Celeste Gray almost couldn’t avoid a vacation disaster back in 2001. She was used to traveling without a plan, which allowed her “plenty of room for spontaneity.” And then, while traveling through Spain, she got a little more spontaneity than she’d bargained for.
“After 9/11, all flights were canceled, and the airport in Barcelona was filled with stranded travelers,” remembers Gray, who owns and manages vacation rentals in Asheville, N.C. “During that sudden global shutdown, banks immediately closed, leaving many of us stranded without access to money for alternate plans.”
A compassionate airline employee fronted her the money for a train ticket to France, where she waited at a friend’s home for flights to resume. But the experience changed her. Today, she doesn’t leave home without travel insurance, cash, an emergency kit and contact information for the nearest U.S. Embassy.
“How to avoid a vacation disaster”