Australian traveller Natalie Hensby probably didn't think her trip to Thailand for the famous Full Moon Party would end with her spending three weeks in a Bangkok hospital.
Natalie was with her friends travelling on a boat that collided at full speed with another, where she was then knocked unconscious and thrown into the water sustaining serious injuries.
She was medevaced to Bangkok for surgery and hospitalised for three weeks.
"Luckily my friend registered our details with Smartraveller, which allowed [the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] DFAT to contact our travel insurance company and our families immediately following the accident," Natalie said.
"My travel insurance claim was over $100,000. My travel insurance policy saved my life."
Natalie was selected as the inaugural winner of the DFAT's Smartraveller Travel Tales competition, with Australian travellers asked to describe an overseas travel story where they benefited from being a Smartraveller, or where they wished they were one.
Smartraveller is a government initiative that offers handy travel advice and tips for Australians heading overseas.
Each year they handle over 20,000 cases involving Australians in difficulty overseas, including in cases of hospitalisations, deaths and evacuations to another location for medical purposes.
Overseas medical costs can be very expensive indeed, according to Smartraveller.
"Daily hospitalisation costs in Southeast Asia regularly exceed $800; return of remains from Europe in excess of $10,000.
"The cost of medical evacuations from the United States regularly range from $75,000 to $95,000 and sometimes up to $300,000. The Department has handled medical evacuations from Bali in which costs have exceeded $60,000."
According to Smartraveller, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. You are risking even more potential financial risk by jumping on a plane without appropriate travel cover.
Deborah Sugden is another Australian traveller who entered the Travel Tales competition, taking out second place with her account of the Samoa tsunami that hit in September 2009.
The High Commission was able to get in contact with Deborah quickly to confirm her safety and relay information to her family back home in Australia as a result of registering her trip with Smartraveller.
It's important that you seek the aid of a travel insurance policy on your adventures overseas – think of it as sort of a must-have second passport.
You can make savings of up to 30 per cent on travel insurance with HICA.
Make sure to review and compare the benefits of travel insurance before setting off on your holiday.