'My work meeting was cancelled - so I flew to Crete for a day'

Stefanie Curran in Crete
Stefanie Curran in Crete -Credit:Stefanie Curran/SWNS

A woman drove four hours for a work meeting to find out it was cancelled - so she flew to a Greek island instead. Stefanie Curran, 41, was due to have an important meeting with a potential new client on May 7.

She drove there the night before from her home in Torquay and stayed overnight in a hotel in Crawley, West Sussex. When she found out at the last minute - after arriving in Crawley in the evening - that the meeting the next day was cancelled, the mum-of-two was frustrated.

But she was determined the journey, arranged childcare and hotel stay would not be wasted - and looked up flights from nearby Gatwick Airport. She ended up flying first thing the next morning to Crete and spent the day shopping and sunbathing.

She got home at 6am the next day after her mammoth day trip - which cost £590 in total. But the single mum said it was worth the tiredness and the cost for the spontaneous sunny trip abroad.

Stefanie, a director for a social enterprise, said: "I had an important meeting with a new potential client and I was disappointed when it was cancelled. I didn't just want to drive home after coming all the way to Crawley, then I realised I wasn't too far from Gatwick Airport.

"I thought I'd see if there was anywhere I could go that might cheer me up, since I was already there - and I saw Crete. It was a long day out and it wasn't cheap, but it was such a treat to have a day away without my kids."

Stefanie drove down to Crawley on May 6, but found out after arriving that the meeting was cancelled. So she took advantage of her proximity to Gatwick Airport and booked herself a return flight to Crete for the day, costing £339. She had previously lived in Greece and had fond memories, so wanted to enjoy a nostalgic day trip.

Stefanie - a single mum to Brody, 11, and Romeo, seven - said: "I went into a charity shop in Crawley to get some beach bits and got a few bits at the airport. I just got a bikini and a change of summer clothes.

"Luckily I had my passport with me already because I needed ID - I don't normally carry it with me. Then I just went."

She flew from Gatwick at 7.15am and arrived in Crete at around 1.10pm. She took a taxi to Stalis, then enjoyed a leisurely stroll to sunny Malia, stopping along the way for food, coffee and souvenir shops.

Stefanie Curran's trip to Crete
Stefanie enjoyed some beach time -Credit:Stefanie Curran/SWNS

She hired a sunbed on the beach for the afternoon, where she had Greek salad and mojitos while sunbathing. She went to a beach bar for her evening meal before getting a taxi back to the airport in the evening, after six-and-a-half hours in Crete. After arriving back to Gatwick at 11.40pm she got her car from the hotel and drove home through the night.

Stefanie said: "I had to stock up on coffee to keep me awake and I got back at around 6am - and straight to bed. Luckily I had booked the next day off work to write up my notes from the meeting that had been cancelled, so it worked out fine."

She added: "It came to £590 in total, but it was a treat. I don't drink or smoke or go on nights out, and I don't treat myself, so it was nice to just be frivolous for the day. It's a rare treat, I've been a single mum for years, so it was nice to do something just for myself and not have to compromise to keep the kids happy."

Stefanie's costs

Train to airport £4.10

Flights cost £339

Taxis 77 euros

Day bed hire £25

Lunch, dinner, drinks etc 100 euros approx

Food at airport £25 approx

Taxi from airport to car £20