Leftover holiday money: What to do with it
Since Malta’s entry into the euro zone and the introduction of the euro as our currency, many have noticed that the amount of small change and foreign notes left over from their travels have decreased in number. Unless, of course, you are the type of person who ensures that you spend your holiday money until the very last cent at the airport’s departures lounge. Or you generously throw your change into one of the collection boxes that come a dime a dozen at the airport in an attempt to raise funds for a good cause.
A new survey carried out in the UK by Skyscanner revealed that a staggering €2 billion of leftover holiday money is sitting in British homes. More than 1,100 British travellers responded to the poll, with the average cash stash of foreign coins and notes amounting to €69 per person, from Cypriot Pounds to Thai Baht.
Despite the mandatory last-minute souvenir dash at the airport, 89% of people still return home from their holiday with foreign currency left over. Hot from their trips to the continent, Brits return with more than just glowing tans and overflowing suitcases. Results show that holidaymakers hoard an average of £60 worth of euros at home. Those visiting the US come back with an average of $67 unspent, amounting to $368 million nationwide.
Despite this veritable foreign money jar sitting in British homes, one in three holidaymakers forgets to take their leftover foreign currency with them on their next trip.
While many are leaving their coins to gather dust in a drawer alongside old batteries, spare light bulbs and takeaway menus, Skyscanner found that more unusual uses for unused foreign currency include making jewellery, decorating the coffee table and even sticking them to the ceiling as a memento of their travels abroad.
Skyscanner’s Victoria Bailie commented: “Many travellers like to keep a few notes and coins as souvenirs but we were surprised at how big that pot of foreign cash is. Collectively, it’s enough for the UK to buy its own Caribbean island and a fleet of private jets to fly there. So before your next holiday, check those drawers and ensure you take any useable foreign currency with you. And when returning home, you can always donate leftover currency to charity – most airports have collection boxes.”