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Money Abroad

When I am not traveling abroad,  I put all my small change in a bottle, saving it up for that day when I will take it to the bank - because I never use it.   When I travel abroad, though, I value change and hoard it.  Why?  Because cash and coins are useful to the traveler.  Read our article to find out why.


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Travel Advice - Carry small change for tipping, parking meters, and toilets.

Be sure to have a supply of small change for those occasions where you need to tip bellhops, parking attendants and taxi drivers. Change is also useful to pay small transactions such as parking meters and vending machines.

The most significant reason to carry small change when traveling abroad is that most public restrooms are pay-for-use. You may need to pay an attendant who collects a fee to use the facility. In other cases, you will need to insert a coin to unlock turnstile gate leading to the bathroom or for a slot on the bathroom door that unlocks only with a local coin. In other cases, there may be a fee for toilet paper. An attendant generally dispenses a few tissues before you enter the stall but only if you have local change.

Be sure to make the effort to collect some change because, most often, when you use an ATM to get currency, you do not receive coins. Break a bill as soon as you can and get the equivalent for five dollars worth of local coins. A pocket of local change is a blessing when you need it.


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