After many years of traveling, I have found a lot of little things that are helpful to have on hand for trips. Some things may seem obvious like a portable umbrella, my Grab and Go Sunscreen bag or a First Aid Kit but maybe not my Bag of Quarters.
In my house I collect change in a few different ways. I have the Dryer Pig. A piggy bank that resides in the basement on top of my dryer along with the dryer sheets and Fred and Barney (my hedgehog dryer balls). I was always finding change in the laundry or on the laundry room floor. So I installed the dryer pig there to collect it all.
I also collect change upstairs in a change sorter. When I work the occasional waitress shift, I always come home with an apron pocket full of random change. I unload it into the sorter along with change found under chairs when vacuuming (happens more often than you think) or found in any other random locations around the house. Occasionally I empty the dryer pig into the sorter as well.
When I have enough, I roll the pennies, dimes and nickels and put the rolls into a box until I am ready to deposit them into my travel fund. But the quarters go into a zip lock baggie for travel. Why you ask?
10 things that I find quarters useful for when traveling:
- Parking Meters
- Exact Change Tolls
- Food or Drink Vending Machines
- Buying stamps from a machine
- Playing games like air hockey, pool, foosball or pinball
- Getting a newspaper from a box
- Doing some laundry
- Short term locker rentals
- Bus Fare
- And on our last road trip when the low tire pressure light came on, the air machine at a local gas station (can you believe it cost $1.50 for air!)
That’s why I like to have around $5 worth of quarters on hand when I travel. I know that these days you can find alternatives to quarters for several of these items (like paying parking meters on your credit card), but they sure do come in handy for a lot of stuff.