Got a Spare £800 million Lying Around?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

According to the foreign exchange people at American Express. A survey they have just completed shows that w e may have £800 million in forgotten foreign currency lying around. The usual size survey of 1000 people apparently shows that we have, on average £40 in cash lying around after we return from our holidays.

Unsurprising really.

What they don’t say is how much is in euros. What’s the point of buying that buyback guarantee or changing them back when many of us will just save them for the next trip? Before the euro, I can understand that we might want to exchange escudos, pesetas, lire, marks and francs but since you can use the euro so widely why bother? I keep unused euros, US dollars and Australian dollars as I need to use them at least once a year. And I have more than £40 worth. I can understand it if it involves some currency that one only country uses and I confess I have some yuan left over from China which probably amounts to enough for half a bowl of noodles.
I also have 1700 shillings in notes from Uganda, 130 shillings from Tanzania, 1100 rupiahs from Indonesia, a British £1 note, some Greek drachma and a Queen Victoria half penny. These are souvenirs of holidays and, in most cases, not even legal tender any more. It’s just not worth changing small amounts back when you have a £3 charge or something like that. But it is quite nice sometimes to look at the coins and notes and remember holidays past.

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