After being to 59 countries, I have now used 62 currencies (yes some countries have changed currencies). If I could have my way, the world would only have ten currencies (two per continent!). Easier to remember and less to carry! The reality is we have 180 currencies circulating amongst the 193 UN recognised nations from roubles, to lek to shekels, pesos and birr.
On my next trip starting Thursday, I will be using:
- Malaysian Ringits
- Danish Krone
- British Pounds
- Thai Baht
- Australian dollars
They can all become confusing to people. Even with a currency exchange tool on your phone, the actual cash can become too much.
I was talking to one English couple at Bangkok airport who in utter confusion had handed all of their money to a woman at the market and asked her to take what they owed her for their purchases! Most people are patient when you do this and will take what they are owed but some un scrupulous operators can take people for a ride.
Others, I have met, after handing over notes not having any clue what they are paying, have found they have scored huge bargain. Other travellers have found that the deal they though they had got cost then twice what they imagined.
- Identify what currency the country you are going to uses. This list helps.
- Google the currency and choose images so you can see what the notes look like
- Print the images out
- Write next to each note what the value is in your currency (For currency exchange I use www.xe.com)
- Fold the list up and memorise on the plane or carry with you or photo it and out it on your phone