Going abroad means paying in a foreign currency. In exchange for your familiar Pound sterling notes, you will be given an exotic collection of banknotes and coins that are, often quite literally, foreign to us.
Getting used to the banknotes is the easy part. It’s the coins that provide the real challenge. And so it might happen that, when asked to pay 3.33 Swiss Francs, you might just give a Swiss tenner and be done with it. As a result, after a week of holidays, your pockets might be very stuffed with foreign loose change. So what to do with all those foreign coins?
Spend your foreign coins while you are abroad
Since most banks and bureaux de change in the UK won’t accept your leftover foreign coins for exchange, the smartest thing to do is to spend your foreign coins while you are abroad. Familiarise yourself with the local notes and coins beforehand: That way you will avoid paying with large denomination banknotes in ‘panic situations’ at the shop counter. Airport shops are a great place to spend your final leftover coins. Also, many local shopkeepers will gladly change coins into paper money.
Donate your leftover coins to charity
If you do bring home some leftover coins, one way to dispose of them is to donate them to charity. Barnardo’s charity shops are happy to take over your unused foreign coins. Your donation will help to transform the lives of vulnerable children across the UK. You can donate both notes and coins, even if they are no longer valid.
Convert your leftover foreign coins to Pounds
To convert your foreign coins back to Pounds, you can use the online exchange service provided by Leftover currency and other foreign exchange buyers. The exchange process is easy and well explained on their websites.
Keep your coins for later
If you might go back to the same country in the near future, you might choose to simply keep your leftover foreign coins for later. Many people keep their spare foreign coins somewhere in a drawer or jar. Just make sure you don’t forget where you put them, so you’ll find them easy next time when you need them.