As I waited at the bagel shop on a recent Sunday morning I saw two people turned away without the bagels for their Sunday morning brunch because all they had was plastic (credit cards, debit cards) – no cash. No crisp dollars or coins clinking around in a pocket to make a purchase in a place that only deals in cash.
Watching their surprised expressions, hesitation while they tried to figure out what to do next reminded me again of the importance of having some currency on you at all times. This is true especially if you are traveling in a country that is not yours.
For the people in the bagel shop this Sunday morning finding cash was as simple as getting to the nearest ATM something they were likely to be able to locate quickly. But in a city new to you, a place where the language may not be yours, finding that ATM may not be easy. Need a snack, a taxi, a coffee? Likely, you’ll need old-fashioned cash.
Don’t be surprised. Be smart, be safe, hide some cash in your wallet if you must and when plastic doesn’t work - you will still be able to buy what you need. Don't miss your bagels for Sunday brunch.