Have you ever travelled without money?
Couple of years back, I traveled to Mumbai from pune.
I traveled by Shivneri (Maharashtra state Volvo bus service) and somebody in office had booked ticket and I had the print out in shirt pocket. I got on the bus and I slept as I was awake till late because I was working on the presentation for which I was going to Mumbai.
I was supposed to present something to the CEO of one of the biggest builders in Mumbai.
I got down at Dadar and took a taxi to lower Parel. I got down and as my hand went to my pocket to take out the wallet, I found out that it is not there and hence there was no money, no card nothing absolutely. My meeting was to start in half an hour which left me no choice of calling someone in Mumbai to pay for my taxi and return ticket.
I told the taxi driver the problem and requested him to wait and I will figure out something. Apart from the CEO, I knew only one lady in that organization and she was in pune that day. So I gathered all my courage and called the CEO and told him the problem. He sent someone down with cash and paid the driver.
After the meeting, he gave me Rs. 3000 to go back to Pune. I asked him for his account number so that I could transfer him back the money, he declined.
I also closed the deal :)
In late 1988 after I first joined the military, I spent pretty much every penny I had on a round-trip Greyhound bus ticket between Norfolk, Virginia and Santa Fe, New Mexico just to make it home in time for Christmas. I might have had something like $10 left to my name. It was a 55-hour trip each way, and apart from one fast-food binge early on, the only food I had to eat for the entire first leg of the trip was a bottle of spirulina tablets.
This was in the days before the military used direct deposit, so even though this trip happened over a payday, I had no money until I got back to Virginia except for something like $30 that I borrowed from my parents.
I travel a lot on business, and I try to have at least enough local currency for taxi fare from the Airport to the Central Business District of where ever I am going. Just about everywhere I go credit cards are accepted, but there is always the small chance of a problem, best to be prepared.
The best way by far to get local cash is to apply for a credit card attuned to travelers needs. A card which does not have foreign transaction or ATM (cash machine) fees is a good start. One which allows online prepayment of bills so you can keep the cash advance interest charges to a minimum.
We are rapidly approaching a business travel environment where cash is not needed, best to be prepared should something go wrong.
When I was fourteen I ran away from home. I had no money and lost my shoes.
I had hitched a ride to a rock concert in Watkins Glen NY.
I was tired and hungry, eventually went back to familiar ground.