The Day When… We Were Stranded With No Money In Morocco

Dariece Swift author's bio Goats On The Road

It was mid-March 2011, and it was already hot at 9 am at the Casablanca Airport. We had been in Morocco for 3 weeks and were more than ready to head to our next country, Egypt. We were prepared and had everything in order for our flight.

We were at the airport early, probably earlier than we needed to be. We had spent every last Moroccan Dirham on our taxi to the airport, but we figured there would be an ATM machine waiting for us when we arrived. To our surprise, there wasn’t. The terminal was so small that there was only one shop and a bathroom. So, there we sat, hungry, thirsty and bored.

We didn’t want to go through customs any earlier than we had to, because we knew there would be even less to do on the other side! With about an hour before our flight was to take off, I decided to check the departure board. I’m not sure why we waited so long to check, we usually arrive at the airport, look at the board and get situated close to where our gate is.

flight from casa to cairo

Our flight number wasn’t on the list.

We asked around and it turned out that there were 2 terminals at this Casablanca airport and we were at the wrong one! Panicked, and money-less, we were trying to figure out how to get to the other terminal, which was about 30 mins away. The shuttle bus had just left and wouldn’t be back for another 1/2 hour. There were no taxis or vehicles in sight, and even if there were, we had no money!

So, what did we do? We ran.

To this day, I still laugh when I remember the sight of Nick running down the highway. He had his backpack on the trolley, was running as fast as his legs would go and then suddenly, the backpack fell off of the cart. With one strap still attached he dragged it for a couple of minutes, ran it over with the trolley, before picking it up and taking off again. All while frantically yelling back at me to hurry up – as I’m bent over dying of laughter.

I have no idea why he opted for the trolley, but it made the scenario more hilarious for me, so I’m glad he did!

travel from morocco to egypt
Loading up the trolley, get ready to run

We were quite the sight that day. A couple of foreigners sprinting for about 20 minutes down the highway, sweating, dropping our bags and tripping over things. We were so rushed and panicked it was ridiculous!

In the end we made it to the right terminal and checked in just as the plane was about to leave for Cairo. Note to self and readers: do not arrive at the airport without any money and always check which terminal your plane leaves from!

flight from morocco to egypt
Phew, we made it! Nick getting on the plane to Cairo

Have you ever made a stupid mistake at the airport, please tell us below!





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The Day When… We Were Stranded With No Money In Morocco
Dariece Swift author's bio Goats On The Road

Written by

Dariece Swift

Dariece is a co-founder of Goats On The Road, and an expert in saving money, finance management, building an online business and of course... travel. She loves meeting new people, trying new cuisines, and learning about the unique cultures of our world. She has over 12 years of experience helping others to realize their travel dreams and has worked in numerous jobs all over the world to help pay for travel.

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23 thoughts on “The Day When… We Were Stranded With No Money In Morocco”

  1. On my first trip with my husband, we missed our first flight and barely made it to the second one. Ever since our third flight together, we’ve always been early! We also neurotically check every ticket multiple times. Nothing like missing a flight (or almost missing a flight) to teach you a lesson!

  2. OMG, this sounds like a travelers nightmare! Glad you didn’t miss your flight! Once we went to the wrong train station in Beijing, in the middle of winter, around Chinese New Year. And nobody spoke English, so it was really difficult to find out where the train station for trains going south was! Ended up spending an extra day in Beijing. Well, looking back those “mistakes” make fun memories and a great story! 🙂

  3. Last 2011, when me and my daughter went to travel, I brought my old laptop with me, but the worst is my laptop can’t be folded because the flip of it was damaged. It’s really hard because I need to hand carry it, the airport staffs didn’t allow me to put it as a checked in baggage.

  4. Haa Haaa! Had a wonderful morning laugh! What ? You didn’t unpack your camera to capture this Photo Moment !?… Oh that’s right, you were side-splitting laughing!! Thanks for the descriptive visual! You won Many awards sprinting, I can see you flying around the tracks But, I can’t imagine you sprinting And carrying your heavy backpack, small bag, purse And in flip-flops! Nice that all ended well! You were So looking forward to Egypt, and if I remember correctly, on arrival you were treated like Royalty with a Huge room with a view, and a great bathroom to freshen up after this ordeal!

  5. My worst was missing a flight out of the Bahamas. Got to the terminal and asked for the first flight to Florida. Got the plane and turns out the plane was destined for Ft Lauredale rather than Miami Airport where my connection was. Managed to get the 1 hour train to the other airport and make the flight

  6. I found it’s the time when I’m flustered is when I’ll make a mess of the security check. The USA customs guy had to ask me 3 times to remove various objects from various pockets, and then of course they wanted to check me for bomb-making residue too… when we were already late getting to the terminal we needed to get to! Would have missed the flight anyway, and came dangerously close to missing our cruise ship, but we made it, and even the lost luggage made it just as the ship was leaving port. Oy, that was too stressful but it was United Airlines switching flights around on us that made for the impossible between-flights transfer-time.

  7. Haha, I completely understand! We now look at our tickets over and over again before a flight or a train ride and we always go to the departures board right away. Since Morocoo we’ve been pretty good with being on time for our transport 🙂

  8. Trying to figure out transport in Beijing during Chinese New Year would be a nightmare! Basically a billion people all moving around at once. But you’re right, it’s days like that in travel that make for great memories and stories.


  9. Seriously, it was one of the most hilarious things ever! I was running with my bag on my back like a normal person, but Nick decided to run with the trolley…which was a disaster! The fact that we made the plane was a miracle.

    Happy travels!

  10. haha, it was soooo funny! Not exactly easy to run with a backpack, purse, small backpack and in flip flops like you said, but somehow we made it! We’ve definitely learned since then 🙂 And you’re right, we arrived in Cairo and had a beautiful room with one of the highest ceilings I’ve ever seen! Loved it there.

    Glad we could make you laugh this morning 🙂

  11. Sometimes the connection times are ridiculously short, aren’t they? haah, ya, in the States they definitely want to do a thorough check 🙂 Glad to hear you didn’t miss your cruise and that your luggage made it on board!

  12. My friend and I took an overnight bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok that arrived at 6 am. Our flight wasn’t until 2 and knowing we had plenty of time to kill we spent hours in the mall. We didn’t factor in how long it would take to actually get to the airport and checked in 5 minutes before the flight was due to leave and started sprinting across two terminals. My friend stopped running once the clock struck 2 but I encrouaged her to keep going and thankfully we did because the flight was only just boarding as we arrived panting and sweating at the gate.

  13. That is the funniest thing I have read in a while! Thanks for the chuckle! So easy to do really, a simple oversight that obviously caused gnashing of teeth! Our most recent annoyance at an airport was in Bali. I was on the way home to Australia with our daughters and had a few hours stop in Denpasar… thought it would be fun to go have dinner on the beach. Aussies have to pay visas to Bali, but as we are dual citizens with the Uk… I thought, ripper… no visa payment. Till we got to the exit and were told a few hours out was not classified as tourist visa and we would have to pay. Bugger. $145 U.S. later… but, we had a super meal on the beach at one of the many restaurants. Serenaded by roaming musicians, waves crashing in, super food… the girls loved it. Was it worth the added expense after 10 months on the road… yep.

  14. Oh no! haha, $145?! Oh well, as you said, it was worth the moment spent on the beach with your daughters. Sounds like a great end to a trip actually 🙂

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  15. You really make me laugh, because the same situation happened to me while I was travelling to Egypt but i was alone and the airport employees were helping me to carry my bag and every single contain of it were fallen down while i am running 😀

  16. I love this story! I have had a few experiences which at the time were stressful but now funny to look back on. While I was in Spain on a day trip to Gibraltar, after seeing the monkeys we were free to wander. After wandering around aimlessly, I decided to sit at a cafe I saw beside the bus station. Luckily I am always organised so I decided to head over early but much to my horror – it was not the right station! I looked like a frantic crazy person running round the streets of Gibraltar looking for the other station! I was panicking becuase we had been told that under no uncertain terms would they wait for us and I had a flight to catch the next morning :S Miraculously, I made it back with a few minutes to spare!

  17. What an experience! Yes, personally recommend to never underestimate the size of an airport. I have been a couple of times (like in Chicago O’hare, or Charles de Gaulle, in Paris) where, in a rush, you thing you can make it, but then TSA comes and the dozens of departure gates before yours. I have sprinted like you describe to airports before. Not too good for your health! I invite you to follow my own experiences at Thank you!

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