on a flight where they offer it, i donate. i’ve also seen collection points (maybe not related to this program) in airports as well, but this program needs to become more widespread. it’s a win-win situation for all.
for the record, i also have a collection of czech koruna, chinese yuan, hong kong dollars, south korean won, argentinean pesos, cambodian riel, and south african rand — none amounting to over a couple dollars’ worth, if that.